Google on Tuesday launched version 1.5.0 of its App Engine cloud platform, which features capabilities for high memory processes and an experimental runtime for the open source statically typed Go programming language. The company expects to "graduate" App Engine from a preview status in the second half of 2011.

With version 1.5.0, long running, high memory processes are supported by a Backends capability that works with both the Java and Python languages. "This feature allows for new classes of applications, such as report generation apps and custom search engines, to be hosted on the platform," Greg D'Alesandre, senior product manager for Google App Engine, said.

Go language backing, meanwhile, presents "an interesting new option for App Engine because Go apps will be compiled to native code, making Go a good choice for more CPU-intensive tasks," Google said. Go features a dynamic and lightweight feel.

An App Engine SDK for Go is available for download as of Tuesday. Deployment of Go applications onto App Engine infrastructure will be enabled soon. Google is offering a sign-up web page for interested users.

When App Engine is taken beyond its preview phase later this year, the company will offer a 99.5 percent uptime service level agreement, offline billing and a terms of service agreement geared to businesses. Google will also introduce a new pricing structure for App Engine based on more transparent usage-based pricing.

Graduation from preview status indicates a longer term commitment to the product and provides a deprecation policy that commits Google to supporting prior versions of product APIs for a guaranteed amount of time.

Version 1.5.0 also includes improvements to Task Queues that allow for applications to control task execution and to share work using new REST APIs. "This API access expands App Engine's compatibility with other on-premise and cloud services, furthering our commitment to an open development platform," D'Allesandre said. Google said more than 100,000 developers use App Engine every month.