Google, in an effort to help developers become more productive in the cloud, announced a set of improvements for its Cloud Platform.

“This is an exciting time to be a developer and build apps for a global audience,” according to Google’s Cloud Platform blog. “Today we’ve focused a lot on productivity, making it easier to build and test in the cloud, using the tools you’re already familiar with.”

(Related: Previous Google Cloud Platform enhancements)

Developer features include:
• “Build, test and release in the cloud, with minimal setup or changes to your workflow. Simply commit a change with git and we’ll run a clean build and all unit tests.
• Aggregated logs across all your instances, with filtering and search tools.
• Detailed stack traces for bugs, with one-click access to the exact version of the code that caused the issue. You can even make small code changes right in the browser.”

Plus, Google introduced a new service to its Cloud Platform called Managed Virtual Machines. Managed VMs gives developers the freedom and control of Compute Engine VMs with the capabilities of App Engine. With just a few lines of code, developers can run any binary inside a virtual machine and make it a part of an App Engine app. App Engine automatically manages the VMs.

“You shouldn’t have to choose between the flexibility of VMs and the auto-management and scaling provided by App Engine,” Google wrote.

Google’s App Engine SDK has been extended to support the configuration and control of Managed VMs.

Other features of the Cloud Platform include Windows Server 2008 R2 on Compute Engine support, the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, and real-time Big Data.

In addition to new features, Google also is slashing its prices for Compute Engine (32%), App Engine (37.5% per instance hour), Cloud Storage (now 2.6 cents per gigabyte) and BigQuery (up to 85% price reduction).