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How to Build, Debug and Deploy Apps for Google App Engine with Cloud IDE

eXo Cloud IDE is an online IDE for Java, Python, PHP, Ruby or JavaScript, and for nearly two years, it has been used by developers to build applications for a number of PaaS environments — including Cloud Foundry, CloudBees, Heroku and others. eXo Cloud IDE now enables you to code, compile and debug Google App Engine applications in your browser and deploy them within seconds.

Since eXo started the Cloud IDE project back in 2010, our objective has been to make developers more productive in building and deploying cloud-based apps.

As a start, we’ve focused on building a strong IDE that includes all the features a Java developer would expect. That includes auto-completion, code refactoring, and building and debugging code in the cloud, just as if it was done on your desktop.

More importantly, we have tried to make the development workflow as painless as possible by providing a smooth integration with popular cloud services — from source control to application hosting — and now we’re bringing that integration to the Google App Engine world.

Now, developers can use eXo Cloud IDE to build, debug and deploy App Engine apps without having to install and configure the App Engine SDK — nor any of your traditional desktop IDEs. Everything happens right in the browser. Watch the video here

To try it yourself, create an account on cloud-ide.com. Start a new project and select the Google App Engine Java app as the project type. You can choose to deploy to the App Engine PaaS, and you will then be asked to create an app with your App Engine account. After choosing an App ID, just click Deploy in Cloud IDE and the sample app will be deployed. That simple!

To run and debug your app on a development server, press “Debug” in the “Run” menu. You’ll see the Debug window appear at the bottom of the screen. You can now open your Java file and set your breakpoints in the left margin.

Set your breakpoints in the left margin:

Set your breakpoints in the left margin

You can then run the app by clicking the URL in the Output tab, and execution will stop at your breakpoints.

Run the application by clicking the link in Output tab:

Run the application by clicking the link in Output tab

You can now inspect your variables, modify their value at runtime, and even add conditions to create conditional breakpoints.

Inspect variables in the debugger:

Inspect variables in the debugger

Finally, to redeploy the application to App Engine, just go to the App Engine menu in “Project” > “PaaS” > “Google App Engine”, and click Update Application.

With eXo Cloud IDE, you can now run, debug and deploy App Engine apps without having to install and configure the App Engine SDK or the Eclipse Plugin (or, for that matter, Eclipse itself). Because everything related to your development activities is taking place on the Cloud IDE servers, your initial setup time is dramatically reduced. In just a couple minutes, you can get back to focusing on the things that matter most: coding and refining the app itself.

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