Google App Engine
Google App Engine

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Google App Engine vs Heroku: What are the differences?

Developers describe Google App Engine as "Build web applications on the same scalable systems that power Google applications". Google has a reputation for highly reliable, high performance infrastructure. With App Engine you can take advantage of the 10 years of knowledge Google has in running massively scalable, performance driven systems. App Engine applications are easy to build, easy to maintain, and easy to scale as your traffic and data storage needs grow. On the other hand, Heroku is detailed as "Build, deliver, monitor and scale web apps and APIs with a trail blazing developer experience". Heroku is a cloud application platform – a new way of building and deploying web apps. Heroku lets app developers spend 100% of their time on their application code, not managing servers, deployment, ongoing operations, or scaling.

Google App Engine and Heroku can be primarily classified as "Platform as a Service" tools.

Some of the features offered by Google App Engine are:

  • Zero to sixty: Scale your app automatically without worrying about managing machines.
  • Supercharged APIs: Supercharge your app with services such as Task Queue, XMPP, and Cloud SQL, all powered by the same infrastructure that powers the Google services you use every day.
  • You're in control: Manage your application with a simple, web-based dashboard allowing you to customize your app's performance.

On the other hand, Heroku provides the following key features:

  • Agile deployment for Ruby, Node.js, Clojure, Java, Python, Go and Scala.
  • Run and scale any type of app.
  • Total visibility across your entire app.

"Easy to deploy", "Auto scaling" and "Good free plan" are the key factors why developers consider Google App Engine; whereas "Easy deployment", "Free for side projects" and "Huge time-saver" are the primary reasons why Heroku is favored.

According to the StackShare community, Heroku has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1496 company stacks & 937 developers stacks; compared to Google App Engine, which is listed in 473 company stacks and 329 developer stacks.

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What is Google App Engine?

Google has a reputation for highly reliable, high performance infrastructure. With App Engine you can take advantage of the 10 years of knowledge Google has in running massively scalable, performance driven systems. App Engine applications are easy to build, easy to maintain, and easy to scale as your traffic and data storage needs grow.

What is Heroku?

Heroku is a cloud application platform – a new way of building and deploying web apps. Heroku lets app developers spend 100% of their time on their application code, not managing servers, deployment, ongoing operations, or scaling.

Want advice about which of these to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

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    What are some alternatives to Google App Engine and Heroku?
    windows azure
    Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology company with headquarters in Redmond, Washington.
    Amazon Web Services
    It provides on-demand cloud computing platforms to individuals, companies and governments. It offers reliable, scalable, and inexpensive cloud computing services.
    DigitalOcean
    We take the complexities out of cloud hosting by offering blazing fast, on-demand SSD cloud servers, straightforward pricing, a simple API, and an easy-to-use control panel.
    AWS Lambda
    AWS Lambda is a compute service that runs your code in response to events and automatically manages the underlying compute resources for you. You can use AWS Lambda to extend other AWS services with custom logic, or create your own back-end services that operate at AWS scale, performance, and security.
    Kubernetes
    Kubernetes is an open source orchestration system for Docker containers. It handles scheduling onto nodes in a compute cluster and actively manages workloads to ensure that their state matches the users declared intentions.
    See all alternatives
    Decisions about Google App Engine and Heroku
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    Reviews of Google App Engine and Heroku
    Review ofHerokuHeroku

    I use Heroku, for almost any project of mine. Their free plan is awesome for testing, solo developers or your startup and its almost impossible to not cover you somehow. Adding an add on is a simple command away and I find it easy to use it both on my Windows PC or my Linux laptop. Their documentation, covers almost everything. In particular I have used Heroku for Spring, Django and AngularJS. I even find it easier to run my project on my local dev with foreman start, than ./manage.py runserver (for my django projects). There is no place like Heroku for the developer!

    Review ofHerokuHeroku

    Can't beat the simplicity of deploying and managing apps, the pricing is a bit high, but you are paying for those streamlined tools. However, after several experiences of tracing issues back to Heroku's stack, not having visibility into what they are doing has prompted moving two applications off of it and on to other more transparent cloud solutions. Heroku is amazing for what it is, hosting for early stage products.

    Review ofGoogle App EngineGoogle App Engine

    With Cloud Endpoints you can create and deploy mobile backend in one hour or less. And it is free (until you need extra scale). I would not recommend to use Java - python is faster and has all new appengine features.

    Pros: everything is in one place: task queue, cron, backend instances for data processing, datastore, mapreduce. Cons: you cannot easily move your code from GAE. Even with special 3rd party services.

    Review ofHerokuHeroku

    I've been using Heroku for 3 years now, they have grown super fast and each time they're improving their services. What I really like the most is how easily you can show to your client the advances on you project, it would take you maximum 15 minutes to configure two environments (Staging/Production). It is simply essential and fantastic!

    Review ofHerokuHeroku

    I liked how easy this was to use and that I could create some proof of concepts without have to pay. The downside for NodeJS is remote debugging. Pretty much have to depend on logging where Azure allows remote debugging with Node Inspector.

    Review ofHerokuHeroku

    Using Heroku takes away all the pains associated with managing compute and backing services. It may require a little extra optimisation and tweaks, but these constraints often make your app better anyway.

    Review ofGoogle App EngineGoogle App Engine

    With Cloud Endpoints you can create and deploy mobile backend in one hour or less.

    How developers use Google App Engine and Heroku
    Avatar of StackShare
    StackShare uses HerokuHeroku

    Not having to deal with servers is a huge win for us. There are certainly trade-offs (having to wait if the platform is down as opposed to being able to fix the issue), but we’re happy being on Heroku right now. Being able to focus 100% of our technical efforts on application code is immensely helpful.

    Two dynos seems to be the sweet spot for our application. We can handle traffic spikes and get pretty consistent performance otherwise.

    We have a total of four apps on Heroku: Legacy Leanstack, StackShare Prod, StackShare Staging, StackShare Dev. Protip: if you’re setting up multiple environments based on your prod environment, just run heroku fork app name. Super useful, it copies over your db, add-ons, and settings.

    We have a develop branch on GitHub that we push to dev to test out, then if everything is cool we push it to staging and eventually prod. Hotfixes of course go straight to staging and then prod usually.

    Avatar of Casey Smith
    Casey Smith uses Google App EngineGoogle App Engine

    PaaS for back-end components, including external data ingestion APIs, front-end web service APIs, hosting of static front-end application assets, back-end data processing pipeline microservices, APIs to storage infrastructure (Cloud SQL and Memcached), and data processing pipeline task queues and cron jobs. Task queue fan-out and auto-scaling of back-end microservice instances provide parallelism for high velocity data processing.

    Avatar of StackShare
    StackShare uses HerokuHeroku

    We keep the Metrics tab open while we load test, and hit refresh to see what’s going on: heroku metric

    I would expect the graphs to expand with some sort of detail, but that’s not the case. So these metrics aren’t very useful. The logs are far more useful, so we just keep the tail open while we test.

    Avatar of Lawrence Cheuk
    Lawrence Cheuk uses Google App EngineGoogle App Engine

    checking a swap require a lot of cpu resource, roster normally come out same day of month, every month, at a particular time. Which make very high spike, our flag ship product, iSwap, with the capability looking swap possibility with 10000 other rosters base on user critieria, you need a cloud computing give you this magnitude of computing power. gae did it nicely, user friendly, easy to you, low cost.

    Avatar of Tim Lucas
    Tim Lucas uses HerokuHeroku

    Heroku runs the web and background worker processes. Auto-deployments are triggered via GitHub commits and wait for the Buildkite test build to pass. Heroku pipelines with beta release phase execution (for automatically running database migrations) allowed for easy manual testing of big new releases. Web and worker logs are sent to Papertrail.

    Avatar of Jeff Flynn
    Jeff Flynn uses HerokuHeroku

    As much as I love AWS EC, I prefer Heroku for apps like this. Heroku has grown up around Rails and Ruby, massive set of add-ons that are usually one-click setup, and I once had to perform an emergency app scale-up a that I completed in seconds from my mobile phone whilst riding the Bangkok subway. Doesn't get much easier than that.

    Avatar of Matt Welke
    Matt Welke uses HerokuHeroku

    Used for proofs of concept and personal projects where I want to remain in a free tier (as opposed to a service like DigitalOcean), and application state must outlive an HTTP request/response cycle.

    Heroku Postgres sometimes used as a free tier PostgreSQL managed database linked to non-Heroku apps, for example AWS Lambda.

    Avatar of CommentBox.io
    CommentBox.io uses Google App EngineGoogle App Engine

    App engine fills in the gaps in the increasingly smaller case where it's necessary for us to run our own APIs.

    Avatar of Abhijeet Gokar
    Abhijeet Gokar uses Google App EngineGoogle App Engine

    Very easy to make cloud computing of ML models , and use containers like Kubernetes.

    Avatar of Vamsi Krishna
    Vamsi Krishna uses Google App EngineGoogle App Engine

    Cloud instances to run our app, Cloud MySQL , Network Load Balancer

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