Java App servers are the do-it-all platforms for running hosted Java applications. Over the years they have grown with Java and the evolution of the EE APIs to provide services for everything including the kitchen sink.
Google’s AppEngine has been around for a while but I haven’t paid much attention up until now when they recently added support for Java applications. What is unusual at first glance though is this is not your typical Application Server hosting. This is not a EE server where you can upload your EAR ready to deploy. Google are taking a much more back to basics approach and providing their own implementations of APIs, including the JPA API for example to allow you to host a Java based application on the Google infrastructure and take advantage of Google’s technology.
I’m wondering depending on how successful this turns out to be whether this is going to grab the attention of the Java world as a whole, as make us start asking questions about the inherent complexity of building and deploying EE applications. It really shouldn’t be as hard as it is today, and I wonder if this is the start of a new direction for Java?