Google App Engine

Adding Application Code and UI

In this part of the tutorial, we'll create an app that integrates with Google Accounts so users can sign in using their Google accounts. In App Engine, the integration with Google accounts is achieved via the App Engine Users service. We'll use this to personalize our application's greeting.

This is what the app will look like, in this part of the tutorial (we'll add more later):


This application consists of these main logical "parts":

  • A JSP page that the user interacts with to make requests to the app.
  • A servlet named that prompts the user to log in and then displays a personalized greeting.

Creating the UI using JSP

To create the UI:

  1. In guestbook/guestbook-war/src/main/webapp, create a file named guestbook.jsp with the following contents:

    Notice the imports for the App Engine Users service. Also, by default, any file in war/ or in a subdirectory of war/ (other than WEB-INF/) whose name ends in .jsp is automatically mapped to a URL path consisting of the path to the .jsp file, including the filename. This JSP will be mapped automatically to the URL /guestbook.jsp.

  2. Proceed to web.xml configuration, described next.

Configuring web.xml

To configure the web.xml file:

  1. In guestbook/guestbook-war/src/main/webapp/WEB-INF, open web.xml in a text editor, and replace the contents of the file with the following: This configuration maps the servlet to its serving location and specifies the JSP file you created to be the application home page.

  2. Proceed to servlet creation, described next.

Creating the servlet

App Engine Java applications use the Java Servlet API to interact with the web server. An HTTP servlet is an application class that can process and respond to web requests. This class extends either the javax.servlet.GenericServlet class or the javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet class.

To create the servlet:

  1. In guestbook/guestbook-war/src/main/java, create the subdirectories com/google/appengine/demos/guestbook by invoking the following command (in a Linux or Mac OSX terminal window):

    mkdir -p com/google/appengine/demos/guestbook
  2. In guestbook/guestbook-war/src/main/java/com/google/appengine/demos/guestbook, create a file named

  3. Add the following contents to the file: The servlet checks whether the user is logged on. If the user is logged on, the servlet displays a personalized greeting; otherwise the user is redirected to the logon page.

  4. In guestbook/guestbook-war/src/main/webapp, create a directory named stylesheets, and create a file named main.css with the following contents:

  5. You are ready to build and test the app locally on the development server, which is described next.

Building and testing the app

To build and test the app:

  1. Change directory to guestbook, and invoke the command:

    mvn clean install

    Wait for the build to complete.

  2. Change directory to guestbook/guestbook-ear, (not to guestbook-war) and run the app in the development server on your local machine by invoking this command:

    mvn appengine:devserver

    Wait for the success message, which looks something like this:

    [INFO] INFO: The admin console is running at http://localhost:8080/_ah/admin
    [INFO] Mar 18, 2014 5:35:04 PM doStart
    [INFO] INFO: Dev App Server is now running
  3. In a browser that is running on the same machine as your terminal window, visit localhost:8080 to access the app on your local machine. When prompted, click Sign in.

  4. In the login form supply an email or accept the dummy email and click Log In. (When run locally, there is no validity check.)

  5. Observe that the greeting now displays your email address.

  6. You have successfully created a simple Java App Engine app. You are ready to do something a bit more useful next, adding the ability to accept and store user posts in a database.


Proceed to the next step, Storing User-Supplied Data in Datastore.

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