Today we are releasing version 1.2.5 of the App Engine SDK for both Python and Java, our first simultaneous release across both runtimes. We're excited about the great new functionality in this release ... including XMPP!
XMPP (or Jabber as it is sometimes known) is an open standard for communicating in real-time (instant messaging). One of the most popular API requests in the App Engine issue tracker has been support for XMPP, so today we are excited to mark that issue closed with the release of our new XMPP API for both Python and Java SDKs!
Like the other APIs that App Engine provides for developers, XMPP is built on the same powerful infrastructure that serves other Google products. In this case, we take advantage of the servers that run Google Talk. This new API allows your app to exchange messages with users on any XMPP-based network, including (but not limited to!) Google Talk. If you're currently participating in the Google Wave developer preview, you can also use the XMPP API to build bots that interact with your waves.
We've tried to make the XMPP API as simple as possible to incorporate into your existing Python or Java applications. We use the same webhook pattern that Cron and Task Queue already use: you send outgoing messages with an API call; you receive incoming messages as an HTTP POST. You can read more about the features the XMPP API in our documentation (Python, Java).
We're very proud of our first XMPP release, but there's still more work to do. In the future we hope to provide even more functionality to apps, such as user status (presence) and info on new subscriptions. If you have particular requests or feedback, please let us know.
Python developers have been processing tasks offline using App Engine Task Queues since mid-June, but until now the feature was not available in the App Engine for Java SDK. The 1.2.5 SDK now includes support for creating Tasks and Queues in our Java runtime.
If you're familiar with the Python Task Queue API, the Java version will look very familiar. We use the same webhooks pattern as with Cron (and now XMPP). The API provides a simple pattern for creating tasks, assigning them a payload and a worker, and inserting them into queues for scheduling and processing. There's lots of potential with the Task Queue API, so make sure to check out the Java Task Queue Documentation for more details.
With the 1.2.5 release, we are increasing the daily quota for Task Queue insertions to 100K for billing-enabled apps. Ultimately, we will raise the quota for both free and billing-enabled apps, but we hope this intermediate step opens up new scenarios for our developers using Task Queues.
Last but not least, we're very excited that 1.2.5 for Python now includes a Windows-based version of a useful tool that Mac OS X users have been enjoying for sometime: The Google App Engine Launcher!
This tool simplifies the process of creating new Python projects, testing them locally, and uploading them to the App Engine servers. In addition, we're releasing the source code for both Mac and Windows App Engine Launchers as open source projects. Watch this space for more details on where you can find the source, and how Linux developers can use the Launcher as well.
1.2.5 also includes the usual set of bug fixes, tweaks, and API polish. For a more detailed look at all the things that have changed this release, take a look at our release notes and, as always, let us know what you think!