Monday, April 14, 2008

Google Lock-in?

Just noted that Tim asked the question whether GoogleAppEngine was a lock-in strategy?

I've made a comment on the radar, but I thought I'd leave a copy here for reference.


Hi Tim,

I feel like I'm pointing out the obvious and just repeating what I talked about at OSCON. Then I realise you already know all of this and are just getting the conversation going.

In my view, the real innovation in GoogleAppEngine (GAE) is the open SDK and the possibility that open SDK compliant environments can be re-implemented elsewhere (including on Amazon’s web services). The difference between Google and Amazon is that Google has taken the approach of creating an open sourced standard and in effect encouraging competition. Amazon has always been about their “secret sauce”.

Whilst GAE is at the level of a framework and Amazon is at the level of infrastructure, the approach of an open sourced standard, if adopted, is likely to spread up and down the stack whether this is at SaaS, PaaS, HaaS or whatever other aaS people choose.


J Chris A said...

I commented on Tim's post also. I've released AppDrop which is an alternative host for App Engine applications. Please upload yours I'd like to see it running!

swardley said...

Hi JChris,

Alas I'm not a python coder, though I'm taking a big interest.

There are several groups already working on providing alternative environments for GAE apps - it is fantastic to hear that you have got this up and running so quickly.

Dennis Howlett said...

As I understand it GAE isn't designed for business apps so who is going to care in the longer term?

swardley said...


Shame on you ... you're just teasing.

As you know full well once the idea of open sourced standards starts to develop it has the potential to spread all up and down the stack and with adoption it can result in competitive utility computing markets. GAE is just a starting point.

It's no different from the days of 1995/6 where we'd listen to companies say this Internet thing isn't for business.

Right for the day, wrong for the future.

"GAE isn't designed for business apps so who is going to care in the longer term" - you're just winding me up, I'm not falling for it :-)

Looking forward to seeing you at Web 2.0 Strategies.