Google opens its servers to developers
Google has made its server infrastructure accessible to external developers in a new service called App Engine. Programmers can take advantage of Google's infrastructure to host their own applications. Developers don't have to worry about scaling and load balancing for their applications; the App Engine automatically takes care of these matters.
The service includes data storage that supports a query engine and transactions, an API that allows Google accounts to be used, and email services. Developers can apparently access data from other Web resources, such as data from Web services, via a URL fetching service. The service currently only supports Python 2.5 as a programming language. Developers can reportedly use "most" web frameworks. Google provides an SDK and comprehensive documentation for those who wish to get started. Right now though there is waiting list, as the 10,000 accounts created for the launch of the App Engine have apparently all been assigned. Interested parties will have to sign up and wait for an account.
This is not the first time that a web service has opened its infrastructure for the general public. For instance, Amazon rents databases – Simple Storage Server (S3) – and computing power – Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), while Salesforce operates a similar platform called AppExchange. Unlike the services offered by Amazon and Salesforce, a basic version of Google's App Engine is free. It includes 500MB of storage, 10GB of daily traffic, and enough computing power to support five million page views per month. No details have yet been provided about premium versions.