Google App Engine, Day 1. Prepare the Development Environment


I’m recording this as I setup my development environment to just write an App Engine application. I’m going to skip the step of acquiring a Google account. I got my Google account about 3 years ago. If you have a GMail or AdSense account, you have authentication credentials. If not, they are easy enough to get. Here is a step by step transcript of setting things up. Wish me luck!

  1. Go to http://code.google.com/appengine/.
  2. Look for the button that says Try it now. (Linked here if you want to skip a step.)
  3. Click on the button that says Create an Application.
  4. If you’ve never done this before, you’ll see a screen that asks you to Verify Your Account by SMS. Pick your country, your cell phone carrier, and your mobile number. Do NOT forget to fill in your cell phone carrier. Failure to do so means that you won’t get a message– I just made that mistake. Then click on Send.
  5. You should now be on a page that says An Authentication Code Has Been Sent to [your number]. A few seconds after clicking Send, you will have a code. Type that code in and press Send on this new page.
  6. Go to http://appengine.google.com/ and click on Create an Application.
  7. On the Create an Application page, I’ve entered sseely-gae for the Application Identifier. Under Title, I entered Google App Engine for Blog. Click on Save.
  8. According to the AppEngine Python Runtime Environment Page, AppEngine uses Python version 2.5.2. Download and install the 2.5.2 runtime from python.org. I’m assuming you too can install an MSI. Just take the default options and go. đŸ˜‰
  9. Over at http://code.google.com/appengine/downloads.html, download and install the GAE SDK. Again, this is an MSI.
  10. For good measure, download the GAE Documentation. It’s in a compressed ZIP file.
  11. If you do not have this yet, you will also want a decent Python IDE. Visual Studio does have IronPython 2.0 and some form of Python support. My not so humble opinion is that better Python IDEs do exist. You can grab Eclipse, Aptana, or many others. I installed Eclipse– it was easier to get rolling than many others thanks to the setup instructions on the AppEngine web site, so I went with it. (Make sure you have previously downloaded and installed the JDK from http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/index.jsp. Eclipse needs this.)
  12. Run through the instructions at http://code.google.com/appengine/docs/python/gettingstarted/helloworld.html. I made sure to update app.yaml to point to my application name: sseely-gae. Everything checks out and http://localhost:8080 just works.

At this point, I know that I have a valid GAE development environment working. I started writing this entry about 80 minutes ago and everything appears to be fine. Some of the downloads were pretty beefy (JDK + JRE was 73 MB), so a slow Internet connection could slow some of you down. Overall, my environment setup experience was pretty decent.

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