I have covered eXo before (see Benjamin Mestrallet, eXo CEO, Looks at the Social Enterprise and eXo Offers Cloud Workspaces Enabling Flexible Social Intranets). eXo is a user experience platform-as-a-service (UXPaaS) company that supports developers. Recently, I had a chance to speak with Benjamin again about their latest offering.
Benjamin covered their new integration of Google App Engine with their eXo Cloud IDE. He said that they started the eXo Cloud IDE project back over a year ago with the objective to make developers more productive in building and deploying cloud-based apps. It targeted the Java environment and has support for a wide range of PaaS environments, including Red Hat OpenShift, Salesforce Heroku, CloudBees, and VMware Cloud Foundry. eXo Cloud IDE has exceeded their expectations with over 20,000 enterprises with up to 5 developers each. You can develop a Java app online and deploy it as a PaaS. Here is a sample debug sequence. First, an inspect screen.
Then a debug screen.
The addition of support for the Google App Engine opens up a world with thousands of apps and hundreds of thousands of developers. Benjamin said that they picked the Google App Engine environment as it is the dominant platform and will drive significant traffic to their site. Google wants more people to use the Google App Engine, and eXo Cloud IDE makes it easier. Benjamin said that there has been a big increase in traffic with a number of developers spending five hours per day or more on the service. Prior to this, two hours a day was generally the high end of time spent on their service. Below is a sample Google Apps Engine support screen.
There is a strong trend to take apps from the desktop to the cloud. Benjamin said there is a corresponding trend to take app development to the cloud. This makes a lot of sense as it cuts off development time and costs. It also facilitates easier collaboration between developers. Linking a Google App Engine account to eXo Cloud IDE is a simple process that takes only seconds. There is no need to download and configure separate tools. In all, a developer new to eXo Cloud IDE can create a new project, connect to GitHub, debug and deploy an app directly to Google App Engine — without leaving the browser — in less than five minutes. Here is a five-minute video that shows how easy it is to deploy apps to Google App Engine. With every recent survey showing significant increases in movement to the cloud, this move makes a lot of sense. It is free.