13 May 2012

ColdFusion Railo deployment with Jelastic

I thought I'd try one of the cloud java hosting platforms out there and I must say I'm delighted I did. I wanted to start up a Jelastic instance and throw Railo on it and see how it worked out.

First up sign in is super simple, just your email and thats all you need. The user interface is clean, powerful and incredibly simple. With simple drop downs to create your environment and configure the number of instances etc that you need. In just a few minutes you can be up and running.
So i chose Tomcat 6. I did initally try Tomcat 7 but apparently they have a few problems with 7 at the moment. Not to worry 6 is fine. Deploy your environment and then wait for it to be deployed. This takes just a minute or so while they build your instance.

Then down at the bottom you'll see the deployment manager tab, under that you should see upload. You'll need to upload your Railo.war you can upload one you've downloaded, or I believe, upload direct from www.getrailo.org:

Once you've uploaded the .war file, you need to deploy it. Simple, still in the deployment manager tab, click on the box dropdown and click deploy. It'll ask you to confirm "ROOT" as the context, but root is fine. Once this is done you should be able to click the "launch in browser" button and see the railo admin show.

That's it, you're basically done. I expect you want your own application to run, but that's just as easy. If you click on the spanner / config option next to Tomcat 6 a settings tab will open and you can tweak the tomcat settings. Expand webapps and root. This is your application home, you can delete everything in there except for the WEB-INF folder. Then upload your cfm files and you're done!

I think this is a brilliant hosting environment and so brethlessly simple I'm very impressed.

07 May 2012

Setting up a custom domain for your Google App Engine (GAE) app

Setting up a Google App Engine application with a custom domain is a pain in the ass. Its overly complicated and takes much too long. Still, i did it and made it work, so I figured I’d write it down.

  1. Sign into GAE and in the list of my applications, click on your application. You should see the GAE dashboard. Somewhere down the list on the left you should see Application Settings. Click on that. Scroll way down and somewhere under “Domain Setup” you’ll see a button “Add Domain”. Now open a new window or something because we’ll need to come back to this tab later. This is where you’ll need to signup for Google Apps.

  2. Google Apps. I’m not 100% sure exactly how to define Google Apps, but I think it’s best described as a host of business services all under one roof. It’s basically a central place for businesses to utilise online tools to work and collaborate. My words, not Googles! Anyway, you need an account to make this work, it is free so go ahead and sign up and answer the endless questions. Get everything sorted and when its all up and running you can move on to adding the domain you bought to your Google Apps account.

  3. Register your domain. Next you need to add your domain to Google Apps, this means telling Google about the domain that you’ve already registered and proving you own it. Google is nice here, they have a few methods of doing this. The one I used is for Google to ask you to copy a verification code of sorts and add it to a special txt key on your domain. If you’re using goDaddy like I am, this is pretty straight forward. You just need to sign into your goDaddy domain manager and paste in the code. From there Google will verify the domain and add the domain to your account. You can also upload a special Google HTML file to your server, but that’s a lot of work!

  4. Update your DNS. Now we need to change our DNS to point to google. I use goDaddy and this was deceptively simple, basically just login to GoDaddy’s DNS manager and click edit zone for your domain name. You want to change the www attribute for your CNAME record. Change it to ghs.google.com and your done.

  5. Finally you can go back to your original tab from step 1 where you’re still in GAE and add “www” (not inverted commas) as the domain. This should magically link everything up and hey presto your domain should point to your gae app.

This is a much shorter, and helpful description, well done “Mark” who figured it out and helped me a lot: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/817809/how-to-use-google-app-engine-with-my-own-domain-not-subdomain