What is Heroku and why you should give it a chance?

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Heroku is a cloud-based platform that allows developers to build, deploy, and manage applications easily. It provides the infrastructure and tools necessary for developers to focus on writing code without worrying about server maintenance. With Heroku, developers can deploy applications in various programming languages, such as Ruby, Node.js, Python, and more. It offers seamless integration with popular version control systems like Git and provides a scalable and flexible environment for hosting web applications.

Heroku was acquired by Salesforce in 2010. Salesforce recognized the potential of Heroku’s platform-as-a-service (PaaS) capabilities and saw it as a valuable addition to its cloud computing offerings. This acquisition allowed Salesforce to expand its services and offer a comprehensive range of solutions for developers and businesses. Despite being owned by Salesforce, Heroku continues to operate as an independent entity within the Salesforce ecosystem, providing developers with a robust and user-friendly platform for application deployment and management.

Heroku is relatively easy to learn and use. It provides a user-friendly interface and command-line tools that simplify the deployment process. Developers can quickly get started with Heroku by following the official documentation and tutorials provided by Heroku. Additionally, Heroku’s seamless integration with popular version control systems like Git makes it easier for developers to deploy updates to their applications. Overall, Heroku’s focus on simplicity and ease of use makes it accessible to developers of varying skill levels.

Heroku offers several advantages for developers and businesses:

  1. Ease of Use: Heroku simplifies the deployment process by providing a user-friendly interface and command-line tools. Developers can easily deploy their applications without the need for extensive server configuration or administration.
  2. Flexibility: Heroku supports a wide range of programming languages, including Ruby, Node.js, Python, Java, PHP, and more. This flexibility allows developers to choose the language that best suits their project requirements.
  3. Scalability: Heroku allows applications to scale effortlessly with just a few clicks. Developers can easily increase or decrease the number of dynos (containers) based on application demand, ensuring that the application can handle any level of traffic.
  4. Integration: Heroku seamlessly integrates with popular version control systems like Git. This allows developers to streamline their development workflow and easily deploy updates to their applications.
  5. Add-Ons and Marketplace: Heroku offers a wide range of add-ons and an extensive marketplace. These resources provide additional functionality to applications, such as monitoring, caching, logging, databases, and more, allowing developers to enhance their applications without needing to build everything from scratch.
  6. Collaboration: Heroku provides features that facilitate team collaboration, such as sharing access to applications, managing roles and permissions, and integration with collaboration tools like Slack.
  7. Security: Heroku ensures the security of applications by automatically handling common security concerns and providing features like SSL encryption, application-level security configuration, and authentication options.
  8. Heroku and Salesforce Integration: If you are already using Salesforce services, Heroku’s integration with the Salesforce ecosystem allows for seamless connectivity between your applications and Salesforce data.

These advantages make Heroku a popular choice among developers, enabling them to focus on building and deploying applications quickly and efficiently.

Heroku supports a wide range of programming languages, allowing developers to choose the language that best suits their project requirements. The supported programming languages on Heroku include:

  1. Ruby
  2. Node.js
  3. Python
  4. Java
  5. PHP
  6. Go
  7. Scala
  8. Clojure

These are just some of the programming languages supported by Heroku. The platform also offers buildpacks that allow you to work with other languages and frameworks that are not directly supported. Heroku’s flexibility in language support enables developers to work with their preferred tools and technologies when building and deploying applications.

The pricing of Heroku depends on various factors, including the resources and services you require for your application. While Heroku offers a free tier with limited resources, it also provides paid plans with increased capabilities.

The cost of using Heroku is influenced by factors such as the number of dynos (containers) and the size of the dynos required to run your application, usage of add-ons and additional services like databases, storage, and third-party integrations, and the amount of data transfer and processing performed by your application.

It’s important to assess your application’s requirements and usage to determine the cost. Heroku provides a pricing calculator on their website (https://www.heroku.com/pricing) that allows you to estimate the cost based on your specific needs.

Remember to regularly monitor and optimize your application’s resource usage to ensure cost efficiency.

To get started with Heroku, follow these steps:

  1. Create a Heroku Account: Visit the Heroku website (https://www.heroku.com/) and sign up for a free account. Provide the required information and complete the registration process.
  2. Install the Heroku CLI: The Heroku Command Line Interface (CLI) allows you to interact with Heroku from your terminal or command prompt. Install the Heroku CLI by following the instructions provided in the Heroku documentation for your operating system (https://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/heroku-cli).
  3. Log in to the Heroku CLI: Open your terminal or command prompt and run heroku login. This command will prompt you to enter your Heroku credentials (email and password) to authenticate your account.
  4. Create a New Heroku App: Navigate to the root directory of your application and run heroku create in the terminal. This command will create a new Heroku app associated with your account.
  5. Deploy Your Application: Heroku supports different deployment methods based on your application’s codebase. The most common method is deploying directly from a Git repository. If your application is already hosted on GitHub, you can use the command heroku create --template=https://github.com/your-username/your-repo.git to create a new app and automatically set up continuous deployment from that repository. Alternatively, you can use git push heroku main to deploy directly from your local Git repo.
  6. Configure Your Heroku App: Depending on your application’s requirements, you may need to configure environment variables, add-ons, or other settings. You can manage this configuration through the Heroku dashboard or by using the Heroku CLI.
  7. Scale Your Application: By default, Heroku applications start with a single web dyno. If your application requires more resources to handle traffic, you can easily scale it up by running the heroku ps:scale web=1 command. This will add more dynos to your application, allowing it to handle increased demand.
  8. Monitor and Debug: Heroku provides a range of tools to help you monitor and debug your application. You can view logs, metrics, and other useful information through the Heroku dashboard or via the Heroku CLI.
  9. Collaborate and Manage Access: If you are working on a team, you can invite collaborators to your Heroku app and manage their access and permissions. This can be done through the Heroku dashboard or by using the Heroku CLI.
  10. Explore Add-Ons: Heroku offers a marketplace with various add-ons that can enhance your application’s functionality. You can browse the marketplace and add any necessary add-ons to your app through the Heroku dashboard.

Remember to consult the official Heroku documentation (https://devcenter.heroku.com/) for detailed information on specific topics and additional features. Happy coding!


About the author

Andrés Canavesi
Andrés Canavesi

Software Engineer with 15+ experience in software development, specialized in Salesforce, Java and Node.js.

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