Although hardware announcements such as the Nexus 7 tablet and Google Glass have so far dominated Google I/O, developers are still the prime focus of the conference—and various IT vendors are using that spotlight to push products that somehow leverage Google’s extensive product portfolio.
For example, there’s eXo, which markets a cloud-based integrated development environment known as eXo Cloud IDE. That service, the company announced June 28, now integrates with Google App Engine—meaning that developers building Python or Java applications for the latter platform can build, debug and deploy via the browser.
That untethers developers to work anywhere, one of the reasons why cloud-based development platforms as a whole are on the rise at the moment. In addition to eXo, other firms offer the ability to code via the browser; Cloud9 IDE, for example, even allows development teams to collaborate in real-time over the same chunk of code, and work offline.
However, many of those firms don’t integrate with Google App Engine—at least not yet. “Now that we support Python and we’re working with Google on some of their new APIs for I/O, you should expect some updates on this front,” said a spokesperson for Cloud9.
That leaves eXo free (at least for the moment) to leverage that connection with Google to the proverbial hilt. It has developed the project over two years, with a focus on features integration with major-league cloud services; supported Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) environments include Red Hat OpenShift, Salesforce Heroku, CloudBees, and VMware Cloud Foundry. Developers connecting a Cloud IDE account to GitHub or Google App Engine have a fairly rapid onramp to posting an application online.
Benjamin Mestrallet, founder and CEO of eXo, explained his company’s reasons for focusing on Java and Python as supported environments. “When you look at Platform-as-a-Service, they are all on Java,” he said in an interview. “The real market at some point is in the private cloud or the enterprise cloud, and all those clouds are either Java or .NET.”
Java, he added, is “where the money is for the enterprise; we will get the market where the enterprise money is.”
The company’s deep support for Java paid off when Google approached, asking for the APIs to integrate with Google App Engine. That could help eXo fend off competition in an increasingly crowded arena for cloud-based developer environments.