Django on Google App Engine

I’m back to playing with the Django web development framework again. Since I’m close to putting something online (it’s only a matter of years, actually), I’m also looking into hosting options. Due to the framework choice, Google App Engine appeared on my radar and I had a quick look at it.

Running your web application on Google’s infrastructure is certainly an intriguing idea. The official into video didn’t tell me too much, so I watched Guido van Rossum’s talk Rapid Development with Python, Django and Google App Engine on YouTube. Based on the information given there I decided against App Engine.

App Engine uses Google’s high performance distributed database system Bigtable. That’s pretty cool, but of course it works a lot different than a relational database. I’d have to port my application to Google’s persistence layer (not that much work yet) but I’d later be tied to a single hosting provider.

With the Django ORM framework out of the way, Django’s built-in generic admin site no longer works. This means, one of the framework’s biggest assets is lost and that’s the real show stopper for me.

If I were to create a highly scalable web application, the advantages would probably outweigh the disadvantages. But in my case, it means going back to comparing classic web hosters.

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