Google joined the cloud computing turf a year ago with “Google AppEngine“, a framework to enable relatively simple applications to be deployed directly in the cloud. Google AppEngine only supported Python as the programming language, and required the use of very specific API code, that basically meant that if you wrote something for AppEngine, it would not run anywhere else.
Since its inception, Google always Java promised support for AppEngine. Today, Google announced the first preview for Google AppEngine for Java. Interestingly, unlike the Python API, the Java edition of AppEngine uses a lot of Java EE standards: WAR, JPA, Servlets, JSP, etc. This means that it is easy to program if you already know Java EE, and it is easier to migrate to or away from AppEngine. The Java edition promises support for data storage, authentication, in-memory-caching and probably other features of AppEngine, like scheduling, will be supported as well. The Google Web Toolkit (GWT), Google’s AJAX Web framework for Java, can be used in AppEngine too. See this intro movie for more information (captioned, no need for sound).
The AppEngine Java preview includes an SDK, complete with Eclipse support and a local sandbox environment. The “preview” program just got started, so there are limited slots for hosting applications. Claim your slot on the AppEngine page and start writing some cool Java apps!