Google Kills Google App Engine For Business

Google announced the death of Google App Engine for Business at its Google I/O conference last month in San Francisco, but its demise was drowned out by new pricing models for App Engine.

"App Engine for Business is no more, but don't worry," Google wrote on the App Engine for Business Web site. "Almost all the features you wanted in App Engine for Business will now be available to all App Engine developers in an upcoming release."

A Google spokesperson told CRN Monday that Google App Engine for Business wasn't exactly killed, but instead most of the features of App Engine for Business were rolled into the standard edition of Google App Engine. Google App Engine for Business, however, will no longer be a standalone product.

"We've been running the App Engine for Business trusted tester program for a year now, and in that time we've worked with a large set of partners on the product," Google said in a statement e-mailed to CRN. "Overwhelmingly, the feedback was that App Engine developers wanted all the features of App Engine for Business, but didn't want them restricted to IT departments. We took that feedback and, instead of creating a separate product, rolled all those features back into App Engine. Google is very interested in working with enterprise developers, and we feel the new changes serve IT departments even better by giving them the flexibility to build applications in the best way to solve their problems."

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Google launched App Engine into Preview status in 2008. Since then, it has grown to more than 100,000 developers using the PaaS per month to build apps. According to Google, App Engine now hosts more than 200,000 active apps that serve more than 1.5 billion site views per day. According to the company, Google App Engine will graduate from Preview later this year and become a full-fledged product.

Google App Engine for Business launched into Google's trusted tester program at the Google I/O conference in 2010. When it originally launched, Google App Engine for Business cost $8 per application per user per month, up to a maximum of $1,000 per month and companies paid only for what they used. App Engine for Business also included hosted SQL databases, SSL on the customer company's domain for secure communications and access to advanced Google services.

Over the course of the year, though, Google said the per-user and per-app pricing was deemed "inappropriate," as users are not always building apps focusing on users. Google added that Google App Engine for Business' success was also hampered by Google App Engine being a Preview product, so businesses were reluctant to fully invest in the cloud Platform-as-a-Service.

"Most of the GAE4B [Google App Engine for Business] features are going to be rolled into App Engine, enabling all paying customers to take advantage of them," the Google App Engine team wrote in a blog post. "This includes: SLA, SSL for custom domains, SQL, Operational and Developer support, and the new business-oriented Terms of Service. The domain console is currently in trusted tester and will remain so for the time being. GAE4B will no longer be offered as a standalone product."

Next: Google App Engine's New Pricing Model

As Google plans to graduate the App Engine PaaS from Preview to a full product in the second half of this year, and drop Google App Engine for Business in favor of a single App Engine product, Google also restructured the pricing model.

Google said that App Engine will give all paid users a 99.95 percent uptime SLA, operational and developer support, billing via invoice and new business-focused terms of service. The pricing changes won't take place until later this year, Google said.

According to Google, there will be more restrictive quotas for free apps; paid apps will have 99.95 percent SLAs and cost $9 per app per month in addition to usage fees; and new premier accounts will let companies not pay for individual apps, but use as much as they need with operational support available for $500 per month.

For usage fees, Google will eliminate CPU hours and will charge for the number of instances based on "instance-hours," or one instance running for one hour. Instance-hours can be pay-as-you-go for eight cents per instance hour, or users can commit to a minimum number of instance hours over the course of the week and pay five cents per reserved instance hour.

Meanwhile, all APIs, which are currently charged as CPU hours, will instead be charged per operation.

And for Datastore storage, Google will drop the price of High Replication Datastore from 45 cents per gigabit per month to 24 cents per gigabit per month. Meanwhile, Master/Slave Datastore storage will increase to 24 centers per gigabit per month when App Engine leaves Preview.