O’Reilly recently has published a new edition of Dan Sanderson’s Programing Google App Engine. The new edition updates the 2009 first edition and includes coverage of Java 6 and Python 2.7 support, multithreading, asynchronous service APIs, and using frameworks such as webapp2 and Django 1.3. (“App Engine does not yet support Python 3,” Sanderson notes.)
The 509-page, 20-chapter book shows how “to develop applications that run on Google App Engine, and how to get the most out of the scalable model. A significant portion of the book discusses the App Engine scalable datastore, which does not behave like the relational databases that have been a staple of web development for the past decade,” the author states.
Sanderson is a technical writer and software engineer at Google, Inc. His new edition is well-written and appropriately illustrated with code samples, diagrams, screen shots and other graphics.
With clear steps and good detail, the book shows you first how to install and use the Python or Java SDKs on Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows machines and how to develop simple Python and Java applications. From there, it expands deeper into the how-to aspects of programming the Google App Engine.
In some chapters, the Python and Java options are presented together. Python’s and Java’s data modeling libraries, however, are discussed in separate chapters.
“Google App Engine, Google’s application hosting service, does more than just provide access to hardware,” Sanderson points out.
“It provides a model for building applications that grow automatically. App Engine runs your application so that each user to accesses it gets the same experience as every other user, whether there are dozens of simultaneous users or thousands. The application uses the same large-scale services that power Google’s applications for data storage and retrieval, caching, and network access. App Engine takes care of the tasks of large-scale computing, such as load balancing, data replication, and fault tolerance, automatically.”
Programming Google App Engine, 2nd Edition can take you from asking “What is Google App Engine?” to well down the road toward becoming an App Engine expert.
— Si Dunn