Google App Engine with Python Run-Time

Just saw this from Google. I think it is pretty cool. It is also cool that they have Python run-time as a part of the engine. I could not get in, but hope to when the program expands. Here is a brief description:

Google App Engine lets you run your web applications on Google’s infrastructure. App Engine applications are easy to build, easy to maintain, and easy to scale as your traffic and data storage needs grow. With App Engine, there are no servers to maintain: You just upload your application, and it’s ready to serve your users.

The cool thing about this facility is the support for Python run-time:

App Engine applications are implemented using the Python programming language. The App Engine Python runtime environment includes a specialized version of the Python interpreter, the standard Python library, libraries and APIs for App Engine, and a standard interface to the web server layer.

Google App Engine is very different from Amazon’s Electronic Cloud even though to some extent, they may compete in the same space.

A few random related thoughts:

  1. This may be ideal hosting facility for OpenSocial apps ( I already know some facebook apps using Python run-time)
  2. What if, Google implements one for a Java run-time as well? Loads of apps can benefit from such a service.
  3. This may be a great resource for hosting open web services
  4. It will be interesting to see Zope, Plone, Twisted and Django move to this environment


A friend mentioned that the sample apps are in Django and after a bit of browsing, confirmed that. On this general FAQ page, I found this.

For your convenience, Django v0.96.1 is included with the Google App Engine SDK.

Before you jump in and sign up, you may also want to see these limitations (from the same FAQ page)

  • Libraries that maintain databases on disk are not enabled in Python for Google App Engine
  • Sockets are disabled with Google App Engine
  • The system does not allow you to invoke subprocesses, as a result some os module methods are disabled
  • Threading is not available
  • For security reasons, most C-based modules are disabled
  • Other features that are limited:
    • marshal is disabled
    • cPickle is aliased to pickle
    • System calls have been disabled

Also see:

Google App Engine – A First Look

Developers Start Your Engines

App Engine and Open Source

App Engine: Commodity vs Proprietary

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