Google Launches Business Version Of App Engine; Collaborates With VMware

It’s no secret that Google has been ramping up its enterprise offerings. The company has made a strong push for the adoption of Google Apps, launching the Apps Marketplace, allowing Apps users to add other layers to their environments from companies like Socialwok and Zoho. Today, Google is taking it one step further. At Google I/O today, the search giant has announced that Google App Engine, a platform for building and hosting web applications in the cloud, will now include a Business version, catered towards enterprises. The new premium version allows customers to build their own business apps on Google’s cloud infrastructure. Google is also announcing a collaboration with VMware for deployment and development of apps on the new cloud infrastructure.

Announced two years ago, Google App Engine offers a full-stack, hosted, automatically scalable web application platform. Last year, Google added the ability to build Java applications off of the platform. With the newly launched Google App Engine for Business, Google is introducing new enterprise-level capabilities, including centralized administration, premium developer support and an uptime Service Level Agreement (SLA), flat monthly pricing, and soon, access to premium features like cloud-based SQL and SSL.

The new version included centralized administration, which is an administration console lets you manage all the applications in your domain. And Google promises reliability with a 99.9% uptime service level agreement, with premium developer support available. Also Google is addressing security by only allowing users from a Google Apps domain to access applications, with and administrator’s security preferences implemented on each individual app.

In terms of pricing for the new versions, each application costs $8 per user per month up to a maximum of $1000 a month. And Google is adding more enterprise-level functionality in the future, including hosted SQL databases, SSL on a company’s domain for secure communications, and access to advanced Google services.

Added to the mix of the announcement is a new collaboration with virtualization giant VMware, which just announced a partnership with Salesforce, to make it easy and fast to build apps and deploy them to either Google App Engine for Business, a VMware environment (On a vSphere infrastructure, vCloud partner, or on Salesforce’s VMforce) or other infrastructure such as Amazon EC2. The aim is to make it easy to create rich, muti-device web applications hosted in a Java-compatible hosting environment Users of Google App Engine for business can now use VMware’s SpringSource Tool Suite and Spring Roo which are integrated with Google Web Toolkit and Speed Tracer.

Google has added new data presentation widgets in Google Web Toolkit to speed development of traditional enterprise applications, increase performance and interactivity for enterprise users, and make it easier to create mobile apps. And Speed Tracer now helps developers identify and fix performance problems not only in the client and network portions of their apps, but also on the server thanks to the integration with VMware’s SpringSource tool suite.

This clearly represents Google’s big push to bring enterprise development to the cloud, by now offering a powerful and interoperable environment and toolset to developers. This should prove to be a more worthy competitor to Amazon Web Services, which is one of App Engine’s major competitors for hosting environments.