What users are saying about
165 Ratings
224 Ratings
<a href='https://www.trustradius.com/static/about-trustradius-scoring' target='_blank' rel='nofollow noopener'>trScore algorithm: Learn more.</a>
Score 8.5 out of 100
165 Ratings
<a href='https://www.trustradius.com/static/about-trustradius-scoring' target='_blank' rel='nofollow noopener'>trScore algorithm: Learn more.</a>
Score 7.7 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 Additionally, the large size of the company means that documentation is often outdated, individual support is difficult to get, and features are sometimes deprecated without warning.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. 

Community Pulse

Feature Set Ratings

  • Google App Engine ranks higher in 1 feature set: Platform-as-a-Service

Platform-as-a-Service

8.0

Google App Engine

80%
7.4

Heroku Platform

74%
Google App Engine ranks higher in 7/11 features

Ease of building user interfaces

8.3
83%
16 Ratings
7.7
77%
27 Ratings

Scalability

8.8
88%
30 Ratings
6.9
69%
44 Ratings

Platform management overhead

7.1
71%
30 Ratings
7.9
79%
43 Ratings

Workflow engine capability

8.2
82%
22 Ratings
7.1
71%
29 Ratings

Platform access control

8.1
81%
29 Ratings
5.9
59%
43 Ratings

Services-enabled integration

7.7
77%
26 Ratings
6.7
67%
42 Ratings

Development environment creation

7.6
76%
27 Ratings
8.6
86%
39 Ratings

Development environment replication

7.6
76%
26 Ratings
8.0
80%
38 Ratings

Issue monitoring and notification

9.0
90%
26 Ratings
7.4
74%
42 Ratings

Issue recovery

7.3
73%
24 Ratings
7.7
77%
39 Ratings

Upgrades and platform fixes

8.1
81%
27 Ratings
7.9
79%
44 Ratings

Attribute Ratings

  • Google App Engine is rated higher in 2 areas: Likelihood to Recommend, Performance
  • Heroku Platform is rated higher in 4 areas: Likelihood to Renew, Usability, Support Rating, Implementation Rating

Likelihood to Recommend

8.1

Google App Engine

81%
34 Ratings
6.5

Heroku Platform

65%
48 Ratings

Likelihood to Renew

8.3

Google App Engine

83%
8 Ratings
9.5

Heroku Platform

95%
6 Ratings

Usability

7.7

Google App Engine

77%
7 Ratings
9.2

Heroku Platform

92%
17 Ratings

Availability

Google App Engine

N/A
0 Ratings
8.0

Heroku Platform

80%
2 Ratings

Performance

10.0

Google App Engine

100%
2 Ratings
9.0

Heroku Platform

90%
2 Ratings

Support Rating

8.4

Google App Engine

84%
24 Ratings
8.7

Heroku Platform

87%
38 Ratings

Online Training

Google App Engine

N/A
0 Ratings
6.0

Heroku Platform

60%
1 Rating

Implementation Rating

8.0

Google App Engine

80%
2 Ratings
9.0

Heroku Platform

90%
6 Ratings

Likelihood to Recommend

Google

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.
Read full review

Salesforce

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.
Read full review

Pros

Google

  • 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.
Read full review

Salesforce

  • 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.
Read full review

Cons

Google

  • 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)
Read full review

Salesforce

  • 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.
Read full review

Pricing Details

Google App Engine

Starting Price

$0.05 Per Hour Per Instance

Editions & Modules

Google App Engine editions and modules pricing
EditionModules
Starting Price$0.051
Max Price$0.302

Footnotes

  1. Per Hour Per Instance
  2. Per Hour Per Instance

Offerings

Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services

Entry-level set up fee?

No setup fee

Additional Details

Heroku Platform

Starting Price

$85 per month

Editions & Modules

Heroku Platform editions and modules pricing
EditionModules
Production$25.001
Advanced$250.002

Footnotes

  1. per month
  2. per month

Offerings

Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services

Entry-level set up fee?

No setup fee

Additional Details

Likelihood to Renew

Google

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.
Read full review

Salesforce

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.
Read full review

Usability

Google

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.
Read full review

Salesforce

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.
Read full review

Reliability and Availability

Google

No answers on this topic

Salesforce

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.
Read full review

Performance

Google

No answers on this topic

Salesforce

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.
Read full review

Support Rating

Google

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.
Read full review

Salesforce

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.
Read full review

Implementation Rating

Google

No answers on this topic

Salesforce

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.
Read full review

Alternatives Considered

Google

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.
Read full review

Salesforce

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.
Read full review

Return on Investment

Google

  • 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.
Read full review

Salesforce

  • It has been critical in seamlessly operating our platform with runs all of our programs.
  • It has been impressive with its ability to scale quickly which results in the growth of our work.
  • It allows for tracking of different features which allows for quick problem solving which saves us time.
Read full review

Add comparison