Just Push a Single Button to Update and Restart New Apps

By Jeff Cogswell  |  Posted 2012-06-11 Print this article Print

I clicked the link on the page and realized I€™d made a mistake in the address of the link. I received a 404 error. So I went back to Eclipse and made the change in my index.jsp file.

Then I wasn€™t sure how to update my change to the server. But once I discovered it, I found that this was the easiest part of the entire deployment process. Next to the application list is an €œUpdate and Restart€ button. I clicked it, and that€™s all. With that single click of a button, my updates got uploaded to the server. I didn€™t have to do anything else. I then refreshed the page in Chrome, did a view-source, and could see my change. Clicking on the link, I saw my €œHello Cloud Foundry Servlet€ message.

By now, things were going extremely well, except there was one feature missing. I saw in the instructions that in the original deployment, if I€™d chosen a local €œMicrocloud€ running in a VMware Player, I would have remote debugging capabilities. But that option isn€™t there when your application is hosted on the CloudFoundry.com Website as was my case.

As a professional Web developer, I know that remote debugging is missing from a lot of platforms, or if it€™s present, it doesn€™t work well. So we learn to live without it, debugging locally and using raw creativity and sheer brainpower to figure out what€™s wrong when something doesn€™t work on the server but does locally. But in this case, I was disappointed to see it missing primarily because of a review I wrote for eWEEK three years ago.

Amazon Web Services has an Eclipse Extension that works very similarly to this Cloud Foundry one. You can create your Java Web application and deploy it to Amazon€™s server€™s right from within Eclipse. And that extension includes remote debugging.

Nevertheless, I would not use that as a reason to switch away from Cloud Foundry to AWS. Instead, I would recommend using the Cloud Foundry extension, but do your development locally, probably against the free and open-source Tomcat server that you can install on your own machine.

Or you can even install the Micro Cloud Foundry and debug against that, by setting up two servers from within Eclipse€”one for the local Micro version and one for the remote CloudFoundry.com version. Then, when you€™re ready to deploy, click that one button I was telling you about, and you€™ll be good to go. It works, and it works well. As a result, I definitely give this product a thumbs-up.

Jeff Cogswell is the author of Designing Highly Useable Software (http://www.amazon.com/dp/0782143016) among other books and is the owner/operator of CogsMedia Training and Consulting.Currently Jeff is a senior editor with Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to joining Ziff, he spent about 15 years as a software engineer, working on Windows and Unix systems, mastering C++, PHP, and ASP.NET development. He has written over a dozen books.

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