Google changes App Engine pricing and support to attract business users

Google has outlined changes to App Engine to improve support and service level agreements for business users.

Google has outlined changes to App Engine to improve support and service level agreements (SLAs) for business users.

Google said in May 2011 that businesses were reluctant to invest in the App Engine platform as it was a preview product. The company decided to make App Engine an official Google product and roll out changes in the second half of September 2011.

For paid applications using High Replication Datastore (HRD), Google is offering users 99.95% uptime SLAs. Additional support services include operational and developer support, billing via invoice and a new terms of service agreement aimed at businesses.

"It will also reaffirm our deprecation policy whereby we will support deprecated versions of product APIs for three years, allowing applications written to prior API specifications to continue to function," said Google.

The firm is offering a $50 credit to all free apps that sign up for billing, or paid apps that change budgets before 31 October 2011.

As part of the changes, Google will restructure its pricing model to "obtain sustainable revenue". It will change application usage reports, eliminating CPU-hours to introduce measurement of instance hours, the number of API calls made and the amount of storage and bandwidth used.

"We are eliminating CPU-hours, and are moving to a system that accounts for the number of instance hours (front-end and back-end) used and the number of API calls made, in addition to storage and bandwidth," said Google.

Google also announced the availability of Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Docs offline. Gmail Offline is a Chrome Web Store app based on HTML5 and is available from today. Offline Google Calendar and Google Docs will be rolled out in the coming week.

IT administrators can deploy Chrome Web Store apps to multiple users by setting up organisational policies for Chrome.

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