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Google has launched a new service to make its cloud computing platform more appealing to businesses. The company on Thursday introduced a limited preview of Google Cloud SQL, a scalable, hosted MySQL database environment.
Navneet Joneja, product manager for Google Cloud SQL, says that one of the most frequent requests from Google App Engine users has been for an easy way to develop traditional database-driven applications. Using App Engine, Google's platform-as-a-service offering, in conjunction with Cloud SQL allows developers to avoid the burden of database management, maintenance, and administration.
And at the moment, the price is hard to beat.
"Cloud SQL is available free of charge for now, and we will publish pricing at least 30 days before charging for it," said Joneja in a blog post. Google says it will not charge for the service in 2011.
But the price will go up eventually. Google in May said it planned to increase the price of using its App Engine cloud computing infrastructure later this year and recently shocked developers when the magnitude of the price increase became apparent. The outcry that followed--partly the result of expectations set by the low price during App Engine's beta period--prompted Google engineering director Peter Magnusson to apologize for not providing developers with the tools to understand how their apps would be affected by the price change.
Google has defended the price increase as necessary to make App Engine work as a business.
The company also wants App Engine to work for businesses. More than three years after launching App Engine, Google plans to make Premiere accounts, which offer support and offline billing, available next month. The company in May committed to getting rid of per-user, per-app pricing because that model didn't suit business customers.
Cloud SQL offers a MySQL database environment that supports JDBC, for Java applications, and DB-API, for Python applications. Unlike App Engine, it does not support Google's Go programming language.
Cloud SQL is not presently accessible from outside App Engine. At the moment, it's intended for use with App Engine applications.
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