What is Google App Engine?

A reliable platform as a service offering is one of the most critical prerequisites for many businesses today. While there are many currently available options worth looking at, Google App Engine is considered the top choice by many. Take a detailed look into the platform and its features below.

Google App Engine Overview 

The Google App Engine is a platform as a service (PaaS) cloud computing option for creating scalable Google Cloud platform applications.

It enables developers to build and host web apps by taking advantage of its serverless platform. It is among the leading PaaS options available for businesses today.

Google App Engine is capable of facilitating hassle-free management of the applications built-in Google’s data centers. It is used for creating and hosting web applications within a serverless platform.

Google App Engine lets developers gain complete freedom from infrastructure management, and they can focus on building apps on the company’s robust cloud platform. Google provides the App Engine platform for effortless development and application management.

Google App Engine Advantages

The Google App Engine has a number of advantages over its competitors. Take a look. 

  • Ease of use

Google App Engine lets developers lay focus on writing code. It keeps them free from having to handle tasks such as server management and configuration. As a result, they direct their efforts towards code management and deployment.

The App Engine helps users utilize the cloud platform effortlessly, so they can choose to focus on simultaneously running applications and processes. The Google App Engine handles traffic management by automatic provisioning, monitoring, and patching.  

  • Scalable hosting

Developers and businesses around the world prefer Google App Engine due to the level of scalability it offers. Opting for this platform helps companies gain an edge over their competitors as they can grow without worrying about handling scalability demands.

The cloud development platform of the Google App Engine is designed for automatic scaling based on increasing demand. When demand spikes due to heavy traffic inflow, resources are automatically scaled up. It also scales down when the requirement is reduced.

  • Faster time to market

Google App Engine is known to be a platform that ensures faster time to market for your high-value business applications. It is essential in cases where requirements are fast-changing as launch times need to be maintained. This platform’s convenient tools and functionalities help reduce the testing time, and launch times are reduced as a result.

  • Managed service

Google App Engine lets developers add their application code on Google’s platform and performs all the infrastructure management requirements. It also keeps your web applications secure and ensures that they keep running. Business owners and developers can be assured that their applications and data are secure against malware and other issues.  

  • A diverse set of APIs

Google App Engine comes with many APIs and several services that let developers create versatile applications. Some of the features include Google App Engine Cloud Storage, application log access, SSL support, Google Cloud Endpoint, APIs (User, URL Fetch, Channel, File, XXMP, Memcache), Page Speed Services, Blobstore, and more. These are vital components that ensure a good development experience.

Google App Engine Limitations

Although its a great platform, it has some disadvantages. Some examples, below:

  • Vendor lock-in

Vendor lock-in is a significant limitation of the Google App Engine as users face data migration issues to other NoSQL databases. Porting applications from one platform to another can be quite a challenge. (1)

  • Read-only access to the file system

Google App Engine users have to work with read-only file system access, a deterrent for many potential users. It does not allow writing to local files, and data must be stored within a distributed setup. (1)

  • Not all languages and frameworks are supported

App Engine does not offer support for all widely-used programming languages and frameworks. Users are limited to Node.js, Java, Ruby, C#, Go, Python or PHP languages. Users have to rely on the custom runtimes feature to utilize other languages. (2)

  • Expensive versus pure IaaS deployment

Google App Engine is an expensive option compared to self-hosted alternatives. It is comparatively pricier than an IaaS deployment, and costs can get higher based on growing requirements. (3)

  • Customer support is not perfect

Google leaves App Engine users wanting more as its customer support is not perfect. (3)

Google App Engine Pricing

Google App Engine offers a usage-based plan for its users. The good thing is that there is a free quota to trial out the service without costs.

Free QuotaThe Free quotas of Google App Engine give small amounts of resources for applications. Users are billed for any additional resources they end up using beyond what is given for free.
Paid PlanPay-as-you-go (usage-based) model. The App Engine is based on a pay-as-you-go or usage-based model. Users are billed for the products and add-ons they use and can get an idea about the pricing by using the Google Cloud website’s pricing calculator.

Google App Engine pricing is segmented into Standard and Flexible models to cater to users’ differing needs. Both the pricing models include Google Cloud product costs wherever applicable. Take a look at the two pricing Environments below: 

  • Standard Environment

Pricing for the Standard Environment starts with the free quota. Users are charged more when they go beyond the limited resources of the free quota. There are varying hourly billing rates based on instance classes, and there are two types of scaling, i.e., basic scaling and manual scaling. Additional instance hours are not taken into account when idle instances count rises beyond the user-specified numbers.

Free ServicesPaid Services
– Income network traffic is free.
– Sending email
– Shared Memcache
– Cron
– APIs (Task Queues, Image, Files, Users)
– Network out
-Blobstore stored data
– Dedicated memcache
– Logs API
– Search API
  • Flexible Environment

The Flexible Environment pricing plan does not have a free quota. Under this plan, the applications of users have virtual machine deployments.

The virtual machine’s billing is on a per-second basis with a minimum usage cost requirement of 1 minute. Charges are mainly driven by the following variables:

  • vCPU
  • Memory
  • Network Out
  • Persistent Disk

For detailed pricing information, please refer to App Engine Pricing Page.

Google App Engine Core Features

The Google App Engine has a number of powerful features that users can take advantage of. Take a look – 

  • Language support

Google App Engine lets users build applications in some of the most popular languages, including Java, Python, Ruby, Node.js, C#, and PHP. Users also have the option of utilizing their preferred runtimes.

  • Flexibility

Google App Engine users can take advantage of the custom runtimes feature to utilize their preferred frameworks and libraries via a Docker container. 

  • Diagnostics

Cloud Logging and Cloud Monitoring are Google App Engine features for keeping tabs on application performance. The Error Reporting and Cloud Debugger features are useful for finding and fixing bugs. 

  • Traffic splitting

App Engine lets users split and route incoming traffic to different application versions. It enables them to effortlessly create environments for developing, staging, production and testing. 

  • Fully managed

Google Cloud Engine has a fully managed environment to help users focus on writing code without direct efforts towards infrastructure management.

  • Security

Users can rely on the Google App Engine firewall to set access rules and utilize SSL/TLS certificates on custom domains without paying anything extra.

Conclusion 

The Google App Engine is one of the most popular and widely-used PaaS offerings. Explore the features and pricing given above to choose the right fit for your development needs. 

FAQ

What is Google App Engine?

The Google App Engine is a platform as a service (PaaS) cloud computing option for creating scalable Google Cloud platform applications.

What are the advantages of App Engine?

– Ease of use
– Scalable hosting
– Faster time to market

What are the disadvantages of App Engine?

– Vendor Lock-In
– Price
– Not all languages and frameworks are supported


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