Vishal Biyani

18 Mar 2010

Google Devfest2010, Pune

Today (3rd March 2010) I attended Developer Fest hosted by Google at Pune, named DevFest2010. Among speakers were Googlers Patrick Chanezon, Rajdeep Dua, Prashant Tiwari and three folks from Google partner companies: Impetus, Orangescape and Lepton. The write-up will primarily talk around Google Apps Engine (GAE), PaaS (Platform as a service) and SaaS (Software as a service), HTML5 and role of Google MAPs in enterprises and related business/technology cases/models. The actual event also talked about Android and Orkut Social APIs, but I am not going to touch them. I think Android is a huge topic in itself and I won’t be able give sufficient justice to it. As far Orkut Social APIs are concerned, I could not relate to any business case at the moment, especially when Facebook is much ahead in that race overall, and Google buzz is attempting to make an entry! (Yeah, you heard it right; Facebook has been implemented and hosted internally by a company, for collaboration of the organization’s sales team!)

Why is Google Apps making news?

Imagine I started a small company and want to have a website to begin with. You would think of buying a domain name and then developing your application to host on that with couple of open source and licensed software. But what if someone offered you a free domain name and said “hey you can use this, I will provide Database in cloud, you only need to develop the application as per your business process”, and if this is not enough “and I will also give you emails, task scheduler, document editors and management solutions, if you limit to 2000 emails per day and 5 million hits to website daily!”. This is what exactly Google App Engine offers. Check free quote for a standard package: and this is just beginning, time will bring much more!

The substance

Google App engine is a PaaS (Platform as a service), in which we can deploy applications in cloud. Services such as database, email and document management are provided in cloud with exiting products like gMail and Google Docs etc. The languages which it currently supports to write these applications are Java and Python.

Google app engine for Java uses a JRE6. Applications can be developed in Servlet, JSP and can use services such as Memcache, task queue, blobstore, Secure Data Connector (SDC) . The underlying datastore which is Google Bigtable, has been exposed with two APIs JDO and JPA. Email access is provided with Java Mail API. While all these APIs are available in Java, the underlying APIs too are exposed directly if you want to write your own framework or you want to access them directly. The development can be done using standard IDEs such as Eclipse with additional plugins and Google Web Toolkit.

Scalable architecture & Pay per use!

You pay for what you need and how much you use is the name of the game in market! As an example Music bands, which get huge hits when an album releases cannot afford to buy that kind of of infrastructure! This is where Google Apps Engine fits the equation perfectly. They pay for high traffic during peak usage, and otherwise the website is for free! Issues such as elastic/redundant capacity, short term peak traffic etc are addressed in clouds apps. In short, they are designed for scalability

PLM and Google Apps

Google apps certainly didn’t go unnoticed from eyes of PLM experts and industry in general. At the moment Google apps is probably not mature enough to have a production PLM systems, but it’s certainly can be a disruption to current vendors at some point in future. Post by Oleg at “Daily PLM Think Tank” and related links there discuss this subject at length and depth. While time and market dynamics will decide place Google holds in PLM space, it’s certainly food for some thought.

I met my first Indian freelancer!

At coffee I accidentally met a Romin Irani, who is a freelancer working in Mumbai. He has been using Google Apps to deploy applications for his clients during last one year and in his words “I can sleep with peace since I have started using Google Apps”. He writes frequently and recently has released an eBook for free on how to build Google Apps!

Next parts in this series will cover HTML5 and how it is going to challenge existing RIA players, place of Google enterprise and innovative solutions it can create business/technology cases of Google partner companies. In depth look at Google apps and other cloud offerings would have to be taken separately looking at depth of subject.