Google App Engine applications are easy to build, easy to maintain, and easy to scale as your traffic and data storage needs grow. There are no servers to maintain, and we keep the SDK up to date with regular releases. Today’s SDK release, 1.4.2 focuses on improving and updating a few existing App Engine APIs.

Improved XMPP API to help applications better interact with users. Notifications are sent when users sign in and out and when their status changes, and the application can now set presence details to be returned to the user. Subscription and Presence notifications are enabled as inbound services in the application configuration.

Task Queue performance and Task Queue API improvements. First, we’ve increased the maximum rate at which tasks can be processed to 100 tasks/second. Applications can also specify the maximum number of concurrent requests allowed per queue in their queue’s configuration file. This can help you more easily manage how many resources your task queue is consuming. We’ve also added an API that allows you to programmatically delete tasks, instead of managing this manually from the Admin Console.

As always, there are more minor features and issue fixes such as support for JAX-WS complete with a new article on how to build SOAP enabled App Engine apps, as well as support for Django 1.2, so be sure to read the release notes for Java and Python. We’ve also updated the App Engine Roadmap with a few new projects so take a look. And if you have any feedback, please visit the App Engine Groups.