Google has entered the emerging platform-as-a-service race with the announcement of its App Engine that would be the first incarnation of a Google product similar to Salesforce.com’s force.com platform and Amazon’s EC2.
Google App Engine gives you access to the same building blocks that Google uses for its own applications, making it easier to build an application that runs reliably, even under heavy load and with large amounts of data. The development environment includes the following features:
* Dynamic webserving, with full support of common web technologies
* Persistent storage (powered by Bigtable and GFS with queries, sorting, and transactions)
* Automatic scaling and load balancing
* Google APIs for authenticating users and sending email
* Fully featured local development environment
Google App Engine packages these building blocks and takes care of the infrastructure stack, leaving you more time to focus on writing code and improving your application.
Logically the offering fits perfectly in Google’s plans since it boasts one of the largest server infrastructures in the world for delivering real time platform services and also because it is a leader in the web application space. Having always tailored its applications to gain from the innovation that comes from the developer community, this product is one that would really get traditional packaged software makers thinking.
Its coincidental that this latest announcement from Google comes in the backdrop of some phenomenal topics – VMware predicting the death of the OS and Charles Cooper’s suggestion that Microsoft should train its eyes on Salesforce.com than chase Yahoo is a battle (search) it may never win.
Google had the pieces in place for such as offering. With the in-house developed products such as BigTable and the GFS, cloud computing was always on the cards. But there is still more that Google could do to lure enterprises.
There’s no question that enterprises would be interested in using the Apps Engine as a testbed and a hosting platform for even a few corporate apps. What’s missing is an appliance that could allow them to develop these Apps Engine projects and keep their Web software creations internal. Consider it a cloud-but-not-cloud approach.
The new service will perhaps see Google make more inroads to the enterprise. And surely that will raise some alarms on the packaged software industry front.