Last week, rumors started to surface that Google would be releasing BigTable as a web service for developers. While open source clones are being created, so far only Googlers have had access to the real BigTable. This announcement would have also been the biggest competition to Amazon's Web Services to date. The actual launch was App Engine—hosted middleware on Google's platform. App Engine runs on BigTable, but doesn't expose all the nitty gritty details of BigTable. This makes it simpler but less flexible, and despite all the comparisons to AWS online, the two offerings are quite different.
I registered the night App Engine was released and soon got my invite. I then came up with the crazy idea to offer BigTable as a web service using App Engine. It would be an infinitely scalable database running in Google's datacenters. I spent my weekend learning Python and hacking together an implementation. Now I'm happy to present the BigTable Web Service. It models the API of Hbase—a BigTable clone. Now you can have simulated BigTable running atop App Engine, which itself provides an abstraction on top of the real BigTable.
The site describes the API of BigTable and gives examples of how to call it. I've also included a Python client for writing software against it. You must register for an account and create tables using the site, but everything after that is done through pseudo-RESTful service calls. I'm allowing free, unlimited access of the service… up to the limits imposed by Google.