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Cloud IDE for Java EE development

I often post about Cloud IDE and Java EE on Twitter. Follow me here


With so many of the traditional software tools going to the cloud I want to see how they compare to traditional tools. My interest is Java EE technology and started to look for a cloud service that allowed me to develop, test and deploy a Java EE application. As I soon found out many of the cloud IDEs are designed for web front-end technology such as HTML and JavaScript. What features one wants in a cloud IDE depend on the extent of the development that is to be done. If you require an IDE that is little more that a cloud text editor then nearly all the cloud IDEs would do the job, but I decided that I wanted to develop, test and deploy to a live server. As if it were a replacement for a desktop IDE.

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I am accustomed to the eclipse IDE so want something that has the same look and feel and the intuitive UI, as a busy developer I don’t have time to learn a new IDE nor fight with an unintuitive interface. So the following were my criteria for a cloud IDE:

  1. An intuitive UI that resembles eclipse
  2. Is designed for Java and Java EE development
  3. Connects to cloud based services such as Amazon Web Services and Git Hub

Here are a few I looked at:

Cloud 9 IDE

This service provides an environment for developing code in Node.js, HTML5, PHP, Phyton/Django, Ruby on Rails, C/C++ and Custom. The web site does not clearly specify that you can develop for Java EE although it claims that you can develop in ’23 other languages’ nor does it specify that you can test your code or deploy it to a remote server.

I created an account and tested it out. From the offset I was disappointed. The UI was not intuitive nor did it resemble eclipse, and to make it worse my gravitar photo was displayed in the top left-hand corner of the desktop. No one likes to see themselves in photos.

I created a new workspace, selected the technology ‘custom’ (Java not being available) and waited for the workspace to be created. Once created I was faced with a spares workspace and no clear way to develop in Java.

I concluded that this was not the cloud IDE for me.

Orion hub

Orion is an eclipse off-shoot, so it sounded promising. I signed up for an account and was immediately disappointed. It was not eclipse-like in anyway, nor did it allow Java development. It really is only useful for HTML and JavaScript development. Again this cloud IDE is not for me.


Supports HTML, PHP, JavaScript, CSS, and XML no Java development possible. Although what looks interesting is that you could code on any devise from desktop to mobile. I can’t imagine how horrible it might be to develop on a mobile while squashed up against the window of a northern line tube at rush-hour. Perhaps there are some die-hards that can and want to do that, not me. Good luck to them.

Not the cloud IDE for me.


A chrome based text editor that saves files to dropbox. Supports all major languages including Java but it’s only a cloud-based text editor. There is no option to execute and deploy the code.

Nice but not what I am looking for.

Code Run

Does not support Java but does have a eclipse-like UI. If they start to support Java in the future I will give them a second look.

Shift Edit

Another Chrome app that appears very similar to SourceKit that saves files to dropbox. It does not support Java.

Not what I am looking for.

Code Envy

The website of this cloud IDE promise Java/Java EE development, deployment to cloud-based servers and git hub integration and a no-fuss setup. Great! just what I want. I created an account, selected the technology (Java EE) and PaaS and waited for the workspace to be created. I was very surprised. All the folders that I could want were created, including the web.xml and a sample index.jsp. Very Very Impressed. I got exactly what they said that they would give me and more importantly I got want I wanted.

This cloud IDE is for me.


Now time for the real test. Could I develop a simple Java EE web application and deplore it to the cloud?

Further Reading Material

If you are interested in HTTP/2 and the changes that it implies you might like my article explaining what HTTP/2 is all about.

You can learn how to move your entire development pipeline to the cloud in my next article: Cloud based deployment pipeline.

And to finish off the series you should have a look at the tutorial about using AWS: Amazon Free Usage Tier: Installing Tomcat 7 on an EC2 Linux instance

Follow Me

I often post about Cloud IDE and Java EE on Twitter. Follow me here

11 Comments on Cloud IDE for Java EE development

  1. nice article. I wish it had a time stamp since ive heard cloud9 was supposed to be great.
    Definitly using code envy now!

  2. thanks for saving me so much time 🙂

  3. Cloud9 not intuitive? I find it very intuitive and the ide is wonderful. I don’t want to use any other IDE since I’ve started using it. Eclipse, Aptana, and I wish I could use it in-place of Visual Studio. Think you need to reevaluate a little better.

    • This article was written quite some time ago so the interface to cloud 9 might now be more intuitive. I had not revisited since I wrote this article. Thanks for your comment.

  4. Manoj Kumar Nanda // May 9, 2016 at 21:10 // Reply

    This helps Code Envy is exactly what I was looking for. Can this be used for production projects?

  5. Manish Tripathy // June 21, 2016 at 08:05 // Reply

    Great article….Saved my time. Thanks!!!

  6. Its incredible that I can find thas exactly I just was looking for.. Thanks a lot my friend. If you can help me with some material about Code Envy I aprecciate because I want to create a Java EE projecto using this PaaS Tool… Greetings

  7. Hey my friend, Did you find another IDE where I can build a JAVA EE project apart of CODE ENVY?

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