Today Google announced Google App Engine, a free (within certain limits) deployment environment in which people can develop, deploy and host web apps. Currently, the offering is for python only, and you are kind of tied to Google’s data store, but in return you don’t have to worry about server management, infrastructure, or paying money. Additionally, they have a pre-packaged SDK to give developers an identical development sandbox, as well as a method to deploy local code to the production environment.
However, I think they missed a way to make it even MORE awesome. Imagine, if you will, that they had integrated this package with Google Code. Suddenly, developers have an entire managed development and deploy framework. Develop on your workstation with an environment that is identical to the production environment, check in code so that it is managed, have a web interface that manages deployment from the repository so that you could deploy specific revisions/branches to either a staging area for testing or the production environment, with easy rollbacks if a problem is noticed since one of App Engine’s goals appears to be to lower the total cost of entry into the app development world, this just seems like it would make sense and work so well.