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Google App Engine for Business, scheduled to be released as a technology preview on Wednesday, provides managed computing infrastructure that businesses can use to run cloud-based applications.
It's a step up from the original Google App Engine -- aimed at developers of Web applications -- in that it adds a central administration console for managing all apps in a domain, a 99.9% uptime service level agreement, a premium developer support option, and domain-level access restrictions.
In the months ahead, as indicated on Google's newly published App Engine roadmap, it will gain support for hosted SQL databases, SSL, and other Google services.
Google App Engine for Business is priced at $8 per user per month, topping out at a maximum of $1,000 per month.
"What we're announcing is a number of features that really take Google App Engine to the next level as being an enterprise platform," said Eric Tholome, director of product management for Google's development group.
According to Tholome, one of the major concerns of CIOs considering cloud-based applications is vendor lock-in. Few IT executives want to make their businesses dependent on a single vendor if they can help it.
Google is addressing this concern by forging a relationship with VMware to promote cloud-based application portability. With Google's and VMware's Java development tools, enterprise programmers can create applications that run on Google App Engine for Business, in a VMware environment -- hosted or on-premises -- or even on other infrastructure that's compatible with the standard Java stack like Amazon's EC2.
The latest version of VMware's SpringSource Tool Suite and Spring Roo now work in conjunction with Google Web ToolKit and Speed Tracer. Google is also making new data presentation widgets available to help Java developers create applications that work in an office setting and on mobile devices, with their various screen form factors.