AppHarbor vs OpenShift: 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, OpenShift is detailed as "Red Hat's free Platform as a Service (PaaS) for hosting Java, PHP, Ruby, Python, Node.js, and Perl apps". OpenShift is Red Hat's Cloud Computing Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering. OpenShift is an application platform in the cloud where application developers and teams can build, test, deploy, and run their applications.
AppHarbor and OpenShift 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, OpenShift provides the following key features:
- Built-in support for Node.js, Ruby, Python, PHP, Perl, and Java (the standard in today's Enterprise)
- OpenShift is extensible with a customizable cartridge functionality that allows developers to add any other language they wish. We've seen everything from Clojure to Cobol running on OpenShift.
- OpenShift supports frameworks ranging from Spring, to Rails, to Play
"Has a totally free account option" is the primary reason why developers consider AppHarbor over the competitors, whereas "Good free plan" was stated as the key factor in picking OpenShift.
OpenShift is an open source tool with 915 GitHub stars and 563 GitHub forks. Here's a link to OpenShift's open source repository on GitHub.
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Heroku vs OpenShift. I've never decided which one is better. Heroku is easier to configure. Openshift provide a better machine for free. Heroku has many addons for free. I've chosen Heroku because of easy initial set-up. I had deployment based on git push. I also tried direct deployment of jar file. Currently Heroku runs my Docker image. Heroku has very good documentation like for beginners. So if you want to start with something, let's follow Heroku. On the other hand OpenShift seems like a PRO tool supported by @RedHat.
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.
I needed a PaaS provider that didn't drop all the time and it's hard to find a good option for PHP applications. Openshift takes care of it. They are a little behind on PHP versions, but that can be solved with a custom cartridge. It requires a little more elbow grease to get rolling when you want to implement something they don't already have, but their quickstarts are great to get rolling with the basics quickly.
SG-TravelBuddy server application is hosted on Red Hat OpenShift Online (v3). SG-TravelBuddy mobile (Android) app is connecting to this server for data operations.