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PyCon 2011 Atlanta

March 9th–17th

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Google App Engine workshop

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Novice / Tutorial
March 9th 1:20 p.m. – 4:40 p.m.
Google App Engine is an application development and cloud-hosting platform that lets users create apps to run Google's datacenters. In this 3-part tutorial, we'll give a 1-hour intro talk on cloud computing and App Engine, a 90-100 minute introductory codelab to get your feet wet with App Engine development, and finally conclude with about a half-hour intro to some of App Engine's newest features!


Google App Engine is a unique hosting platform that lets you build applications and run them in Google's datacenters using the massive global infrastructure built to run the Internet's giant. App Engine offers a development environment that uses familiar technologies (Java and Python) and provides a powerful and robust set of services and APIs to users while maintaining security and independence from other apps running in the cloud. Its SDK includes a development server to test your apps before uploading to Google. App Engine is always free to get started so you can try it out with no risk, and if you need additional computing resources, you can purchase additional computing resources beyond the free quota limits. (If you enable billing and trust us with your credit card, we will extend your free quotas even further; you won't get charged until you exceed those *extended* quotas.) Scale your application to millions of users and pay only for what you use at competitive market pricing.

In this tutorial, we'll give you a comprehensive introduction to the platform in three components:

  • Cloud computing and App Engine seminar
  • Introductory App Engine codelab
  • New features found in recent releases

In the first hour, we review Cloud Computing as an industry and where Google App Engine fits into the picture. Specifically, we discuss App Engine as a PaaS solution because of the inherent challenges of building web and other applications. We'll outline the architecture of App Engine, what it's major components are, introduce its features and APIs, discuss the service and how it works (including information on the free quotas), present some information about current users and usage, including integration with Google Apps, and finally, give an overview of its enterprise edition called Google App Engine for Business.

After the approximately one-hour lecture, we'll show you how to create applications that run on App Engine by building a simple but real web application from the ground up via a hands-on coding laboratory. Although based on the online tutorial, this codelab goes up and beyond what's in the documentation: you will get a more detailed step-by-step instructions to replicate that example as well as have the opportunity to extend your application with some of the newer APIs that come with App Engine. The codelab will cover the Users service, non-relational Datastore, and Memcache APIs.

In the final 20-30 minutes, we'll discuss some of the newest features found in recent App Engine releases and show you how to use them in your apps by giving a demonstration of each.