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Programming Google App Engine Paperback – 3 Dec 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 394 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (3 Dec 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 059652272X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596522728
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.3 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 868,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Book Description

Build and Run Scalable Web Apps on Google's Infrastructure

About the Author

Dan Sanderson is a technical writer and software engineer at Google Inc. He has worked in the web industry for over 10 years as a software engineer and technical writer for Google, Amazon.com, and the Walt Disney Internet Group. He lives in Seattle, Washington. For more information about Dan, visit his website at http://www.dansanderson.com.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 12 Feb 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For a technical book, the best praise is that it contains information that you can't find on the web - that's true of this book. Very readable too, which is a bonus.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book because Google's online documentation on app engine is a bit patchy and I haven't found many other good online information sources. For instance, I've had a hard time finding complete explanations of database queries in app engine. Unfortunately the book is equally patchy and seems to contain very little that isn't in the online documentation. It would have been better if it contained a complete, complicated app and showed you step-by-step how it was built. It is neither great as a beginners' tutorial nor as a reference guide.
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By Mark on 28 April 2011
Format: Paperback
I am an advanced programmer and have held senior technical positions in a number of big companies around the world. And I will admit I have said to a number of people that computer books are becoming a waste of time because everything is available on the web. You pay $30+ for the book and only a few pages contained anything useful.

However, when it comes to this book, that's not true. This book is exceedingly well structured. I decided to learn Google App Engine and was using the web, but when this book arrived I found myself just reading it from cover to cover and learning the key concepts behind Google App Engine. And of course knowing the key concepts makes it much easier to create well written programs.

If you are thinking about creating a Google App Engine app, then this is the book to get.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Reference for the Experienced Programmer 4 Feb 2010
By Robert Hancock - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've worked with the App Engine for about six months and have gained most of my knowledge from the online documentation. I wish I had had this book when I started. This is the best explanation I've seen of entities and how they relate to transactions. The code examples in Python and Java are extremely helpful and give great insight into how the two languages approach the App Engine abstractions. The sections on data modeling and Django integration are particularly good. Not only did this book fill in gaps in my knowledge, but it is sufficiently detailed that I'm sure I will keep it on my desk as a reference. I've tried the other App Engine books and this is by far the best. If you have any interest in the App Engine, start here.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
App Engine for the real world 31 Dec 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I think the book does a great job at explaining Google App Engine. There was no "technical fluff" added to the book which I always appreciate. By "technical fluff" I mean unneeded text which should be looked up else where like in documentation. Also, I found the book very easy to follow and found I could manage to jump around from one chapter to another without reading the book linearly. For example, I was able to read the 1st chapter and a half and then jump to the Django chapter and get a sample Django 1.1 app with the admin interface live on App Engine without much trouble.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Good and concise book to get you started on GAE 30 Jan 2011
By Kenny - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
... Metadata...
Title: Programming Google App Engine
Author: Dan Sanderson
Publisher: O'Reilly
ISBN: 059652272X

... Disclaimer...
1. I purchased it using my own money.
2. I have a beginner-level understanding of GAE before I read this book.

... Some background on Google App Engine...
Google App Engine (also used by the acronym GAE) is a platform for developing and hosting web applications in Google-managed data centers. It was first released as a beta version in April 2008. Google App Engine is cloud computing technology. It virtualizes applications across multiple servers and data centers. Other "cloud"-based platforms include offerings such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft's Azure Services Platform. App Engine differs from services like Amazon Web Services, though, in that AWS is Infrastructure as a Service while App Engine is Platform as a Service. (From Google App Engine, Wikipedia)
As always, you can find more details on Wiki.

... Now, let's talk about the book...

Programming Google App Engine (GAE) is an extremely practical book.

It starts off by giving readers an overview on what GAE is capable (And incapable) of - From how it's architected, to how you, as a developer in GAE, administrates your app on Google's cloud.

Then it dives all the details - From how to register and create the basic application to data storage, caching, web request, messaging and job scheduling, and the book wraps up with showing you how you can deploy your application to GAE.

You can find all the topics the book covers here.

... The Goods...

#1 Chapter one is fantastic. It re-tells the story of "This is how you get started with GAE" in a concise story - Comparing to Google's Getting started guide, this chapter not only saves you time, but also cut the unnecessary brain power and memory space to comprehend something you really don't need to understand at this early stage.

#2 The 3 datastore-related chapters (Chatper 4 - 6), while long, tells you the differences between a traditional relational database and Google's BigTable data storage mechanism. It also points out what you need to watch out for when designing a data model for GAE to a certain extend - Which is extremely helpful to get you started.

... The Bads...

If the author could use a small project as a example to demonstrate all the points he discussed in the book. It'll make all theories easier to understand - In the datastore section, due to my heavy background in relational database, I need to re-read couple sections to fully understand what the author was trying to convey. There are examples - But they are all isolated, and at times it could be a bit confusing to re-learn another example.

... Wrapping Up...

Great book - Good price, great info. I should have spent the time to read this book instead of browsing Google's GAE tutorial online. I'd recommend this book to anyone who're interested in building his/her own App on Google's cloud.

... On The Side...

In the datastore chapter, while the author did cover the basics on how the BigTable implementation differs from relational database. I'd like to see more in terms of how, if you're from a relational database background, how you can adopt the new data store model without bringing your "old self" into the new technology.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A Good Guide For Experienced Web Developers 7 Jan 2010
By Guy McArthur - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great, and fairly in-depth, guide to the Google App Engine API's. It presents both Python and Java API's on equal footing. Navigation through the book was very clear and straightforward whether you want to take the Java or the Python path. The development environments are presented as well. This book will be most useful if you are already familiar with web application development and just need a tutorial with simple examples for how to do this type of programming on the Google App Engine framework.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The best Google App Engine book available 14 Jan 2011
By Balladeer7 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is currently the best book on the market describing Google App Engine -- and to the best of my knowledge, I've reviewed them all, either through Safari Books Online or in book stores. The author, Dan Sanderson, is a tech writer and software engineer at Google and clearly had access to the development team. The book is current (or current enough) as of December 2010. While some of the information is available online, the book contains information I've not found elsewhere. Most helpful is product architectural descriptions, in particular, descriptions of datastore indexing schemes and transaction processing. It addresses programming in both Python and Java. I highly recommend it.

Note this is not a book on Google Web Toolkit (GWT) and I've yet to find one I recommend. To develop an application for App Engine, you will need GWT as well. Programming in GWT has been a walk on the wild side. There's much conflicting information on the web and it requires a bit of 'nuclear particle physics' software engineering to sort it out -- you fire a 'software proton' through GWT and see what spews out the other side. With enough protons, the product internals are gradually revealed. Programming Google App Engine considerably reduces the need for this kind of experimentation on the App Engine side.
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