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I’m Richard, the product manager for Java on Engine Yard. Back on 23rd September, I announced our support for Java on Engine Yard and explained why we added Java to our PaaS. That week, I demoed the platform to hundreds of people at our booth at the JavaOne conference. A few weeks later we launched Java in ‘limited access’ (or private beta) and had some customers help us test it.

Today, I’m delighted to be able to invite you to try Java on Engine Yard in early access.

An early access release means that the product is in public beta, almost ready, and we’re opening it up for more people to help us test. When that testing is done, this feature is released as general availability, and the result will be a unified service offering for Java, PHP, and Ruby applications.

What is this?

You can go to ui.engineyard.com now and use our PaaS to create groups of load balancers, application and database servers on cloud infrastructure, upload Java web applications in WAR format, and scale those applications. The early access Java product allows you to configure environments with groups of servers running Ubuntu (12.04 LTS) in three roles:

  • application servers with Tomcat 7 or Jetty 9 Servlet containers running on Java 7
  • database servers with MySQL 5.5
  • load balancers using HAProxy 1.4.24

As supported components of the stack, this is just the start. Our platform engineers are busy adding more (for example, we’ve just added Tomcat as a Servlet container option).  We are looking for your direction on where to take the product after this first release.

Setting expectations

You will be amongst the first groups of people to try the Java platform. Moreover, you will be using our brand new UI and CLI to create and interact with your cloud environments. The UI and CLI are also in early access (and the other language stacks and cloud infrastructure choices on the UI are limited access). No doubt you will find wrinkles as you use the platform. So, we’d love to get all your feedback, both issues to fix and kudos for things you like in the platform.

We develop and release in an agile way at Engine Yard, so we will be deploying new features constantly to this service.  So, please, do not deploy production applications right now in this early access period. We will notify you of any anticipated breaking changes we make, or let you know when you need to update your test environments.

What to do now?

  1. Watch this demo walkthrough video

To give you an idea of what the platform can do and how easy it is, in the video, I walk-through:

  • creating and provisioning a server environment for Java applications
  • deploying a Java app I’ve built
  • a typical workflow of modifying the code, rebuilding the .war file and redeploying
  • using SSH to access and reconfigure the application server
  • using the MySQL database with my Java application
  1. Go here: ui.engineyard.com and get started. You will be redirected to a login or sign-up screen. If you don’t already have an Engine Yard account, you need to sign up for a trial account. We ask for your credit card to verify identity, but we want you to test and help us improve the features of our Java platform, so you won't be charged for the first 500 server instance hours. (We won't automatically charge you after your trial hours run down, you have to convert to a full account.) If you already have an Engine Yard account, we suggest you set up a new account for this trial so we don’t charge you for trying it. We can also credit you those 500 hours.

  2. Deploy your own code, or grab some basic examples of Java web applications you can build and deploy here: https://github.com/engineyard/java_webapp. There’s one basic Servlet, one that demonstrates how to use the database, and another that also shows using Spring Framework with auto-wiring and injecting the DataSource.

We hope you’re as excited about this as we are. We have a few more things we want to add to this before we make a general availability release. And we’re hoping that you’ll take some time to test the release and let us know about any problems or feature requests you have.

Where to go for help and give us feedback?

  • Read the [Java on Engine Yard documentation](https://support.cloud.engineyard.com/categories/20129307-Java-on-Engine-Yard)
  • Submit a ticket via Support: https://support.cloud.engineyard.com/tickets/new
  • Our support team can also help on IRC: irc.freenode.net #engineyard
  • Contribute to our [Community Forums](https://support.cloud.engineyard.com/categories/20029066-community-forums)
  • Or just email me at [rwatson at engineyard.com](mailto:rwatson@engineyard.com) or reach me on Twitter [@richwatson](https://twitter.com/richwatson) with any feedback or questions.

Looking forward to your feedback!


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