Google I/O: Reflections on the Enterprise Track

JUN 08, 2009
The Google Enterprise team was really energized to see the strong turnout for the 8 enterprise-track sessions at Google I/O last week. It was a treat to meet developers face to face and share stories about how things like Google App Engine, gadgets, GWT, Enterprise Search, and HTML 5 are impacting the industry's move to cloud computing. We were also pleased to announce Google Apps Script, a new feature that allows customization and automation in Google Apps, starting with spreadsheets, and to see the positive press coverage it has received.

The reality is that despite a formal "enterprise" track, the majority of the sessions were interesting and relevant to commercial developers, particularly Google Apps developers, who are rapidly uncovering a diverse set of commercial opportunities using these developer tools. This is something we want to continue to spread the word about!

The Google I/O team is busy uploading content from the event to the Google I/O site, and today we're happy to share a few highlights from last week:

Practical Standards-based Security and Identity in the Enterprise: Eric Sachs gave an overview of how Google is incorporating today's open identity and authorization standards into both consumer applications as well as enterprise software. Eric demonstrated inter-service communication using OAuth: from extranet to intranet, from platform to platform, and even from Google App Engine to Google App Engine.

Growing a SaaS-based services business around Google Apps: Jeff Ragusa of Google and Daniel Jefferies of Newmind Group gave a talk on how system integrators and developers can partner with Google to build a strong business reselling Google Apps and complementary services. Jeff highlighted the the myriad opportunities that emerge when the money spent on licenses, maintenance and upgrades can instead be spent on solving specific business problems and building custom apps an gadgets. Daniel, a Google Apps Authorized Reseller, talked about his experience bringing cloud computing to his customers.

Building Scalable, Complex Apps on App Engine: Brett Slatkin gave an informative presentation on the advanced techniques and data structures developers can leverage to build complex apps with App Engine. Areas of discussion included list properties and merge-joins, and how developers can use these tools to maximize performance of their apps.

Salesforce, Appirio and ThoughtWorks on App Engine for Java: Ron Hess of Salesforce and Iein Valdez of Appirio presented Connecting The Clouds: Integrating Google App Engine for Java with, and announced a new open source SOAP library for App Engine that helps connect App Engine apps to apps. Martin Fowler and Rebecca Parsons presented a session titled ThoughtWorks on App Engine for Java: An Enterprise Cumulonimbus?, which provided an overview of App Engine and the move to cloud computing from the perspective of larger enterprises.

Using the Google Secure Data Connector to Access Behind-the-Firewall Data from Google's Cloud: In this session, Jun Yang of Google showed how enterprises can bring a behind-the-firewall relational database into Google Apps using the Google Secure Data Connector and Google Feed Server. Jun demonstrated how developers can do this without the need for special code to access the SQL data or complex firewall configuration.

We hosted a mixer for enterprise developers and IT decision makers on the first day of I/O, and were thrilled at the turnout. The event was our first face to face outreach to commercial developers, covering all Enterprise product lines and touching on several recent developer announcements like Google Apps Script and the Google Apps Reseller program.

No, this is not people queuing up for free Android phones, just the line for the Enterprise Mixer.

All told, a great two days thanks to all of you. Since we're just getting started with tools and topics of interest to enterprise developers, please stay in touch. We have more tools and APIs on the way. The easiest way to do that is to subscribe to our Solution Provider announcements, and if you're tweeting, follow us on Twitter at GoogleAtWork.

By Scott McMullan, Google Apps Team