Amazon AWS Beanstalk and Eclipse Equinox

January 20, 2011 | 3 min Read

Yesterday Amazon launched a new service called AWS Elastic Beanstalk. It’s basically a Tomcat hosting service. You can upload your WAR files via a web interface, to an instance of a Linux cloud image pre-configured with Tomcat. This is from the official Amazon description:

AWS Elastic Beanstalk is an even easier way for you to quickly deploy and manage applications in the AWS cloud. You simply upload your application, and Elastic Beanstalk automatically handles the deployment details of capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling, and application health monitoring. At the same time, with Elastic Beanstalk, you retain full control over the AWS resources powering your application and can access the underlying resources at any time. Elastic Beanstalk leverages AWS services such as Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, Amazon Simple Notification Service, Elastic Load Balancing, and Auto-Scaling to deliver the same highly reliable, scalable, and cost-effective infrastructure that hundreds of thousands of businesses depend on today. AWS Elastic Beanstalk is easy to begin and impossible to outgrow.

So, as an Eclipse guy the first question that comes to mind is, “Does OSGi/Equinox run on this?” I mean, it definitely should because we have the great Server-Side Equinox technology which we can deploy in a WAR file. So, I did a little experiment which everyone can repeat on his own. It took only 5 minutes to confirm that Equinox can run on Amazon’s Beanstalk. Here are the steps:

  1. Create a Server-Side Equinox Application and package it into a WAR file. If you want to use an existing file I recommend that you download the rapdemo.war from the RAP Examples Demo. RAP Applications are basically Server-Side Equinox Applications with a UI.
  2. Create an AWS Account and activate AWS Elastic Beanstalk. Follow the steps described in the AWS Management console.
  3. Use the Web Interface to upload your example war archive. Don’t forget to check “Launch a new environment running this Application”.
  4. After the upload is successful you have to wait a few minutes until the instance is started. When this is finished your application will be online and reachable under The example I deployed can be reached using this URL: [EDIT: demo has been removed.]

It was highly likely that Equinox was going to work on the beanstalk. But to be certain it works, is even better.  I can also say that I was really impressed by how easy it is to get a WAR file running on the beanstalk.  Just  two years ago, the only option you had to deploy a WAR file was to rent a (V)Server and set up Tomcat on your own. The question for me  now is how long it will take until the deployment of OSGi bundles will be so easy. Oh wait, there is Eclipse RTP