Google has released the latest version of Google App Engine, with the Search API moving a stage closer to General Availability.
The Search API allows applications to perform Google-like searches over structured data. You can search across several different types of data (plain text, HTML, atom, numbers, dates, and geographic locations).
In this release the Search API has the status of Preview, and Cloud Platform blog says that only slight modifications will be made to it between this version and the GA version. One important change with the move to the preview version is that Google will now be charging for operations and storage. While it is preview you’ll pay $0.18 per GB per month for the total storage used; simple queries will be charged at $0.13 per 10K queries, while complex queries will be charged at $0.60 per 10K queries and the blog notes that prices may change when it reaches GA.
Another change in App Engine 1.8.1 is the ability to deploy Python and PHP apps using the Git tool. The announcement says that:
“Once you complete the initial setup steps, you will be ready to deploy apps with the same ease with which you push code to a git repository.”
The new release also includes the Preview release of the Google Cloud Storage Client Library. This is designed to make it easier to access Google Cloud Storage from the App Engine. The client library does pretty much the same as the Python and Java Files API, but promises a better overall developer experience, and Google plans to decommission the Files API in a future release. The Cloud Storage Client Library will be upgraded to GA in an upcoming release of App Engine so Google is encouraging developers to start making the move from the Files API to the Storage Client Library.
Other improvements to the new version include an API that you can use to add tasks asynchronously to any Task Queue without blocking, improved performance for the Datastore courtesy of a change to the Datastore default auto ID policy, and the ability to use DISTINCT queries when working in Python.