Friday, 18 April 2008

Google AppEngine is very impressive!

After never having hacked any python before or looked closely at django and never having used BigTable, I spent a little over a day and managed to hack up, what is (to me anyway!)- is a very useful little web app I've wanted for a long time: http://latrz.appspot.com. Its highly scalable & available and resilient thanks to BigTable. Its kinda amazing really.

Sure Amazon has lots of similar stuff at the bits and bytes level. EC2, S3, SimpleDB and the new file system stuff are cool too, don't get me wrong. For some things the power and flexibility of the Amazon offerings are great. 

Though for creating web apps I love how AppEngine takes all the hassle out of figuring out how to host, load balance, deploy and manage your app. I didn't have to mess with elastic IPs or DNS or web proxies or figure out some load balancing stuff, get scalr to work or install some ninja unix file system into a vmware image that mirrors itself onto S3 or anything. I just hacked up some simple python on my laptop, tested it locally with the AppEngine SDK, typed a command into my terminal (while on a train :) and within seconds its live on googles infrastructure and working really well.

I guess some web developers are gonna push back on the use of python but I'm sure google will release Java / JavaScript flavours of AppEngine soon making it not much of an issue. Who knows maybe even PHP too - not sure about Ruby though, I dunno if they've figured out how to make a ruby sandbox yet.

I'm sure ultimately this is gonna be a big game changer for those making public web applications; it takes so much hassle out of making web apps - and makes creating highly scalable & available web apps very rapid & fun. Well done googlers; I'm very impressed.

4 comments:

Benny said...

nice app, thanks.
I've found you on technorati, searching for EC2. I've just started research on virtual servers services and since my site runs on django I found your post very useful.
I found django and python about a year ago and it took me a while, but now I'm quite in love. I think this service can get djagno the lead over rails. Who needs more than a great framework running on the best infrastructure?

Thanks again for Lartz,

Benny

BTW - is it OS? I'd be happy to help.

Bob said...

I saw latrz the other day but had no idea it was from you. Nice work!

James Strachan said...

Thanks bob! I like twubble too :)

Xma'Kal said...

This is a similar concept but Mozilla specific: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/5756