The new way to build web apps: Google App Engine
Years ago, when you wanted to develop a web application, you had to buy a hosting service that could meet your needs, and even if you didn’t use it, you had to pay for the service you chose. Serverless infrastructures have eliminated this necessity. This has led to solutions like Google App Engine that offer a new way to develop web applications.
Perhaps 10 years ago, when you wanted to develop a web application, you would have been expected to anticipate your visitor numbers and the capacity you need, and purchase a hosting service accordingly. Whether you use the space and processing capacities you will purchase from hosting services or not, you should have made the specified payments.
Then came serverless infrastructures that can scale based on usage. Serverless infrastructures offered a cost-effective and need-oriented solution for those who want to develop web applications. With the development of this technology, monolithic serverless solutions such as Google App Engine have also emerged.
In this article, we will talk about the definition of serverless architecture before focusing on the App Engine solution offered by Google within the Cloud family of solutions. Then we’ll talk about what App Engine is, what benefits it provides for developers, and the features of the standard and flexible development environments that App Engine offers.
What is serverless computing?
Serverless computing is a method by which backend services are offered on a “pay as you go” model. A serverless provider allows users to write and deploy code without worrying about the underlying infrastructure. A business that purchases backend services from a serverless vendor is charged for the compute power it uses, and the service it purchases scales automatically.
This way, businesses don’t have to worry about things like bandwidth or number of servers. Although this method of service delivery is called serverless, physical servers continue to be used, but a certain part of the server is not allocated to the customer.
This means that customers do not need to use service packs that include a fixed bandwidth and servers. Because the capacity and server need are automatically determined by the provider according to usage. Serverless technology provides significant cost advantages to businesses and reduces operational loads.
What is Google App Engine?
Google App Engine is a fully managed, serverless platform for developing and hosting web applications at scale. Google App Engine supports popular software development languages in a variety of work environments. In this way, developers can take advantage of the customized version of Google App Engine for that software language with a pay-as-you-go model by choosing the libraries they will use to develop that language. Servers are provided by Google and are instantly scaled by App Engine based on the compute capacity required by the applications.
Google App Engine, Go supports many software development languages, including PHP, Java, Python, Node.js, .NET, Ruby. What the platform offers is determined by the software development language and development environment chosen.
Developers can write their own code infrastructure from scratch, as well as use ready-made containers that Google App Engine offers according to the relevant software language and library. In these aspects, Google App Engine provides the most convenient, easily manageable, and cost-effective development environment for mobile applications, web platforms, application development interfaces (APIs), and more. Google divides the development environments it offers within App Engine into standard and flexible.
Standard development environment: The standard development environment provided by App Engine is based on container instances running on Google’s infrastructure. Containers are preconfigured with one of several available runtimes.
The standard development environment makes it possible to build and deploy applications that run reliably despite heavy workloads and large amounts of data. The software development languages supported by the standard development environment are Python, Java, Node.js, PHP, Ruby, and Go.
Flexible development environment: A flexible development environment differs in the runtime and software languages it supports. Built on Google Compute Engine, App Engine’s flexible development environment automatically scales applications up and down while balancing loads. The runtimes supported by the flexible development environment are Go, Java 8, PHP 5/7, Python 2.7 / 3.6, .NET, Node.js, Ruby and custom runtimes.
Features of Google App Engine
Let’s break down the features of Google App Engine, which gives developers the ability to do what they do best: write code without interruption:
● Popular software development languages: As we listed above, App Engine’s runtime environments support popular development languages such as Node.js, Java, Ruby, C#, Go, Python or PHP.
● A fully managed platform: With this feature, developers can focus solely on writing code and improving their applications without getting hung up on technical details.
● Powerful app diagnostics: App Engine uses Cloud Monitoring and Cloud Log to monitor the health and performance of apps, and Cloud Debugger and Error Reporting to quickly diagnose and fix errors.
● App versioning: Users can host different versions of their apps with App Engine and use them for processes such as A/B testing.
● App security: App Engine helps protect apps by defining firewall and access rules. Users can take advantage of SSL/TLS security certificates, which are managed by default in their private domain, at no additional cost.
● Ecosystem of services: Google App Engine users have access to the ecosystem of Google Cloud services, which includes all of Google’s other developer tools.
What benefits does Google App Engine offer developers?
Google App Engine provides a workspace where developers with a powerful web and mobile project can test, develop, and improve their products at a moment’s notice. The systemic needs that need to be executed in the background are taken care of by Google App Engine, and developers can focus solely on their business. The tangible benefits of App Engine are evaluated under the following headings.
● Uninterrupted availability: Most applications running on Google App Engine have a 99.95% uptime. In other words, various datacenter outages do not affect application availability. App Engine also supports platforms that developers often use, such as Stack Overflow, App Engine Groups, GitHub, and Server Fault.
● Faster access to market: In an era of intense digital competition, one of the most important topics for developers and entrepreneurs is agility. With Google App Engine, developers can easily develop their apps and get them to the end user quickly when running in a trusted environment.
● Easy management: GAE brings together the tools needed to develop, test, launch and update applications. Developers can design applications on this platform in a very simple form.
● Scalability: Taking advantage of serverless infrastructure, Google App Engine won’t fall short if apps and web platforms are rapidly gaining popularity. Scales quickly to new workload and performance needs.
● Cost advantage: As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, GAE gives developers the opportunity to pay for what they use thanks to serverless architecture. Developers, who often have small budgets to bring their business ideas to life, can carry out development processes without making large investments thanks to this feature.
Explore Google App Engine details with Global IT
Global IT, one of the first brands that come to mind when it comes to Google Cloud in Turkey, has all the developer services offered by Google in its solution portfolio with its 16 years of Google Cloud experience. Global IT has succeeded in delivering Google Cloud services end-to-end, contributing to the digital transformation journeys of businesses by using the power of Google solutions in many areas, from the modernization of e-commerce to the modernization of infrastructure and the transition to the cloud.