Ideas Overflow: Google App Engine to the Rescue

Tied-up | LampImage by jakubik peter via Flickr

Did you have some of those moments?
Ideas just keep popping up and you try keep up the pace. And you know that you can't execute on everything! You should execute some, but try to be able to execute as fast as it gets.
Last 3 weeks I'm in productive state of mind. And I need solution with fastest possible development cycle. There are many cloud solutions from AWS/EC2 to IBM Cloud Computing, but fastest developing/deploying concept is GAE - Google Application Engine.
Why is it so good? You can build apps in language of choice. You can develop in Java - which is my primary programming language, or choose to faster iterate using python. I've chosen python, since tend to avoid saturation in learning S-curve which happens using same technology for very long time. Other advantages of GAE are no database setup (it uses Google datastore) and you can survive success quite easy.

After initial introduction to GAE and python - I started to develop first app. Idea came from mere need for better analytics for this blog. Can I get current SERP for my domain and keywords I bid? Some may say that one shoul use Google REST API. What if current SERP is higher then max results you can get using Google REST API? I've dug into python and soon had scripts that can be used internally from shell. But, wanted to make these scripts publicly available and developed:
It simply returns current position for searched keywords within 50 Google search results. This is not rocket science, but is quite handy and its good practice for newbie.

Soon, after releasing SERPosition, I've received nice feedback from Firefox add-ons community. Got two 5 star reviews for Instaright! and pending feature requests. And I did not even try to promote it. Instaright! came out of need for 1 click less during saving link to Instapaper. Previous experience with SERPosition made me reconsider existing backend and switch to GAE and python. It was true fun. Next version will be public candidate.

While all this happening, I've been testing Bing.Zing! Pow! Conclusions? Whole concept was not game changing. Service that they have been presenting, we use for a some time and its called Google. Microsoft is only 10 years late. But, lets not underestimate Qu Lui. Visual Search had stunning presentations at TC50 and ... there are Bing home page images. Home page images are so refreshing compared to static white background that Google has and I consider them Bing's best feature. They are just adorable. High definition, refreshing, artistic in every way.. Background images. And I'd like if there is some service that will provide those pictures. Wait a minute, GAE and python could do it! It took me some time to hack a Bing and to retrieve all images till today for all countries that is Bing currently present. New Zealand, Australia, UK, US, Germany,China and Japan. Now its all up to GAE as backend. Special post will announce this service.

I had really rough, but rewarding 3 weeks. Most important point of this post is that I've found framework on which I can develop/deploy and iterate app in shortest time possible. I made small steps , but they felt so right.

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