Google Makes Engine Apps More Manageable

But not much

Google announced in its developer's blog yesterday that it has added a feature called Instances to its developer's kit that will allow coders to collect information about memory use, latency, the number of server instances in use and more internals that will help IT track and monitor the health of applications they run on Google's platform.

The apps still have to be written in Java or Python rather than C, C++, or other languages more common to corporate enterprise application development. That inherently limits the scope and stability of the cloud-based apps to clever but often shallow communication-oriented functions, and does little to shorten the long path of APIs that would integrate Python apps with older, legacy apps that focus more heavily on data or transaction-management that are more typical in corporate data centers.

Google Apps isn't and probably never will be the cloud platform on which anyone builds serious corporate applications. Apps for heavy transaction management or big databases are better off in other environments.

It's a big step for companies wanting to build relatively lightweight collaborative or communication apps without building the Web site and servers as well, however. And giving developers even a limited view of what's going on under the covers makes both Google Apps and cloud platforms in general more credible as a development platform for the right kinds of apps.

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