AppHarbor vs Azure Websites: What are the differences?
Developers describe AppHarbor as "Instantly deploy and scale .NET applications". AppHarbor is a fully hosted .NET Platform as a Service. AppHarbor can deploy and scale any standard .NET application to the cloud. On the other hand, Azure Websites is detailed as "Deploy and scale modern websites and web apps in seconds". Azure Websites is a fully managed Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables you to build, deploy and scale enterprise-grade web Apps in seconds. Focus on your application code, and let Azure take care of the infrastructure to scale and securely run it for you.
AppHarbor and Azure Websites can be primarily classified as "Platform as a Service" tools.
Some of the features offered by AppHarbor are:
- You push .NET and Windows code to AppHarbor using Git, Mercurial, Subversion or Team Foundation Server with the complimentary Git service or through integrations offered in collaboration with Bitbucket, CodePlex and GitHub.
- When AppHarbor receives your code it will be built by a build server. If the code compiles all unit tests contained in the compiled assemblies will be run. The result and progress of the build and unit test status can be monitored on the application dashboard. AppHarbor will call any service hooks that you add to notify you of the build result.
- If everything checks out the application is deployed and configured on AppHarbor application servers. AppHarbor can scale an application vertically and horizontally within seconds for better request throughout, performance and failover. AppHarbor balance load across all instances running that application. Scaling an application gives higher request thoughput, redundancy in case of instance failure and better performance.
On the other hand, Azure Websites provides the following key features:
- .NET, Java, PHP, Node.js, Python
- Built-in AutoScale and Load Balancing
- High Availability with Auto-Patching
"Has a totally free account option" is the top reason why over 7 developers like AppHarbor, while over 14 developers mention "Ease of deployment" as the leading cause for choosing Azure Websites.
What is AppHarbor?
What is Azure Websites?
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What are the cons of using AppHarbor?
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AppHarbor is an amazing tool for indie developers or startups that are just getting on their feet. To put it short, AppHarbor is the Heroku of .NET, being developer friendly, cost effective and performant.
Their platform has some nice features including the plugins (integrations with different services such as shared or dedicated RDBMS instances, document repositories, messaging queues, logging and monitoring services, etc.) that are extremely easy to use, and especially integrations with BitBucket and GitHub.
It's such a pleasure to work with the integrations mentioned, that whenever a developer pushes commits to the selected branch, AppHarbor automatically pulls, updates, builds, runs the unit tests and deploys. The cream of the crop is the fact that even the free tier supports this workflow which is practically a continuous delivery approach. And this makes AppHarbor perfect for startups and independent developers.
And, for established companies, I have to add the fact that their customer support is quite good.
We use Azure's Websites to host our app and site. Continuous deployment from GitHub is the handiest feature, check in and before you know it your updated site is already online.
Azure WebSites is the fully managed scalable platform for hosting web content and running background jobs.