What users are saying about
146 Ratings
199 Ratings
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Score 8 out of 100
146 Ratings
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Score 8.3 out of 100

Highlights

Google App Engine and Heroku Platform are application environments and hosts for people who want to focus on development work, not complicated server setup and maintenance. Google App Engine is a large, well-known, robust product that scales automatically for traffic spikes, while Heroku’s smaller pricing tiers and specific focus make it great for smaller teams on a more limited budget.

Features

Google App Engine and Heroku Platform are both quick and simple environments for developers, but there are standout features of each.

After you choose the type of service you want, Google App Engine is priced according to volume, so you pay for exactly what you’ve used. If your site or application experiences a traffic spike, Google App Engine will adjust automatically to handle that traffic, so there’s much less risk of an outage or slowdown. Security features are included with every type of service. Google is a household name, so it’s easy to get clients on board with using it. 

Heroku is priced in tiers, and each tier has specific features and workloads, so you’ll never be surprised by your bill. It’s quick and simple to use, and pricing tiers include up-to-date documentation and support. Heroku server monitoring tools are easy to use on desktop or mobile, so you can oversee your applications from anywhere.

Limitations

Though Google App Engine and Heroku Platform provide similar services, each has specific limitations that may inform which one is best for your needs.

Google App Engine may be a robust, well-known product that scales easily, but the scaling comes with a downside. If your application or site experiences a spike in usage, the automatic scaling can lead to a large and unexpected bill. Additionally, the large size of the company means that documentation is often outdated, individual support is difficult to get, and features are sometimes deprecated without warning. And once you set up your application or site in Google App Engine, it’s easy to become locked into Google as a vendor.

Heroku Platform’s tiered pricing is a great feature for those who need their billing to be consistent, but if your app experiences a spike in usage, you must manually upgrade to the next pricing tier. The difference between the Standard 2X and Performance tiers is at least $200 per month, which is not a small amount if you’re running a lean operation. The largest Heroku tiers are $500+ per month, and if you’re running multiple applications, this can add up quickly. Several of the lower pricing tiers do not include security features you may need even for smaller applications.

Pricing

As established, Google App Engine and Heroku Platform use very different pricing methods. Both have free services available for smaller applications or trial uses. Heroku’s lowest tier is $7 per month and includes free SSL, while its highest tier with pricing available is $250-$500 per month and includes dedicated features and autoscaling. More fully featured tiers are available with custom pricing. Google’s pricing is heavily dependent on exactly what features you are using and how much, but the lowest price above the free tier is approximately $30 per month, while the highest prices range into the thousands. 

Likelihood to Recommend

Google App Engine

App Engine is such a good resource for our team both internally and externally. You have complete control over your app, how it runs, when it runs, and more while Google handles the back-end, scaling, orchestration, and so on. If you are serving a tool, system, or web page, it's perfect.If you are serving something back-end, like an automation or ETL workflow, you should be a little considerate or careful with how you are structuring that job. For instance, the Standard environment in Google App Engine will present you with a resource limit for your server calls. If your operations are known to take longer than, say, 10 minutes or so, you may be better off moving to the Flexible environment (which may be a little more expensive but certainly a little more powerful and a little less limited) or even moving that workflow to something like Google Compute Engine or another managed service.
Tristan Dobbs | TrustRadius Reviewer

Heroku Platform

Heroku is very well suited for startups looking to get a server stack up and running quickly. There is little to no overhead when managing your instances. However, you'll need a background in basic DevOps or system management to make sure everything is set up correctly. In addition, it's easy to accidentally go crazy on pricing. Make sure you're only creating the server instances you need to run the base application and set up an auto-scaler plugin to handle peaks.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Feature Rating Comparison

Platform-as-a-Service

Google App Engine
8.2
Heroku Platform
8.6
Ease of building user interfaces
Google App Engine
8.0
Heroku Platform
9.1
Scalability
Google App Engine
9.1
Heroku Platform
8.3
Platform management overhead
Google App Engine
7.6
Heroku Platform
9.0
Workflow engine capability
Google App Engine
7.8
Heroku Platform
8.2
Platform access control
Google App Engine
8.0
Heroku Platform
7.6
Services-enabled integration
Google App Engine
7.9
Heroku Platform
8.7
Development environment creation
Google App Engine
8.3
Heroku Platform
9.4
Development environment replication
Google App Engine
8.2
Heroku Platform
8.8
Issue monitoring and notification
Google App Engine
8.4
Heroku Platform
8.2
Issue recovery
Google App Engine
8.0
Heroku Platform
8.6
Upgrades and platform fixes
Google App Engine
8.4
Heroku Platform
8.9

Pros

Google App Engine

  • Quick to develop, quick to deploy. You can be up and running on Google App Engine in no time.
  • Flexible. We use Java for some services and Node.js for others.
  • Great security features. We have been consistently impressed with the security and authentication features of Google App Engine.
Jonah Dempcy | TrustRadius Reviewer

Heroku Platform

  • Heroku has a very simple deployment model, making it easy to get your application up-and-running with minimal effort. We can focus on our efforts the unique aspects of our application.
  • The robust add-on marketplace makes it easy to try out new approaches with minimal effort and investment -- and when we settle on a solution, we can easily scale it.
  • Heroku's support is quite good -- their staff is quite technical and willing to get into the weeds to diagnose even complicated problems.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Cons

Google App Engine

  • There is a slight learning curve to getting used to code on Google App Engine.
  • Google Cloud Datastore is Google's NoSQL database in the cloud that your applications can use. NoSQL databases, by design, cannot give handle complex queries on the data. This means that sometimes you need to think carefully about your data structures - so that you can get the results you need in your code.
  • Setting up billing is a little annoying. It does not seem to save billing information to your account so you can re-use the same information across different Cloud projects. Each project requires you to re-enter all your billing information (if required)
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Heroku Platform

  • Large price jumps between certain resource tiers (2x Dyno for $50 per month versus Performance Dyno for $250). Free Postgres next jumps to $50 per month.
  • Marketing/Branding to non-technical stakeholders. As the years pass, I've had to fight more to convince stakeholders on the value of Heroku over AWS.
  • Improve Buildpack documentation. This is one area where Heroku's documentation is fairly confusing.
Ben Gelsey | TrustRadius Reviewer

Likelihood to Renew

Google App Engine

Google App Engine 8.3
Based on 8 answers
App Engine is a solid choice for deployments to Google Cloud Platform that do not want to move entirely to a Kubernetes-based container architecture using a different Google product. For rapid prototyping of new applications and fairly straightforward web application deployments, we'll continue to leverage the capabilities that App Engine affords us.
Joshua Dickson | TrustRadius Reviewer

Heroku Platform

Heroku Platform 9.5
Based on 6 answers
Heroku is easy to use, services a ton of functions for you out of the box, and provides a means to get a software product off the ground and managed quickly and easily. The tools provide allows a small to medium size org to move very quickly. The CLI tools provided make managing an entire technical infrastructure simple.
Mark Hutter | TrustRadius Reviewer

Usability

Google App Engine

Google App Engine 7.6
Based on 9 answers
Google App Engine is very intuitive. It has the common programming language most would use. Google is a dependable name and I have not had issues with their servers being down....ever. You can safely use their service and store your data on their servers without worrying about downtime or loss of data.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Heroku Platform

Heroku Platform 9.1
Based on 17 answers
Easy to use web based console and easy to use command line tools; deployment is done directly from a GIT repository. What more could you ask for?The one thing that keeps me from giving it a 10 is that custom build packs are almost incomprehensible. We used one for a while because we needed cairo graphics processing. Fortunately, I was able to figure out a different way to do what we needed so that we could get off the custom build pack.
David Hart | TrustRadius Reviewer

Reliability and Availability

Google App Engine

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Heroku Platform

Heroku Platform 8.0
Based on 2 answers
Heroku availability correlates pretty strongly to AWS US EAST availability. We had a couple of times where there was a Heroku-specific issue but not for the last 7-8 months.
David Hart | TrustRadius Reviewer

Performance

Google App Engine

Google App Engine 10.0
Based on 1 answer
No answer on this topic is available.

Heroku Platform

Heroku Platform 9.0
Based on 2 answers
The only issue that I ever have is that about 1 out of 20 deployments (git push) will hang and need to be cancelled and done again.
David Hart | TrustRadius Reviewer

Support Rating

Google App Engine

Google App Engine 8.1
Based on 21 answers
Good amount of documentation available for Google App Engine and in general there is large developer community around Google App Engine and other products it interacts with. Lastly, Google support is great in general. No issues so far with them.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Heroku Platform

Heroku Platform 8.7
Based on 38 answers
I've used it for many years without facing any major problem. It's not hard at all to get used to it, it's documentation is outstanding and simple. We are close to 2020 and I don't think most of the existing companies or startups should still face old problems such as wasting time deploying code and calculate computing resources.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Implementation Rating

Google App Engine

Google App Engine 8.0
Based on 1 answer
No answer on this topic is available.

Heroku Platform

Heroku Platform 9.0
Based on 6 answers
Be ready to pay a bit more than expected in the beginning if you're migrating from a big server. The application is probably not ready for the change and you have to keep improving it with time.
It's also important to consider that you can't save anything to the disc as it will be lost when your application restarts, so you have to think about using something like S3.
Willian Molinari | TrustRadius Reviewer

Alternatives Considered

Google App Engine

We were on another much smaller cloud provider and decided to make the switch for several reasons - stability, breadth of services, and security. In reviewing options, GCP provided the best mixtures of meeting our needs while also balancing the overall cost of the service as compared to the other major players in Azure and AWS.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Heroku Platform

Heroku is the more expensive option for hosting compared to some of the cloud platforms we investigated, but it's worth it for us because of the plug-and-play nature of Heroku deployment. We can be up and running in a few minutes and know with precision how much it will cost us each month to run the application, unlike Amazon Web Services where you have to go to great pains to configure it correctly or else you might end up with a shocking monthly bill. Overall, spending the time to configure Amazon Web Services or one of its competitors is likely the more affordable and powerful choice, because you have control over so many specifics of the configuration. But it also requires the burden of continuing to maintain and update your AWS instance, whereas with Heroku they take care of security fixes and platform upgrades. It's a great service and we are happy to pay the extra cost for the value-adds Heroku provides.
Jonah Dempcy | TrustRadius Reviewer

Return on Investment

Google App Engine

  • Effective employee adoption through ease of use.
  • Effective integration to other java based frameworks.
  • Time to market is very quick. Build, test, deploy and use.
  • The GAE Whitelist for java is an important resource to know what works and what does not. So use it. It would also be nice for Google to expand on items that are allowed on GAE platform.
Paul Ford | TrustRadius Reviewer

Heroku Platform

  • Heroku allowed us to get up and running fast. Deployment was really easy and connecting to our codebase was, too. The deployment integration with GitHub is pretty slick.
  • The add-ons provisioning is so simple and the documentation is so thorough that, at least at first, it means you don't have to hire a dedicated devops person to manage this stuff.
  • Heroku has tools that allow the collaborators (those with access to the Heroku dashboard) to be able to quickly and easily do triage from just about anywhere, including your smartphone.
Shannon E. Wells-Mongiovi | TrustRadius Reviewer

Pricing Details

Google App Engine

General

Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Yes
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No

Google App Engine Editions & Modules

Edition
Starting Price$0.051
Max Price$0.301
  1. Per Hour Per Instance
Additional Pricing Details

Heroku Platform

General

Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No

Heroku Platform Editions & Modules

Edition
Production$25.001
Advanced$250.001
  1. Per Month
Additional Pricing Details

Rating Summary

Likelihood to Recommend

Google App Engine
8.0
Heroku Platform
8.5

Likelihood to Renew

Google App Engine
8.3
Heroku Platform
9.5

Usability

Google App Engine
7.6
Heroku Platform
9.1

Reliability and Availability

Google App Engine
Heroku Platform
8.0

Performance

Google App Engine
10.0
Heroku Platform
9.0

Support Rating

Google App Engine
8.1
Heroku Platform
8.7

Online Training

Google App Engine
Heroku Platform
6.0

Implementation Rating

Google App Engine
8.0
Heroku Platform
9.0

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