Blog Post

Java: Coming Soon to Google's App Engine

google_app_engine_logo_wtxtGoogle (s GOOG) will soon announce comprehensive support for the Java programming language on its Google App Engine (GAE) offering. We are trying to get more details. Rumors of such a development emerged last year, but we can now confirm that it is going to happen. We have have confirmed the news and expect the announcement later this spring, perhaps at the much-vaunted Google I/O event on May 27-28th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. A Google spokesperson declined to comment.

What does this mean? GAE currently is a Python-only app hosting environment and Java has been one of its most-requested features. Google’s support would help Java hosting get a mainstream push. Thus far most people have pushed PHP, Perl or Rails-related hosting services. I wouldn’t be surprised if Google uses a variant of its own Java VM, code-named Dalvik, which is currently being used in Android and Google Mobile OS. Dalvik is a non-Sun-licensed Java environment.

With this Java support, Google can actually turn GAE into the cornerstone of all Android-related apps in addition to getting traction as a platform for many custom enterprise apps written in Java. But in order for all that to happen, Google would have to kick off with what has to be more than just a very barebones environment.

Even in its basic installation, Google should offer a Java environment that can be leveraged by Android app developers, who can host their apps off the GAE. An integration with Google Voice API would make the App Engine even more useful, as app developers could start building special apps for, say, Google Android-based netbooks and have them run off the Google App Engine.

Most importantly, our developer friends believe that it would be good for Google to integrate this GAE-based Java environment with the Eclipse development environment. Google announced its App Engine in May 2008 and quickly attracted about 150,000 developers. However, many developers seem to prefer the more flexible Amazon Web Services (s amzn), which recently started supporting the Eclipse development environment.

35 Responses to “Java: Coming Soon to Google's App Engine”

  1. jeff7091

    I can’t believe GOOG released App Engine and GWT *without* making sure that they would work together. Who is running that shop??? At least search works!

  2. I’m wondering what their exact terms of service will be… It is their general terms where they reserve the right to use your data to better profile you and your users? As you put your application source and data into their cloud, can you ever fully remove it or protect it? Will they track your application usage and use that data? And will Google try to control the kind of applications it will host (like they don’t allow apps into their Andriod market-place that don’t comply with their cellular partner’s ToS). Google is all about maintaining control… too much so for my taste, I suppose. With the support of Java and the introduction of an Eclipse plug-in, it’s starting to catch up with AWS (and related tools) – just with a whole lot more limitations.

  3. I don’t know how there stack works but I am guessing the only reason that java is next is because most of the libraries were already in place. Php would start to trouble ec2 but their non sql data storage will never compete with mysql as it is. Developers who know php will want mysql. Ms are suppling sql
    P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!

  4. I don’t know how there stack works but I am guessing the only reason that java is next is because most of the libraries were already in place. Php would start to trouble ec2 but their non sql data storage will never compete with mysql as it is. Developers who know php will want mysql. Ms are suppling sql

  5. I thought they would release PHP first. Python is a mess, Java is strong in the enterprise scene but not in the cloud. PHP is the most popular development language for internet applications, huge developer base, simple, intuitive. I wasted too much time figuring out Python obscure coding techniques writing my Goole app engine applications, I hope PHP is next.

  6. I dont think GAE will be using Dalvik as its slimed down jvm for mobile devices with serious limitations for server side apps ……..Instead google has pushed for realtime Resource Consumption Management API in java as standard (Java Specification Requests 284 )in java for managing apps running in same jvm (this would allow for better shared hosting java apps on server ) ….you can read more about this JSR 284 at http://jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=284

  7. Hey Om,

    I would suspect it’s either using Dalvik or V8. I would actually hypothesize it’s V8 – Dalvik has been tuned to run on mobile hardware, V8 has been tuned and designed to run on standard PC hardware.

    Also, the guy that designed V8 at Google worked at Sun and was lead engineer on designing HotJava, one of the first JVMs. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how Python is running too, on V8.

    I think a more accurate story description would be Google to support Java Syntax on AppEngine, just like it supports Python Syntax.