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Essential App Engine

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Table of Contents

Introduction xix Acknowledgments xxvii About the Author xxix Part I: An App Engine Overview 1 Chapter 1: Setting Up a Development Environment 3 Working with Eclipse Tools 3 Deploying from the Command Line 14 Summary 16 Chapter 2: Improving App Engine Performance 17 Performing in the Cloud 17 Measuring the Cost of Class Loading 18 Avoiding Cold Startups 24 Improving Performance in General 25 Summary 27 Part II: Application Design Essentials 29 Chapter 3: Understanding the Anatomy of a Google App Engine Application 31 Uploading Files for Dynamic Deployment 31 Setting Up the Directory Structure 33 Configuring the Administration Panel 41 Summary 44 Chapter 4: Data Modeling for the Google App Engine Datastore 45 Moving Away from Relational Storage 45 Modeling Data 47 Working with Data 52 Summary 55 Chapter 5: Designing Your Application 57 Gathering Requirements 57 Choosing a Toolkit 58 Making Design Choices 61 Summary 65 Part III: User Interface Design Essentials 67 Chapter 6: Presenting the User Interface with HTML5 69 Introducing HTML5 69 Using Basic HTML5 Elements 70 Drawing Images Using the Canvas 72 Dragging and Dropping Items into Pages 74 Improving Form Elements 76 Detecting a User's Geolocation 77 Storing Data on the Client Side 78 Summary 83 Chapter 7: Fine-Tuning the Layout Using CSS3 85 Selecting Elements Using CSS3 85 Using New Graphical Effects in CSS3 92 Summary 98 Chapter 8: Adding Static Interactions Using JavaScript 99 Setting Up a Simplistic Example 99 Cleaning Up HTML Using Unobtrusive JavaScript 102 Reducing JavaScript Dependence by Progressively Enhancing the HTML 106 Optimizing Performance Using Event Delegation 109 Avoiding Global Variables 110 Summary 112 Chapter 9: Adding Dynamic Interactions Using AJAX 113 Using Classic AJAX without Frameworks 113 Using Google App Engine's Channel API 120 Summary 125 Part IV: Using Common App Engine APIs 127 Chapter 10: Storing Data in the Datastore and Blobstore 129 Processing Data Synchronously 129 Processing Data Asynchronously 136 Setting Up Transactions 141 Using Multitenancy to Introduce Namespaces 144 Storing and Retrieving Large Files 146 Uploading Bulk Data Using the Remote API 151 Summary 153 Chapter 11: Sending and Receiving E-Mail 155 Sending Confirmation E-Mails with HTML and Attachments 155 Receiving E-Mail 161 Considering Performance and Quota 167 Summary 169 Chapter 12: Running Background Work with the Task Queue API and Cron 171 Task Queuing 171 Scheduling Tasks Using Cron 180 Reading HTTP Headers 182 Summary 185 Chapter 13: Manipulating Images with the App Engine Image Service 187 Minimizing the Use of the Image API 187 Reading and Writing Images 187 Performing Simple Manipulations 195 Performing Advanced Manipulations 198 Summary 201 Chapter 14: Optimizing Performance Using the Memory Cache 203 Using the Cache API for Basic Purposes 203 Implementing a Caching Strategy 206 Working with Fine-Grained Cache 209 Maintaining a Cache 210 Using Other Cache Utility Methods 213 Using JSR 107 as an Alternative API 214 Summary 214 Chapter 15: Retrieving External Data Using URL Fetch 215 Reading URLs Using GET Requests 215 Reading Results 218 Adding Options to URL Fetch 219 Posting Form Data 223 Fetching URLs Asynchronously 224 Consuming Web Services 226 Considering Security 226 Summary 227 Chapter 16: Securing a Web Application Using Google Accounts, OpenID, and OAuth 229 Authenticating Users with Google Accounts 229 Authenticating Users with OpenID 232 Providing Access to Third Parties Using OAuth 235 Securing URLs in web.xml 237 Security Considerations 239 Summary 240 Chapter 17: Sending and Receiving Messages Using XMPP 241 Sending Messages Using XMPP 241 Receiving Messages Using XMPP 244 Receiving Subscriptions 246 Receiving Presence 249 Summary 251 Part V: Application Deployment 253 Chapter 18: Improving the Development Process 255 Optimizing the Development Process for the Internet 255 Thinking Like a Project Manager 256 Reducing Overhead 256 Improving Functionality 258 Measuring Quality 260 Optimizing Developer Productivity 261 Summary 262 Chapter 19: Assuring Quality Using Measuring Tools 263 Testing on a Production Environment 263 Thinking Differently about Usability 265 Checking Availability with the Capabilities API 265 Logging Unexpected Behavior 269 Profiling Continuously on Production 271 Measuring User Response to Your Interface 273 Summary 275 Chapter 20: Selling Your Application 277 Determining How to Approach Sales 277 Knowing Your Audience 277 Reaching Your Audience 278 Converting Prospects into Paying Customers 286 Handling the Payment Process 286 Summary 287 Index 289

About the Author

Adriaan de Jonge is an architect and online software development specialist at ANWB, the Dutch association for tourism, traffic, and roadside assistance. There, he works on Internet projects including developing sites that offer car and traffic information and sites that sell products, insurance, and vacations. De Jonge has worked in multiple roles, ranging from researcher and consultant to software architect, and has written several articles for IBM developerWorks on new Java, XML, Web, and content management technologies. He holds a degree in informatics and economics from Erasmus University in Rotterdam.


"An excellent book, filled with solid advice to write quality applications with Google App Engine." -Romin Irani, Director, Mind Storm Software

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