What Is Google App Engine Hosting and Why You Need It

Google App Engine is the web hosting PaaS (Platform as a service) offered by Google. It provides developers and enterprise clients access to scalable hosting that is run by Google and also tier 1 Internet connection. This is a good option for hosting complex and large projects and applications that must run on such optimized infrastructure.


What is Google App Engine?

Google App Engine is an enterprise tool offered by Google that provides scalable web hosting solutions. Alongside other similar offerings it provides “business-level” support and by classification is regarded as a PaaS — Platform as a service, a model offering that provides distinct advantages over some other types of hosting types. One of these advantages is that the Google App Engine is a fully managed platform — the web site owners will not need to worry about setting up complex server configuration files as everything will be ready to use. A distinct advantage of relying on PaaS is that this environment integrates a high-performance cloud server network, top Internet connectivity and all required components to run practically even the most complex web applications.

Google App Engine supports practically all popular technologies :

Java, PHP, Node.js, Python, C#, .Net, Ruby, and Go


In October the tech giant Google made the App Engine standard environment Java 11 runtime available. It allows developers to deploy any Java 11 application, web framework, or service in a fully-managed serverless environment. In addition to Java 11, after the update developers can also use Nodejs 12, Go 1.13, PHP 7.3 and Python 3.8. These latest additions to App Engine enable developers to build applications with their favorite tools, libraries and frameworks with today’s most popular languages which is a great opportunity.

The developers are also free to implement their own frameworks and even language runtime environments if their service requires them to do so. Using industry-standard tools they can also use execute commands, debug web code and run API backends, among the supported software are: Cloud SDK, Cloud Source Repositories, IntelliJ IDEA, Visual Studio, and PowerShell.

This provides a very easy and seamless way to quickly deploy complex projects — as the Google App Engine is fully managed it also provides the most optimized experience. This PaaS is hosted on the Google Cloud infrastructure meaning that it can automatically scale or provide extended resources when they are needed. Google has implemented automatic scalability which provides the most cost-effective solution — the site owners will need to pay only what they consume as resources. When it comes into security the Google App Engine hosting includes several of the most popular services — a firewall, access management and managed SSL/TLS certificates. The combination of these provides a safe environment where the web projects can be housed.

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What To Expect From Google App Engine Deployed Projects?

As the hosting is based on the principle of cloud deployment to a ready-made environment there are several important factors to consider when it comes to costs management. The clients that rely on Google’s platform will need not to pay fo expensive software licenses in order to install and use certain services and enterprises systems. In comparison with unmanaged hosting they will also not have to worry about maintenance. Some of the day-to-day tasks which will be omitted include the following:

  • Applying Software Updates
  • Configuring Services, Variables and Running Framworks
  • Installation of Additional Dependencies
  • Configuring the Resources Scaling When Needed

One of the most convenient features distinct to Google App Engine is the intuitive and easy to use web-based dashboard. It provides a detailed breakdown of enabled services and represents the load of the resources along with the cost and total budget cap.

Advanced Google App Engine Hosting Capabilities

As the Google App Engine is part of the Google Cloud network of services there will be several distinct advantages of relying on it in comparison to competitor offerings. While this is a fully managed solution Google still provides a method for monitoring called Stackdriver — this is a complex utility allowing administrators to monitor, debug and diagnose their leased infrastructure servers. Some of its functionality is the following:

  • Automatic event signals collection across all deployed infrastructure
  • Operational Telemetry analysis and monitoring
  • Setting up of event indicators when it comes to performance and availability
  • Troubleshoot and optimization of the setup infrastructure
  • The ability to use various programming interfaces

Like other similar products, web developers can host different versions and use revision control systems to upload and manage changes. As the Google App Engine is especially suited for enterprise use it allows the developers to optimize their infrastructure by setting up traffic splitting — incoming requests can be executed by different app versions, the developers can conduct A/B test and incrementally roll out new features and content updates.

Get Started With Google App Engine Hosting

Hosting static sites can be several times cheaper than traditional hosting providers — even some of the cheapest tier shared hosting plans. They are usually a mixture of static multimedia files which are linked in rich HTML pages. Instead of relying on complex database connections the static sites are built to load fast. They are a popular choice for hosting blogs, landing pages, portfolio showcases, galleries and etc. To get an estimate of what the Google App engine will cost web site owners the company has provided a handy calculator. Sites that are hosted on the App Engine will be placed on the REGION_ID.r.appspot.com subdomain.

In order to get started hosting projects on the Google App Engine sites there are several steps which the web developers need to go through. The first action is to create a new project or retrieve an existing project ID. This is the via the “Projects page” on the Google Cloud account page. All deployed site installations will have the following structure:

  • app.yaml — This is the main Google App Engine configuration file
  • www/ — This is the directory where the relevant client-side files will be stored: HTMl, CSS, images, multimedia files and JavaScript code
  • www/css/ — This is the directory which contains the site’s CSS stylesheets
  • images/ — This is an optional directory where the administrators can store their images
  • index.html — The index homepage which will display the content of the website to the visitors
  • js/ — This is an optional directory for storing JavaScript code
  • Other optional asset folders

The app.yaml is the main configuration file which must be placed in the web server’s root folder. It contains important instructions which must be set in order for the Google App Engine to function properly. An example blank template file will read the following contents:

<title>Hello, world!</title>
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/css/style.css">
<h1>Hello, world!</h1>
This is a simple static HTML file that will be served from Google App

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When the assets and resources are ready they need to be deployed to the cloud infrastructure. To do this site administrators will need to execute the following command from the sites’ root directory (where the app.yaml file resides) — gcloud app deploy. This will issue the basic deployment command, the output can be viewed by running gcloud app browse. For more information you can check out the official documentation in order to learn how to tweak the configuration options.

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