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NOTICE There is a new plugin (archetypes and eclipse integration), a fresh start that correctly support multi-module projects, it is not version-bounded with GWT, support multiples GWT versions and other fixes, improvements and best practices. This plugin is now considered the legacy GWT maven plugin (aka mojo GWT maven plugin) and the new one is considered the new generation GWT maven plugin (aka tbroyer GWT maven plugin). The legacy maven plugin is still supported but it is strongly encouraged to use the new one for new projects.

Lauch your application in dev mode with AppEngine launcher

With version 2.1.1, you can now start debug mode with AppEngineLauncher. Simple and default configuration. This one will download and extract appengine sdk. The appengine-sdk version used is defined with a mojo property appEngineVersion. You can change in the cli with -Dgwt.appEngineVersion= :

<project>
  [...]
  <build>
    <plugins>
      [...]
      <plugin>
        <groupId>org.codehaus.mojo</groupId>
        <artifactId>gwt-maven-plugin</artifactId>
        <version>2.8.0</version>
        <configuration>
          <server>com.google.appengine.tools.development.gwt.AppEngineLauncher</server>
        </configuration>
      </plugin>
      [...]
    </plugins>
  </build>
  [...]
</project>

You can use an already locally installed appengine-sdk. The recommended way is to use a property and to set the value in your settings.xml

<project>
  [...]
  <build>
    <plugins>
      [...]
      <plugin>
        <groupId>org.codehaus.mojo</groupId>
        <artifactId>gwt-maven-plugin</artifactId>
        <version>2.8.0</version>
        <configuration>
          <appEngineHome>${appEngineSdk}</appEngineHome>
        </configuration>
      </plugin>
      [...]
    </plugins>
  </build>
  [...]
</project>