Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Google eclipse plugin for Java development with App Engine (screenshots)

Google just announced tonight support for Java on App Engine. Early access is available to the first 10,000 to sign up.

I signed up and then installed the eclipse plugin. Here's a screenshot of eclipse showing the files and code after initially creating a new Web Application Project.

There are 3 Google icons, they are:
  • New Web Application Project (blue g)
  • GWT Compile Project (red G)
  • Deploy App Engine Project (engine)

You start off with:
  • Servlet class (extends HttpServlet)
  • jdoconfig.xml
  • log4j.properties
  • appengine-web.xml (screenshot)
  • logging.properties
  • web.xml (screenshot)
  • index.html
Here is a screenshot of the test server running in eclipse. It runs jetty, like most Java based test servers do.

Here is a screenshot of the console log after a successful deployment. All I had to do was press the "Deploy App Engine Project" button (the engine icon). It was that simple. Really. How easy could it be.

See my app engine site live on appspot: http://techrantandrave.appspot.com/
(I plan on developing it out, but of course right now all it has is Hello World)

Verdict: Amazing. I am speechless. Completely floored. Utterly unbelievable. I'm my 10+ years professionally developing web apps and programming in Java, I have never deployed an application to a live site so easily. That was practically as easy as "emacs foo.html". Ok, my job is not to deploy web sites, my job is to develop them - however with cloud computing now, I can wear that many more hats that much more easily.

P.S. I did play around with App Engine before using python. However it just wasn't this smooth. Part of it was because I have little experience with python. The other part of it is that having IDE support with eclipse is huge. I didn't even have to touch the command line (which I did to deploy with python, and I think even to run the test server with python).

Here's proof that my appspot site is running Java. He he, forced a NullPointerException.


  1. Google must have changed something because the NullPointerException page no longer shows a stack trace. I should have saved a copy - or a screenshot, actually. If I were them I wouldn't want people seeing stack traces either. The must have had people working and monitoring the servers during/post the announcement (of course they did).

  2. Hi, did you managed to get the app engine javadoc inside eclipse ? because I didn't ...

  3. App Engine will only render a stack trace for a user request if the current use is logged in as an administrator.

  4. I don't know, I got a stack trace. Well done!