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15 May 2009, 12:27

Grails and Scala support Google's AppEngine

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Java / Google logo There is a lot of demand for making Google's App Engine web application hosting platform accessible to more programming languages and frameworks. Originally launched supporting only the Python language, Google recently announced that App Engine would also support Java programs. Now, developers are adding support for that platform to their JVM based languages and frameworks. The developers of the Grails web framework have announced that the framework's latest version 1.1.1 officially supports the hosting platform. It has also been reported that the Scala programming language cooperates with the AppEngine. Scala – a pragmatic combination of functional and object-oriented programming approaches – uses the Google Eclipse plug-in for this purpose.

In his announcement of the new release, chief Grails developer Graeme Rocher points out that Grails actually worked with the App Engine since the platform was launched, but that it hasn't been completely bug free.

To integrate Grails with the platform, the developers created a persistence plug-in that replaces Grails use of Hibernate with Java Data Objects (JDO). This change then allows Grails to support Google's Python-based DataStore and its APIs. The plug-in also integrates the App Engine's development environment into the web framework, enabling Grails applications to run in a local App Engine container.

Grails has adopted many Ruby-on-Rails concepts: Just like in Rails, only a few lines of code are required to generate, edit or delete entire data object input pages. Grails integrates business objects defined in Groovy as database tables almost automatically. To do this, Grails uses tried and tested Java technologies like Spring and Hibernate, and profits from the performance and scalability of the Java Virtual Machine.

Rocher has plans for future Grails support saying the ultimate goal is to make Grails "the primary environment for building applications targeting the App Engine Java SDK". Future enhancements planned include JPA support with the App Engine plug-in and GORM-like abstractions for JPA and JDO for improved developer productivity.

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