BDBDatastore 0.2 released

I'm pleased to say that BDBDatastore 0.2 is now released. With this release, BDBDatastore is now officially at feature parity with the production App Engine datastore. That is, it ought to be able to do everything the production datastore can, which means you can port your apps off the production datastore without having to change them.

Installation instructions can be found here. The release is numbered 0.2, but if it proves stable enough, it will become the official 1.0 release of BDBDatastore. So treat it as beta at least until it's got a little more testing.

If you try it out, speak up! I'd like to hear what people think of this. In the meantime, I'm going to start working on writing a container for running App Engine apps on Apache and other HTTP servers, as well as doing load testing and profiling of BDBDatastore.

Interesting articles about SQL and non-relational databases

Here's an interesting article about why SQL databases suck for webapps, and another one with good detailed reviews of non-relational databases.

BDBDatastore 0.1 released

When I announced BDBDatastore just a few days ago, it was still a ways away from being practically usable for anyone wanting to develop or deploy App Engine apps. The purpose of the post was twofold: To attract some initial interest, and to motivate me, with the light of public scrutiny, to make sure it gets finished and polished.

I'm pleased to say that release 0.1 is now available. Version 0.1 brings BDBDatastore to parity with the feature set the App Engine datastore had on release day - that is to say, fully featured except for __key__ queries. Along with the server itself, I've also provided a patch to the App Engine SDK that allows you to tell the Python dev_appserver to use BDBDatastore for backend storage.

Full installation and usage instructions can be found on the wiki. Note that this release is still very much beta. It shouldn't break, but it might (and if it does, please let me know). It's also possible (likely, even) that the datastore will change in backwards-incompatible ways between now and 1.0.

As always, feedback and comments are appreciated.

Announcing BDBDatastore, a replacement datastore for App Engine

One criticism I frequently see directed at App Engine is that of lock-in. Since App Engine doesn't use the same APIs and libraries that people are used to using elsewhere, people say, Google is implicitly locking people in to continuing to run their App Engine apps on Google infrastructure.

I'm of two minds on this. On the one hand, I don't think it's justified to call this "lock-in" - Google has provided ample documentation of the runtime environment and the APIs available, and where documentation isn't available, the SDK source code is, so it's possible to figure out everything necessary to produce compatible interfaces with publicly available information alone, and without resorting to reverse engineering or any other gray areas.

On the other hand, while I don't think there's intentional lock-in, the lack of available alternatives amounts to practical lock-in. While moving your app off Google infrastructure would require implementing the new infrastructure yourself, this amounts to lock-in for the vast majority of people, who can't afford the time and resources required to implement such a thing themselves.

The key to making portability possible is the datastore. Of all the APIs App ...