Editors note: Today we’re at Google I/O, and we have a few announcements about how we’re making our developer tools more available and better for businesses. The first, below, summarizes important improvements to Google App Engine.

Google App Engine, which provides the ability to develop and host applications on Google’s infrastructure, has gained momentum quickly since it launched as preview status in 2008. More than 100,000 developers use App Engine every month to deliver apps that dynamically scale with usage without the need to manage hardware or software. App Engine now hosts more than 200,000 active apps that serve over 1.5 billion site views daily.

Over the last three years, we’ve collected great feedback from our customers and now believe that the biggest thing we can do to help them is to graduate App Engine from preview status. When App Engine graduates from preview status, which we expect to do in the second half of this year, we’ll add additional enterprise-grade features that allow us to support many more business application scenarios. Graduation from preview status also indicates Google's a longer term commitment to the product and establishes a deprecation policy whereby we will support prior versions of product APIs for a guaranteed amount of time, allowing applications written to prior API specifications to continue to functioning.

Today, we’re moving forward with our business focus with the release of App Engine 1.5.0 which includes Backends, improved Task Queues, and more:
  • With Backends, App Engine can now support applications that require long running and high memory processes. This feature allows for new classes of applications such as report generation apps and custom search engines to be hosted on the platform.
  • The improvements to Task Queues allows for applications to control how tasks are executed and easily share the work using the new REST-based APIs. This API access expands App Engine’s compatibility with other on-premise and cloud services, furthering our commitment to an open development platform.
In addition, when we take App Engine out of preview in the second half of this year, we will provide a 99.95% uptime service level agreement, operational and developer support, offline billing, and a new Terms of Service agreement geared towards businesses. We will also introduce a new billing structure for App Engine based on more transparent usage-based pricing.

We’re announcing these features and pricing changes in advance so that our customers have time to review. Adding business features will help App Engine meet a broader set of needs and the new, more transparent pricing model will help customers better align their App Engine investment with their business goals. Learn more about these changes on the App Engine Blog.