Every once in a while, we invite members of the developer community to visit Mountain View campus to talk shop, share news, and eat Google'sS'mores. We call these events "Google Campfire One," and we held a lively one tonight.

At tonight's Campfire One we announced some developer tools that we think will be pretty interesting to businesses: a new release of Google App Engine and the Google Secure Data Connector (SDC). Enterprise developers and IT professionals have been asking for tools like these to add custom applications to Google Apps and to connect Google Apps with their existing IT systems.

App Engine already lets Google Apps customers build apps just for their users. The new features make it even easier to build and deploy business apps that integrate with Google Apps, and SDC gives enterprises a way to help connect their firewalled data to their Google Apps domain. Ten other companies, including Oracle™ and IBM™, participated in tonight's Campfire One to announce new apps and services incorporating these tools.

Cron, JavaTM, and GWT for App Engine

Based on developer feedback, we've added several features to App Engine, including the ability to schedule tasks to run automatically (cron) and new database import/export tools to simplify moving gigabytes of data into/out of App Engine.

We also announced an early look at App Engine's support for the Java language. We made this standards-based so Java developers can build apps with familiar APIs and move them to other application servers if the need arises. In fact, tonight's Campfire showcased IBM's demo of moving an app to IBM Websphere with just a few code changes (we're giving 10,000 interested developers an early look at our Java language support, so test it out and send feedback).

We've also integrated App Engine with the Google Web Toolkit (GWT) and the Eclipse IDE so developers will be able write their apps from end-to-end in the Java language in a single IDE. During the Campfire, Appirio™, a Google Apps solution provider, showed how App Engine plus GWT and the Google Visualization API let them quickly write and deploy a complete recruiting management app without setting up servers or dealing with cross-browser compatibility.

Encrypted connection to firewalled data

We also talked about giving developers who work on cloud-based business apps access to behind-the-firewall data – previously a difficult issue to tackle. To help solve this problem, we built the Google Secure Data Connector (SDC), a downloadable agent which lets IT admins connect Google Apps to resources behind the firewall.

Today, you can use SDC with gadgets in Google Sites, App Engine applications, and spreadsheets in Google Docs. As part of tonight's event, Oracle showed how Oracle CRM gadgets will let their customers interact with sales and customer information from within Google Apps.

Several other companies announced support for SDC in their products tonight. Cast Iron Systems has added built-in support for SDC to their integration appliance, allowing Google Apps to integrate with hundreds of different systems through a point-and-click interface. Panorama Software has added support for SDC to their gadgets, allowing you to visualize and analyze business data right in the browser. ThoughtWorks™, Cloud Sherpas™, Sword Group™, Ping Identity™, and PivotLink™ also participated in this Campfire One event. You can learn more about their announcements on our Campfire One participants page.

You can visit Google Code to learn more about our developer tools, and if you're a developer, be sure to come to Google I/O in San Francisco, California, on May 27-28th.

By the way, we shared the highlights of tonight's Campfire real-time on Twitter. Visit us there at http://twitter.com/googleatwork to see the current stream.

Brandon Nutter, Engineering Manager

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