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Google Cloud Playground lets you dip your toes in the Cloud Platform waters

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Google's Cloud Platform holds a certain amount of appeal for developers looking to quickly build robust web apps. Of course, getting started is a bit involved. You'll first need to download and install several tools and an SDK on your local machine. Cloud Playground offers the chance to dip your toes in the water and experiment with services like App Engine, Cloud Storage and Cloud SQL sans the lengthy installation process. The browser-based tool is designed for testing out sample code, evaluating APIs and even sharing code snippets without the hassle of building a complete development environment. This isn't a proper solution to web-based development, however. For now you're limited to Python 2.7 App Engine apps, and the code editor and mimic development server have a rather basic feature set. Still, for those who are tempted by Cloud Platform, but not quite ready to dive in head first, the Playground is a welcome treat.

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