Monday, 29 April 2013

Why Google App Engine?

I thought of writing a technical blog on Google APIs but change my mind after reading several not so good app engine reviews.

First lets go through some of the millstones that users have pointed out.

1. Time limit of 30 seconds for any request.
2. 5 seconds limit for GET and POST requests.
3. Inflexible NoSQL database.
4. Vendor-lock-in code. (Can not transport to a different platform)
5. Downtimes
and other concerns.

I agree on the fact that, GAE is an alien platform when you visit for the first time. You can not roam around as you like because of the many restrictions. Lack of many popular libraries, SQL, thread etc makes you code slower than that you did earlier.

I vote for GAE because of the following reasons. It has many APIs that meets your requirements. Easy integration with other Google APIs. Scalability issues can be neglected if you choose  GAE. According to Google, they provide the same features to GAE applications just like any other Google applications. And once you get in touch with the platform, you can easily get into other features which gradually reduces the time to develop.

In the last 8 months of experience with App engine, I have never seen any downtime. The main challenges that I have faced are,

1. Libraries are to be specially made for GAE. (Many popular social plugins can not used in GAE which minimizes the support from community)
2. Can not easily create a Rest interface.

Main advantages that I have witnessed.

1. Forget about deployment. Use your eclipse plugin to deploy a new version of the code.
2. Manage your application from a web based dashboard.
3. Free usage (till certain limit) of most of the APIs.
4. Very flexible cloud storage.
5. Automatic content caching.
6. Fast growing APIs.
7. Support for Java, Python and Go.
and many more.

And I dont feel bad if they put restrictions on time taken for a request. And learning NoSQL is not a big deal (recently GAE has announced availability of cloud SQL).

Enjoy coding with GAE and release your app at the earliest.

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