I’ve been playing a bit with the Google App Engine the past few nights. It’s one of the newest toys out of Google, and it could very well be a very important piece of infrastructure to many web developers trying to create a dotcom adventure.
Google App Engine (once they let you in) allows you to run web applications of google’s server infrastructure. With the Google App Engine you can write applications (and run these of your local machine (Mac, Linux or Windows) and even use data storage in your applications. Currently applications can only be written in Python, but Google promises support for other languages later. Once approved by Google and your application is ready for prime time, you simple deploy it, and it runs of Googles Servers.
You can – if you like – use your own domain and with half a gigabyte storage and 5 million page views in the free edition, it will get you pretty far.
I haven’t been approved by Google yet, so I can’t deploy my applications, but others have, and one of the first examples is Vorby: Movie Quotes. It looks like yet-another-database-powered-website, and I guess that is a major part of the point with Google App Engine – You can make most database-backed web applications with it and not needing to spend money on hosting and infrastructure until you have millions of page views and a revenue stream to support the site.
Backups seem to be a constant pain for just about everyone. It’s something we know we should do, but somehow never get around to actually doing. Since switching to WordPress on this site, things have been different though.
One of my many installed wordpress Plugins is the WordPress Backup plugin. It runs once a day and makes a complete backup of my wordpress database (with all these precious posts) and sends it in a mail to my Gmail-account.
On my gmail account I have a filter, which sees these mails – it attaches a dedicated backup label and archives it (thus removing it from the inbox). Leaving a me with a backup of all the important data off site.
I have been checking the mailed files (that they actually are unzip’able and restoreable) and every once in a while I do delete all backups more than a week old (though I don’t need to with all the space available on the Gmail account).
It’s so easy, that there really wasn’t any reason not to have a current backup of the site, right?
Placing your documents online, does require trust in the online service you choose to use. I usually have a pretty solid trust in google. They do however from time to time have some glitches. After getting the message in the screenshot for an hour, I did start to get the chills, as the document as long and didn’t exist anywhere else. After an hour or so, it did however reappear. phew.