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Google App Engine 1.8.2 Released

Google has released an update of its App Engine cloud-based development platform with a fat list of improvements for large-scale development, new developer tooling and runtimes and a new dedicated memcache service.

Among the improvements in version 1.8.2 is an update of the Google Plugin For Eclipse (GPE), a set of dev tools for fast design, development and deployment of cloud-based Java apps. The update provides full support for the Eclipse standard Web Tools Platform (WTP) and Java EAR files. "This system will be familiar to many Java developers, as it is the most common pattern used in Eclipse for on premise and cloud environments," wrote Chris Ramsdale, product manager for the Google Cloud Platform, in his blog post announcing the release. "With WTP, EAR Files and Maven support, Eclipse users can now enjoy the full ecosystem of Eclipse plugins from the open source community."

Users of the search engine giant's web-app stack already had access to a free, shared memcache. The 1.8.2 release gives them the option of buying in-memory data caching capacity exclusively for their applications. Now in preview, Dedicated Memcache allows for the caching of more data, which ups cache hit rates, improving the app's performance. Google plans to charge 12 cents per GB per hour for the dedicated cache, and the company says no code changes will be required when moving from the shared memcache.

This release is also providing a preview version of a new Push-to-Deploy feature. Google is developing this feature in response to the demands of developers working with standard development tools, such as the open-source Git version control system, who don't want to context switch to deploy on App Engine. (The App Engine supports deployment of Python and PHP apps with Git.) This new feature allows developers to create a remote Git repository for their apps' source code. "Pushing your application's source code to the master branch of this repository will simultaneously archive the latest the version of the code and deploy it to the App Engine platform," Google explains on its website.

Another new feature in this release, App Engine Modules, is designed to separate large-scale applications into logical components, which can then share stateful services and communication securely. The idea here is that not all components within an app have the same requirements. Developers can create Modules that can be configured to have different versions, performance levels, budgets, and authorization. The new Modules feature is also in preview.

This release also comes with updated PHP and Python runtimes. The PHP runtime supports mcrypt, iconv and mbstring extensions, and allows coders to include and/or require PHP scripts directly from Google Cloud Storage. The Python 2.7 interpreter has been updated to the recently released Python 2.7.5. It includes bug fixes from Python 2.7.3 and Python 2.7.4.

Release notes are available here.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance author and journalist based in Silicon Valley. His latest book is The Everything Guide to Social Media. Follow John on Twitter, read his blog on ADTmag.com, check out his author page on Amazon, or e-mail him at john@watersworks.com.


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