AppHarbor vs Flynn: 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, Flynn is detailed as "Next generation open source platform as a service". Flynn lets you deploy apps with git push and containers. Developers can deploy any app to any cluster in seconds.
AppHarbor and Flynn belong to "Platform as a Service" category of the tech stack.
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, Flynn provides the following key features:
- Flynn goes beyond 12 factor apps. Run any Linux process written in any language or framework, even stateful apps on your own servers or any public cloud.
- Scaling or adding a new cluster is simple: just add more nodes. Everything is containerized, Flynn takes care of distributing work across the cluster.
- Flynn is 100% free and open source. Flynn works great out of the box, and since Flynn is modular and API-driven it's easy to modify and swap components to suit your needs.
"Has a totally free account option" is the primary reason why developers consider AppHarbor over the competitors, whereas "Free" was stated as the key factor in picking Flynn.
Flynn is an open source tool with 7.24K GitHub stars and 534 GitHub forks. Here's a link to Flynn's open source repository on GitHub.
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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.