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eXo's On-Ramp to VMware Cloud Foundry

Developers deploying Java applications to VMware's new Cloud Foundry Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) have yet another way to get there. eXo, the French company best known for its GateIn-based enterprise Java portal, has added Cloud Foundry to the growing list of PaaS systems supported by its new Cloud IDE development tool.

The company is billing the eXo Cloud IDE as the industry's only cloud-based integrated development environment. It provides codederos with a multi-tenant, hosted dev space designed to enable the collaborative building of apps based on Java, Groovy, Spring, PHP, Ruby and HTML, among others. And the apps you build with it can be deployed directly to a PaaS environment.

Keep in mind that this is a separate product line, not to be confused with the development tools that are part of the company's enterprise software stack, the eXo Platform. Currently in version 3, the eXo Platform comes with a Web-based IDE, a portal framework, collaboration tools, an enterprise content management system, a knowledge management solution and a set of enterprise social networking capabilities. The core platform is architected on the GateIn portal framework, an open source project developed jointly by JBoss and eXo.

The eXo Cloud IDE has been under development for about a year and a half, and the initial beta program was launched at the beginning of the year, explained the company's San Francisco-based developer advocate Mark Downey. When I talked with him, he was eager to correct a little glitch on the company's Web site.

"Although we still call it a beta, since we are rapidly adding new features and fixing bugs, the service is now available to everybody," he said. "The statement on our homepage saying that the service is limited to a small number of developers is no longer true."

eXo's announcement comes on the eve of the annual VMworld conference, which gets underway next week in Las Vegas, and just ahead of the beta release of VMware's new Micro Foundry PaaS for client machines. (Look for the eXo Cloud IDE at Booth #171 at the Vegas show.)

Including Cloud Foundry, the eXo Cloud IDE now supports application deployment to four PaaS environments. The others are CloudBees, Heroku and Red Hat OpenShift.

"Cloud IDE makes it possible for developers to collaborate on building Java applications in the cloud, apps that they can deploy directly to Cloud Foundry in minutes," the company's founder and CEO Benjamin Mestrallet said in a statement. "The code now lives in the cloud, accessible from virtually anywhere with a browser and Internet access..."

If you're interested, eXo is welcoming all comers to download the eXo Cloud IDE, despite what the download page may say. And the company is holding an intro webinar on or around September 8. Check here for details. And there's also a video demo available here.

Posted by John K. Waters on August 25, 2011