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Google App Engine released hosted platform version 1.1.9 earlier this week with big boosts in capacity and compatibility. The new App Engine supports standard HTTP libraries, larger files, triples the response deadline, and removes limitations on CPU-intensive processes.

Standard HTTP libraries

App Engine now supports Python’s standard web requesters urllib, urllib2, and httplib. Programmers on App Engine were previously required to use Google’s proprietary urlfetch API, which still provides the best integration for the Google request gateway. Support for standard Python request libraries means better compatibility with open source libraries developers would like to include in their web application.

30 seconds or die

Mechanical stopwatch

App Engine scripts now have up to 30 seconds to respond to any incoming request, a big change from the previous 10 second limit. I often request data from the web, process and interpret results, write to the datastore, and then issue a response to the consuming agent. The extra headroom opens up new possibilities for data processing, especially in a programming environment without queues or background tasks.

10 MB response sizes

App Engine processes can now send and receive files up to 10 MB in size, a 10x boost from the previous limit of 1 MB. Need to share a podcast, PDF, or large image? It’s now possible. Developers can deploy up to 1000 static files of up to 10 MB each, creating up to 10 GB of geo-distributed static file storage per App Engine instance.

No more high CPU limitations

App Engine scripts are no longer limited to 2 CPU-intensive requests per minute. Scripts are still limited to 30 active dynamic connections at any given moment (under the free plan). Processing power is made available on-demand for up to the full 30 seconds of your process.

Datastore now supports IN operator

Google App Engine’s datastore now supports the IN operator for Megastore queries. You can now query on a list of values instead of chaining data requests through a for loop, a big efficiency change for me.


Google App Engine raised its capacity this week and opened up new possibilities for developers creating web applications on its service. The platform is still in free “preview release” without the ability to purchase additional processing headroom but the per-process restrictions have loosened up a lot.