Introduction to Google App Engine

Python, Web Applications
Location: Ballroom A3/A6
Average rating: ***..
(3.44, 16 ratings)
  • Intro to App Engine
Overview of App Engine and its major components, including an overview of the APIs the SDK provides, the underlying technologies App Engine is built on, and the public roadmap of features being worked on. (20 minutes)
  • Basic Application
A quick live presentation of the steps to building a simple application, starting from the default application skeleton and building a quick ToDo list tracker application. (20 minutes)
  • SDK Installation
Get everyone with a laptop up to Python 2.5 and the latest version of the SDK (20 minutes – but really could vary from 2 minutes if everyone is prepared to longer if there are issues)
  • Hello World
Copy the application skeleton, review all three files (app.yaml, index.yaml and Run the default application skeleton in the development app server. (20 minutes)
  • Application Registration
Covers the steps required to tegister an application name to run the application under on (10 minutes) To follow along live with this part of the tutorial will require a cellphone and will be optional for those people that don’t want to upload their application at this time.
  • Break
  • Application Configuration
Cover in more detail the configuration of the application through the app.yaml file: (10 minutes) - Static Files - URI Dispatch - Add static files to demo application
  • Templates
Modify demo application to use the Django templating system which is included in the SDK. (10 minutes)
  • Users
Introduce user API and add login and logout to demo application, tie into templates. (10 minutes)
  • Datastore
Introduce the datastore, including the differences from a relational database, how entities are stored and indexed, the db.Model class and the various properties that can be added to an entity. Also cover expando models which allow the dynamic addition of properties. Add data store interface to demo application. (30 minutes)
  • Dashboard
Introduce the local SDK dashboard which allows inspecting and manipulating the local datastore and memcache. Introduce the web application dashboard used to monitor applications that are deployed, including errors, warnigns, quotas, and request logs. (10 minutes)
  • Logging
Introduce the logging API and add logging to demo application. Upload application and view log entries via the dashboard. (10 minutes)
  • Memcache
Introduce the memcache API and add to the demo application. Upload application and view performance difference via dashboard. (10 minutes)
  • Advanced Datastore Idioms – Sharding and Paging
Extra material if time permits, covers sharding entities to enable higher write throughput while still allowing fast reads. Unique indexes and sharding will also be used in techiniques to address paging through large numbers of items. (20 minutes)
Photo of Joe Gregorio

Joe Gregorio


Joe Gregorio is a Developer Advocate for Google App Engine, member of the AtomPub Workgroup and editor of the Atom Publishing Protocol. He has a deep interest in web technologies, writing “The RESTFul Web” column for the online O’Reilly publication, writing the first desktop aggregator written in C#, and publishing various Python modules to help in putting together RESTful web services.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Picture of Joe Gregorio
Joe Gregorio
07/21/2009 6:02am PDT

Alexander, Sorry the tutorial was a disappointment for you.

The syllabus for the tutorial was published ahead of time and does show that the class is pretty slow moving, clearly aimed at beginners. Unfortunately getting 80 people up and running on the SDK took quite a bit of time, as I’m usually able to cover most the material in three hours.

Sorry again for not meeting your expectations. -joe
Picture of Alexander Vincent
Alexander Vincent
07/21/2009 3:22am PDT

This comment contains scathing remarks. Reader discretion is advised.

Dumb question: Why would I use Google App Engine when I can do pretty much everything we talked about with Perl/PHP and MySQL? Free hosting is not compelling. We spent a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time listening to the speaker talk about how to do variable substitution!!! How is that going to make me say “Wow, I must use Google App Engine”? This guy has failed to demonstrate anything more advanced than what is already out there, common knowledge and freely available.

I’m not expecting or seeking a sales pitch, but I am seeking something a little more complex than writing a HTML page with my name in it! He didn’t get to anything more interesting until the last 15 minutes, by which point I was already burned out. OSCONFAIL

Picture of Rene Schutte
Rene Schutte
07/20/2009 8:57am PDT

This was a great session!!! Very hands on.

I think it would be good to have a pre-requisiste “session” for this session where delegates are required to do a compliancy test to ensure their Python is installed along with the Google App Engine. This will allow the session to get going quicker and cover more of the topics.

Really enjoyed the session though. thanks!

  • Intel
  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Facebook
  • Gear6
  • Kaltura
  • Liferay
  • MindTouch
  • Novell, Inc.
  • Open Invention Network
  • Rackspace Cloud
  • Schooner Information Technology
  • Silicon Mechanics
  • Symbian Foundation
  • Twilio
  • WSO2
  • Yabarana Corporation

Sponsorship Opportunities

For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at the conference, contact Sharon Cordesse at

Download the OSCON Sponsor/Exhibitor Prospectus

Media Partner Opportunities

Download the Media & Promotional Partner Brochure (PDF) for information on trade opportunities with O'Reilly conferences or contact mediapartners@

Press and Media

For media-related inquiries, contact Maureen Jennings at

OSCON Newsletter

To stay abreast of conference news and to receive email notification when registration opens, please sign up for the OSCON newsletter (login required)

Contact Us

View a complete list of OSCON contacts