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Google plumps up one-click mobile cloud

Mobile Backend Starter revs Android apps

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Google is tightening the links between its cloud services and the Android mobile OS to help it woo developers into its rentable infrastructure with a new service for deploying mobile apps onto its cloud.

With the release of the Mobile Backend Starter on Monday, the Mountain View Chocolate Factory unwrapped a tech that takes the complication out of designing the modular infrastructure needed for mobile apps to cope with spiky demand.

The one-click deployable package of generic cloud infrastructure includes a server that stores data inside App Engine, a client library, built-in support for Google Authentication, and a sample application. Developers can add support for Google Cloud Messaging and continuous queries if they want.

"Mobile Backend Starter gives you everything you need to rapidly set up a backend for your app, without needing to write any backend code," the company wrote. "It provides a ready-to-deploy, general purpose cloud backend and a general purpose client-side framework for Android."

The tech can work alongside Google's recently announced Cloud Endpoints technology to let developers automate both the backend, and the security and support client libraries for their apps.

With Mobile Backend Starter, Google's cloud has one-upped Amazon, and maintained parity with Azure. But Google's natural Android expertise give it an advantage over Azure, which supports Windows Store, iOS, Android, HTML and, of course, Windows Phone 8 backends.

Though we here at El Reg tend to focus more on the tech used by IT in businesses, we like to keep an eye on the peculiar horse race that is cloud computing, because developers who are starting out in the cloud will develop expertise for the specific stack they work within. If they spend more time in Azure, they'll be inclined to think of apps in the way Microsoft likes them to be structured (more links with on-premise Windows software, more .NET); if Amazon, then they'll design more ambitious cloud-first programs but at the expense of portability; and if Google, then there'll get used to certain complex tasks – such as identity authentication or virtual networking – being handled by the Chocolate Factory. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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