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Summary:

Support of SendGrid’s email APIs can lessen complexity for GAE developers, and perhaps give GAE a leg up on Amazon Web Services.

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In its push to entrench Google App Engine as a serious Platform as a Service, Google is adding support for SendGrid’s email APIs to the mix. That means developers building applications on GAE can build in the ability to launch automated email actions in response to specified triggers or events, and is the first non-native email available to these developers.

If you use sign up for a web service, change a password, check into a site, etc., those are the types of actions that SendGrid  automates. The Boulder, Colo.-based company estimates that 20 percent of such email “transactions” never reach the user’s inbox. Its technology helps take the burden of managing all of those deliveries off the shoulders of the development team and claims to push delivery rates to 95 percent. The news that Sendgridis part of GAE’s parnter program was disclosed in a Google Cloud Platform blog post Wednesday.

GAE added support for Twilio to enable VoIP type applications last year. Sendgrid added integrations to the Parse, Stackmob and Microsoft Azure platforms late last year

As I reported earlier, Sendgrids’ biggest rival is Amazon Simple Email Service (SeS). By using SendGrid, developers can split workloads between their infrastructure provider and their mail service provider —  which is important if they are worried about locking in to one backend provider. Obviously, as Google pushes its own cloud platform as a viable alternative to Amazon Web Services, this could be quite helpful.

 

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  1. Sendgrid is the most unreliable component in our stack. They’re constantly having service issues which cause mail delays or delivery issues, at least once a week. We’ve had issues with other transactional mail providers too in the past and are now planning running our own mail servers for the not-insignificant volume (15,000 e-mails per day). Perhaps running an email business is more technically challenging than I anticipate?

    1. who else do you use for mail APIs @david?

      1. We use https://postmarkapp.com/ for all our billing e-mails and as a failover for Sendgrid. I’ve also heard good things about http://www.mandrill.com from the guys at Mailchimp.

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