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Heroku Platform

Heroku Platform


What is Heroku Platform?

The Heroku Platform, now from Salesforce, is a platform-as-a-service based on a managed container system, with integrated data services and ecosystem for deploying modern apps. It takes an app-centric approach for software delivery, integrated with developer tools and workflows. It’s three main…

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Popular Features

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  • Upgrades and platform fixes (44)
  • Scalability (44)
  • Platform management overhead (43)
  • Platform access control (43)
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per month



per month

Entry-level set up fee?

  • No setup fee


  • Free Trial
  • Free/Freemium Version
  • Premium Consulting / Integration Services

Starting price (does not include set up fee)

  • $85 per month
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Platform as a Service is the set of tools and services designed to make coding and deploying applications much more efficient

Avg 8.1
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Product Details

What is Heroku Platform?

The Heroku Platform, now from Salesforce, is a platform-as-a-service based on a managed container system, with integrated data services and ecosystem for deploying modern apps. It takes an app-centric approach for software delivery, integrated with developer tools and workflows. It’s three main tool are: Heroku Developer Experience (DX), Heroku Operational Experience (OpEx), and Heroku Runtime.

Heroku Developer Experience (DX)
Developers deploy directly from tools like Git, GitHub or Continuous Integration (CI) systems without the need to manage infrastructure. The web-based Heroku Dashboard makes it possible to manage applications online and gain visibility into performance.

Heroku Operational Experience (OpEx)
OpEx helps developers troubleshoot and remediate issues and customize the ops experience to identify and address trends in application health. Heroku provides a set of tools to alert teams if something goes wrong, or to automatically scale web dynos if the response time for web requests exceeds a specified threshold.

Heroku Runtime
Heroku runs apps inside dynos—smart containers on a fully managed runtime environment. Developers deploy their code written in Node, Ruby, Java, PHP, Python, Go, Scala, or Clojure to a build system which produces an app that's ready for execution. The system and language stacks are then monitored, patched, and upgraded. The runtime keeps apps running without manual intervention.

Heroku Platform Technical Details

Deployment TypesSoftware as a Service (SaaS), Cloud, or Web-Based
Operating SystemsUnspecified
Mobile ApplicationNo

Frequently Asked Questions

Heroku Platform starts at $85.

AWS Elastic Beanstalk, CloudFoundry, and Red Hat OpenShift are common alternatives for Heroku Platform.

Reviewers rate Development environment creation highest, with a score of 8.6.

The most common users of Heroku Platform are from Small Businesses (1-50 employees).
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Reviews and Ratings


Attribute Ratings


(1-25 of 48)
Companies can't remove reviews or game the system. Here's why
Emily Cooper | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Heroku runs the back end of our virtual mentoring platform that facilitates our education programs. It allows for email notifications to be sent to users, and all of the other back-end servers and operating systems to seamlessly work together to run the platform. It is an essential part of our programming and we chose it purposely when we rebuilt the platform entirely.
  • Streamlines different functionality.
  • Makes monitoring activity accessible.
  • More user friendly for those who aren't familiar with coding.
  • Progress summaries for users with activity reports.
  • Potentially a user overview tour of Heroku.
When you have a platform that needs to function for multiple different users and those who would like to track activity and be able to scale up or down based on usage.
Ana Andres del Valle | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 1 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Heroku is becoming an average platform with poor support [in my opinion]. Since the acquisition, [I feel] Heroku has put aside engineering quality. Additionally, the support people, [not] only they are not helpful, [I believe] they actually are giving completely [inaccurate] and dangerous advice. Our database has been under attack for days. Heroku support has been telling us there is nothing to worry [about] despite very suspicious Postgress 28000 errors, from external services (bots) trying to hit and get access to our database. I am still waiting for Heroku to tell us how to best solve this or at least how to change the name of our database with no disruption. In the meanwhile, our website is struggling with the consequences of this 'force brute' attack. [I would] not trust Heroku's support advice.
  • Not much lately [in my opinion]
  • Simple product to use
  • Support
  • Documentation
June 07, 2021

Great for startups

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
It's used by the R&D to host the production / staging and dev environments across most services.
  • easy deployments
  • fast setup
  • low maintenance for infrastructure
  • easy to change and adapt
  • pricing
  • better selection of server/dyno types
It's amazing for startups with relative small scale that want to run fast and not worry or spend time about infrastructure.

It's less appropriate when you get to a certain scale where you need your infra to be adjusted to your needs. Also when you get to a certain scale and the price just doesn't make sense.
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We host all our web applications on Heroku. It was the fastest and simplest way to build our proof of concept years ago, and it has scaled well with us over the years. Good communication from the company on periodic scheduled maintenance, and we've never had an issue with platform reliability.
  • Server hosting.
  • Database hosting.
  • Pricing - more expensive than other modern options.
  • Marketplace add-ons sometimes change with little notice.
Heroku is great for early-stage products. It's very simple to set up multiple environments in a continuous delivery pipeline, and dozens (hundreds?) of one-click integrations with third party tools make it incredibly easy to experiment with different offerings. We're happy to spend time building our apps, not managing servers.

The convenience does come with a cost, and at scale, it's more expensive than other options we've looked at more recently. Overall, we've been happy with Heroku as a platform.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We're using Heroku Platform to quickly ship our web applications to our customer. Heroku Platform made it very easy for us to do an initial launch of our application quickly and fairly cheaply to start with. Heroku Platform also made it possible to scale our application once it gained enough traffic without much hassle.
  • Easy to use
  • Fairly cheap to start with
  • Fairly easy to scale the application server
  • Not 100% reliable on the cheapest plan; we've had a couple instances of downtime over the year
  • Limited number of supported languages
  • Limited choice of database
Heroku Platform is very good if you need to launch your web application quickly at low cost. If you are a startup just starting the business or just need to launch a simple website or webapp that supported by Heroku Platform, Heroku Platform is one of the best choices available. However, if you need a complex web application with a lot of moving gear involved, Heroku Platform might not be for you.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Used to quickly and easily deploy an application that we were developing
  • Quick to configure
  • Quick to deploy
  • Easy to use
  • Pricing could be cheaper
If you need a basic environment setup that you can deploy to Heroku is good! If you need something that is more manageable get with something like AWS
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Heroku is the platform in which we deploy our applications. It hosts the backend services and it's dependencies such as databases, message queue platform, etc. Instead of setting up a virtual machine and deploy things manually, with Heroku we just attach it to a code repository and automate the deployment to it. It abstracts the resources units and uses a much easier one named `dyno` which allows a much easier scaling mechanism.
  • Continuous deployment via repositories
  • Abstraction of computing resources
  • Add-ons mechanism (databases, message-queue services, etc.)
  • Some Heroku-specific errors are hard to debug
I consider Heroku to be an outstanding platform. It is perfectly suited for agile teams that want to quickly develop and deploy their applications without losing time on setting up virtual machines, dependencies and deploying. With Heroku, you can deploy Docker images, code from repositories, and just let it handle it. If at some point your application gets bottlenecked and you need more computing resources then it's as easy as adding another dyno. No need to set up anything, just focus on writing your application code!
September 30, 2019

Almost Zero Learning Curve!

Sagiv Frankel | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
It enables us to deploy quickly and simply. Heroku enables us to get multiple services with almost zero DevOps overhead. We have many different services and many full-stack developers and would like for all of them to be able to create, develop, test and deploy their services with minimal as possible an operational learning curve and set-up.
  • Monitoring is very simple and easy to use for most use cases.
  • Pipelines (development to production) are very simple. Application rollbacks are also very easy.
  • Notifications and alerts are simple and easy to use.
  • Very easy integration with other sass services and products.
  • Docker support is lacking.
  • You can't create multiple HTTP network services without creating separate apps.
  • Enterprise grain security concerns are hard to address.
  • It can get pretty expensive if you also take the actual infrastructure into the cost calculation.
  • Simple CRUD services that have reasonable scale requirements are very well suited for Heroku.
  • Simple task-based services can also work well with Heroku.
  • If you do not have the resources (or priority) to create complex deployment environments go with Heroku.
  • Highly scaled, Highly concurrent, Network intense and highly complex systems that need a lot of introspection are not very well suited for Heroku.
  • Systems with high-security requirements are also not well suited to Heroku.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use Heroku extensively to build our products on; we make extensive use of Heroku's tooling and analytics to get software up and running with ease, and benefit from them abstracting away server instances so that we can easily scale up and down as needed. Beyond that, we also see a lot of value in a dedicated DevOps team handling issues like patching vulnerabilities, and handling underlying hardware failures – all of which would be prohibitively expensive before we really began to scale up. Heroku lets us access all that at a fraction of the price of an FTE dedicated to it.
  • Great APIs: Heroku's APIs are extremely useful and always improving.
  • Developer-friendly documentation: Heroku's docs are thorough and well-written.
  • Great Customer Support: Heroku's front-line support is great, and knows when to escalate directly to people working on the product.
  • Heroku Metrics is great, but we'd love to see direct API access (and the ability to add and customize our own metrics).
  • Heroku's status/downtime/maintenance notification system could be improved with better granularity to help filter irrelevant alerts.
Heroku is fantastic at the beginning of a product lifecycle – in particular, because there are going to be some architecture decisions that will benefit from planning around a PaaS structure. Because of Heroku's fractional and low pricing, it's easy to start up on Heroku and scale up over time without incurring a huge up-front fixed cost.
At the other end, I'd imagine that larger organizations who have in-house staff doing DevOps might see a lot of duplication between those staff and what Heroku is doing to add value. At some point, the premium you're paying Heroku would probably prompt you to move those functions or keep them in-house.
Andrew Starodubtsev | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Heroku is an innovative platform for fast web applications development and thus ideal for deploying demos / testing environments / learning / APIs / microservices, etc. Heroku is used primarily as platform for APIs integration. Many software vendors provide Open Source web applications and microservices with API and documentation, ready to be deployed at Heroku with one click or with some manual tuning and configuration, the rest is automated and integrated with various cloud services and platforms by default.
  • Opensource (with extensive documentation)
  • Innovative (cutting-edge web technologies, latest versions of programming languages, tools, services, integrations)
  • Focused on speed and scalability
  • Free pricing plan and pricing in general
  • Experimentation
  • Heroku requires installation of Heroku CLI tools locally.
The simplest scenario is when some developer engineers a website or portal or online service with third-party integrations and there is a requirement to build some kind of infrastructure, every integrated app (back-end) will live on Heroku, providing APIs / microservices to main application that will aggregate all the data and display on main website. The main website can be easily deployed to Heroku. Everything can be additionally tested, secured, etc right at Heroku. Due to Heroku platform flexibility there are many successful scenarios and use cases.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use Heroku as a platform for developing applications, services, websites, and landing pages. Heroku is used by the technology department and product development. Heroku is one of the most versatile platforms ever, it was the first cloud platform as a service. In a marketing agency, it is a good platform to develop customer applications, landing pages, and websites.

  • User-friendly interface.
  • Supports many languages, databases, and other services in the form of addons.
  • Super easy to deploy!
  • Large learning curve.
  • For small and simple applications, it is possible to get it free of cost.
  • There could be a form of local currency billing.
  • There could be a better organization of apps on the dashboard, with apps split by customers.
  • There is a certain limitation with some addons, which may make your application unfeasible and you may have to migrate to another platform.
It is perfect for the custom development of small applications, services, and websites where there is a limited budget or cost forecast. It is a good platform for scalable services and applications, with a great capability to scale an application when needed. In some cases, Heroku may not be as well suited, because when using some addons with more expensive plans, the cost can be quite high compared to AWS or GCP.
Alec Dibble | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Heroku is being used organization-wide to handle most of the web-related infrastructure. Production and staging servers for most of our backend platforms live in Heroku, including Ruby on Rails, Wordpress, and Nginx platforms. Much of our support infrastructure is also hosted using Heroku add-ons, including Redis and Solr. Heroku helps simplify Dev-Ops and provides an easy path for any engineer to utilize and launch to our staging and production servers.
  • The push to deploy almost always works and is very smooth and seamless.
  • The Heroku add-ons have always been very reliable and easy to install.
  • Their documentation is very thorough, and they have built a mechanism using buildpacks to make their platform very flexible.
  • Some features that can be critical for security are hidden behind their Enterprise offering.
  • The product is much pricier than using cloud providers like AWS, Azure, or Digital Ocean. It does solve a lot of Dev-Ops headaches, but may be too expensive for some companies.
  • Some logging and auditing functionality is also somewhat hidden behind the Enterprise offering, where many other platforms offer this out-of-the-box.
Heroku is great for a lean team that has a healthy budget for their web tech. It enables teams to set up and deploy to servers very quickly, without much coordination. I have setup equivalent deployment services in AWS and Digital Ocean, but it took a lot of time and trial and error on each of those platforms to reach as smooth of a deployment experience as Heroku. Heroku works great out of the box. As long as you don't have unusual requirements and are OK with the relatively monolithic structure that Heroku enforces, it is a great choice for staging and production web application servers.
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Heroku is being used by several of our departments to host their backend in the cloud. We primarily utilize their computing solution and their postgres database solution as part of our cloud infrastructure. These workloads are not heavy, but they were inherited from existing teams.
  • Easy integration with the other Salesforce products.
  • Has similar if not better features then other cloud providers, but has the advantage of being less development intensive.
  • Quick and easy provisioning of commonly used resources.
  • The cost can be quite high even for small resource consumption.
  • Support can be enhanced upon as it's similar to other Salesforce products.
  • There tends to be a lot more maintenance required than other providers.
I would highly recommend it for anyone that is already engaging with Salesforce, but I wouldn't recommend it to someone that's looking to get into the cloud initially. Heroku's selling point is that it's a good platform to get you into the cloud with less technical resources as it follows the goals of Salesforce's no-code strategy.
Mark Hutter | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Heroku is used to host and run our web application and background processes. Mainly our software team and data science team use Heroku. The software team uses Heroku and various plugins to deploy and monitor the performance of the web applications and background tasks. It is the hosting services that runs our SaaS product.
  • It makes deployment, environment configuration, and simple manageability extraordinarily simple and easy to do, and getting up and going is a wonderfully simple process.
  • The metrics included are excellent as a first resource for diagnosing high level issues.
  • For beginners, Heroku is an excellent tool, making initial deployment and environment configuration wonderfully easy and fast.
  • Heroku is absolutely fantastic on the mobile break point (mobile responsiveness). As a startup, things still happen on weekends while out at the park or driving out of town, and it has been wonderful to be able to troubleshoot or restart servers from the phone.
  • The Heroku CLI provides a wonderful interface for interacting with the cloud environment.
  • Heroku does not provide static IP addresses. For most applications this is not a concern, but in particular cases, especially around explicitly sensitive data, this makes Heroku prohibitive.
  • For a more senior engineer seeking to SSH onto a server and monitor the machine's performance, or extract log files for extensive research, Heroku does not provide a great way to do this.
  • Heroku permissions controls could be more granular. For instance, allowing some users to view environment variables while others can not view these.
Heroku is the best choice for any developer working on personal projects or small applications. Heroku is also a great choice for an organization with a small technical team relative to the amount of technical throughput. Heroku takes care of the "easy" configurations for you, and comes out of the box with so much. Although the price point is slightly higher, the time and effort saved is well worth the money. Heroku may not be the best case when it comes to more restricted and complicated fields, like healthcare, which are subject to government regulations around access control and logging and log persistence.
Bryan McAnulty | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use Heroku as part of our hosting for our SaaS business. It is not the only web host we use, but for Ruby on Rails web apps that we want to be able to deploy quickly, it is a great solution. Whether or not projects stay on Heroku long term, new projects always start using it. Developers love how easy it is for them to deploy to, and how easy it is to deploy review apps to create multiple staging environments.
  • Ease of configuration and scaling.
  • Ease of code deployment.
  • Ease of deploying staging environments.
  • An ephemeral file system may require workarounds certain developers are not used to.
  • The cost is high and can easily balloon as you grow if you aren't careful.
  • While configuration is super simple, it will not be as flexible as bare metal servers.
For deploying rails apps, Heroku is a great solution. The ease of use especially starting out on new projects is great. Developers are familiar with and enjoy using it.
If you already have a bare-metal solution that has scaled well with your own DevOps team, then moving to Heroku later would likely only introduce a higher cost without many other benefits.
August 14, 2019

Heroku Review

Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Heroku was used by our organization in our technology department to build and deploy a web platform. The problems it addressed was storage, resources and monitoring of the platform.
  • Heroku supplied the appropriate resources to complete our project.
  • Heroku made deploying our platform simple with their intuitive user interface.
  • What would benefit overall is for specific descriptions of errors or issues with platform/app deployment. Many times there were errors shown that only gave brief, vague descriptions of the problem. For example, "mounting and logging issues" or "application timed out". A more detailed description as well as a focus on where the problem occured, would be beneficial.
Heroku is well suited in providing the proper resources for deployment as well as managing web applications.
August 13, 2019

Easy Peezy Heroku

Chris Barretto | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use Heroku as our primary hosting service for our web application. It takes care of scaling when it comes to our database size, web traffic spikes, and background jobs. Deployment and maintenance come with ease without having to worry about managing our infrastructure. We have multiple web applications that serve as our staging and production environments, and we use a tagging system that rolls out our deploys quickly. The scheduler comes in very handy to mimic cronjobs necessary to run at specific times. Without having to worry about the systems side of development, we can concentrate more on features.
  • On-demand scalability
  • Ease of deployment
  • Command Line Interface
  • Fail safe when Amazon has problems. I understand that some of the ownership is on us, but we would prefer if we didn't have to resort to another service for backup.
We like to keep our web workers around 3, but often times we need to send out newsletters to thousands of users in a timely manner. In this scenario, Heroku makes it easy to crank up the workers to 20, in order to run through the distribution quickly, and immediately scale back down on success of all the jobs. This avoids unnecessary costs to have that many simultaneous resources running all the time.
Willian Molinari | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Heroku has both, a free and a paid plan. I [have] used the free tier for many years now, and it's the best platform to deploy an MVP of a Rails application, no doubt. It provides all the tools you need to deploy and manage your application in production so that you can focus on the development of your product. The paid plan is a natural choice when you validate your idea since you're used to the tools and the application is ready for the infrastructure. Both, free and paid, are excellent products.
  • The tooling is simply amazing. You can deploy your application in some minutes without any prior experience with the platform.
  • Their way of building applications encourage you to think about scalability and composability of your app.
  • They have a big community around the platform and many add-ons written by third-parties.
  • The price is not so affordable when you start growing. For small companies, needing small containers, it works quite well but for large applications, it may be too expensive.
For small companies that are building a new app or already have one being maintained by a very small team, Heroku is perfect. The price will be affordable and it will totally pay the price of having all the tooling they provide. When you start growing, the platform may become too expensive for the size of the company, so it's important to be prepared to change in case you reach this phase.
Richard Rout | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We used Heroku to deploy and host our backend services. It was used by the whole company and it made deploying, hosting and scaling our software and infrastructure so easy to manage and do, we didn't need to hire a specialized devops or IT person to manage it for us.
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to deploy services
  • Easy to add plugins
  • Could provide a bit more customization
  • Could be a little easier on the pricing side
  • Could provide better insight tools
Heroku is SO much less complicated than any other hosting providers out there. You can go from writing an app to having it deployed in a matter of minutes. You don't have to worry about physical machines, specifications, rolling deployments, uptime, or anything. Heroku handles everything for you with a series of simple commands.
It's not great if you want ultimate control over all those aspects.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Heroku is a great platform for quickly spinning up small web apps. If I had any demo product or simple sample I was working on, I would deploy it to Heroku because of the ease of development. The amount of hooks and integrations Heroku has with other services also make it an excellent choice to get started on a project.
  • Quick to get started
  • Countless Integrations
  • CLI is easy to use
  • The cold start times can be brutal for free plans
  • Cost can be expensive if you have many dynos
  • Have to be careful of third party integration pricing as well
Ease of use and spinning up a quick project is where this really shines. It also makes it easy to connect to some third-party services to help with your app while making development experience much easier. For example, adding a MongoDB database to your web app with Heroku can be done in just a few clicks. Highly recommend it for quick and small demo projects.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use Heroku to control our web stack across the entire organization. Our engineers are able to scale and control server instances, web, database and others through one easy to use control panel. Heroku runs our website and the background jobs that the website depends on. It addresses the problem of having a single place to control all things related to our web stack.
  • Easy to use control panel
  • Virtually effortless to scale server instances with the click of a button
  • Fully managed servers, although you still have good control over what is run on the instances
  • Price has crept up a bit
  • The plugin system is useful, but sometimes not perfect
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.
Collin Berg | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Heroku is a fantastic online hosting resource for use in small projects. The workflow is great for trial and error learning, and getting used to pushing and pulling using Git. I've used Heroku to deploy social media bots and other Python scripts. The documentation on various pipes and addons required to get your project up and running are also well documented and easy to follow.
  • Free Option is great for people just learning or wanting to make simple apps
  • Very easy to create several environments for your app in no time with exact clones
  • Documentation is easy to follow and full of tutorials
  • If you're not careful, you can easily create an expensive app by accident.
  • Inconsistant experience with all the other add-ons. Some are not documented well.
Heroku is great for learning to code and learning how hosting works. I've used Heroku for a few different projects ranging from python chat bots, to small websites. Heroku is an app host, not a webhost, so i would not use it to host or learn web development. For small-scale apps and prototypes, Heroku is super affordable, even I hosted many of my apps in free plans.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
The product we offer is a web-based, SaaS genealogy platform. The entire platform is hosted by Heroku, making it our most significant tech vendor by far. Because of Heroku's simple deployment model, we were able to set up the initial platform and are able to support it with a small technology team.
  • 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.
  • Heroku can get pricey pretty quickly as you scale.
  • The quality of add-on vendors is increasingly variable as Heroku expands the marketplace.
Heroku is very well-suited to early stage and/or rapidly changing projects. It is great for getting moving quickly or changing direction quickly. In scenarios where there is already scale or well-defined requirements, it may be preferable to set things up directly on AWS or another cloud provider to avoid the additional costs of Heroku as the middleman.
June 07, 2019

Easy Deployments

Dillon Welch | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Heroku is used to host our backend Ruby on Rails API server, our Postgres database, and our Salesforce Connect logic to sync our data to Salesforce.
  • Easy deployments
  • Variety of quality add-ons
  • Good UI/UX
  • Autoscaling
  • Cost
  • Support for React
Heroku is very well suited for deploying web application servers written in the languages that they support. Heroku is not at all suited for other languages as well as hosting things like javascript assets.
Ben Gelsey | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
As a Ruby on Rails freelancer/consultant (and website owner) I often am tasked to choose the initial hosting stack for my client's new websites/app backends. While Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the new "nobody got fired for buying IBM," I always advise my clients to start with Heroku. With Heroku, your developers will waste zero time on boilerplate configuration tasks that every website needs. Sure, Heroku might cost 2x more than AWS (after all, they themselves are built on AWS), but if your fixed cost in developer time is also 2X, then as a startup you'll come out way ahead using Heroku.
In summary, if you want brain-dead simple hosting for popular web frameworks like Ruby on Rails, NodeJS, to this day nobody beats Heroku.
  • Amazingly clear and straightforward documentation (versus the quagmire of AWS docs).
  • Deploy your entire site in one command.
  • Setting up asynchronous job processing for long running operations (e.g. sending emails, making external API calls).
  • A wonderful portfolio of tightly-integrated add-ons in their marketplace.
  • 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.
Heroku is great if your developer's time is more valuable than your expected hosting bill. I'd put the magic number at 100,000 monthly users for a typical site. If your traffic will be below this for the next 6+ months, then Heroku is a no-brainer over more complex and unwieldy competitors like AWS. Only invest the effort in AWS when your traffic is high enough to merit it.
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