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Heroku vs Heroku Postgres: What are the differences?

Heroku: 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; Heroku Postgres: Heroku's Database-as-a-Service. Based on the most powerful open-source database, PostgreSQL. Heroku Postgres provides a SQL database-as-a-service that lets you focus on building your application instead of messing around with database management.

Heroku can be classified as a tool in the "Platform as a Service" category, while Heroku Postgres is grouped under "PostgreSQL as a Service".

Some of the features offered by Heroku are:

  • 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.

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

  • High Availability
  • Rollback
  • Dataclips

"Easy deployment" is the primary reason why developers consider Heroku over the competitors, whereas "Easy to setup" was stated as the key factor in picking Heroku Postgres.

According to the StackShare community, Heroku has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1504 company stacks & 965 developers stacks; compared to Heroku Postgres, which is listed in 74 company stacks and 39 developer stacks.

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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.

What is Heroku Postgres?

Heroku Postgres provides a SQL database-as-a-service that lets you focus on building your application instead of messing around with database management.
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Why do developers choose Heroku?
Why do developers choose Heroku Postgres?

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What are some alternatives to Heroku and Heroku Postgres?
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.
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.
Firebase
Firebase is a cloud service designed to power real-time, collaborative applications. Simply add the Firebase library to your application to gain access to a shared data structure; any changes you make to that data are automatically synchronized with the Firebase cloud and with other clients within milliseconds.
Docker
The Docker Platform is the industry-leading container platform for continuous, high-velocity innovation, enabling organizations to seamlessly build and share any application — from legacy to what comes next — and securely run them anywhere
Microsoft Azure
Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that enables you to quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters. You can build applications using any language, tool or framework. And you can integrate your public cloud applications with your existing IT environment.
See all alternatives
Decisions about Heroku and Heroku Postgres
Jerome Dalbert
Jerome Dalbert
Senior Backend Engineer at StackShare · | 7 upvotes · 17.6K views
atGratify CommerceGratify Commerce
AWS Elastic Beanstalk
AWS Elastic Beanstalk
Heroku
Heroku
Rails
Rails
#PaaS

When creating the web infrastructure for our start-up, I wanted to host our app on a PaaS to get started quickly.

A very popular one for Rails is Heroku, which I love for free hobby side projects, but never used professionally. On the other hand, I was very familiar with the AWS ecosystem, and since I was going to use some of its services anyways, I thought: why not go all in on it?

It turns out that Amazon offers a PaaS called AWS Elastic Beanstalk, which is basically like an “AWS Heroku”. It even comes with a similar command-line utility, called "eb”. While edge-case Rails problems are not as well documented as with Heroku, it was very satisfying to manage all our cloud services under the same AWS account. There are auto-scaling options for web and worker instances, which is a nice touch. Overall, it was reliable, and I would recommend it to anyone planning on heavily using AWS.

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Russel Werner
Russel Werner
Lead Engineer at StackShare · | 17 upvotes · 197.8K views
atStackShareStackShare
Redis
Redis
CircleCI
CircleCI
Webpack
Webpack
Amazon CloudFront
Amazon CloudFront
Amazon S3
Amazon S3
GitHub
GitHub
Heroku
Heroku
Rails
Rails
Node.js
Node.js
Apollo
Apollo
Glamorous
Glamorous
React
React
#FrontEndRepoSplit
#Microservices
#SSR
#StackDecisionsLaunch

StackShare Feed is built entirely with React, Glamorous, and Apollo. One of our objectives with the public launch of the Feed was to enable a Server-side rendered (SSR) experience for our organic search traffic. When you visit the StackShare Feed, and you aren't logged in, you are delivered the Trending feed experience. We use an in-house Node.js rendering microservice to generate this HTML. This microservice needs to run and serve requests independent of our Rails web app. Up until recently, we had a mono-repo with our Rails and React code living happily together and all served from the same web process. In order to deploy our SSR app into a Heroku environment, we needed to split out our front-end application into a separate repo in GitHub. The driving factor in this decision was mostly due to limitations imposed by Heroku specifically with how processes can't communicate with each other. A new SSR app was created in Heroku and linked directly to the frontend repo so it stays in-sync with changes.

Related to this, we need a way to "deploy" our frontend changes to various server environments without building & releasing the entire Ruby application. We built a hybrid Amazon S3 Amazon CloudFront solution to host our Webpack bundles. A new CircleCI script builds the bundles and uploads them to S3. The final step in our rollout is to update some keys in Redis so our Rails app knows which bundles to serve. The result of these efforts were significant. Our frontend team now moves independently of our backend team, our build & release process takes only a few minutes, we are now using an edge CDN to serve JS assets, and we have pre-rendered React pages!

#StackDecisionsLaunch #SSR #Microservices #FrontEndRepoSplit

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Amazon ElastiCache
Amazon ElastiCache
Amazon Elasticsearch Service
Amazon Elasticsearch Service
AWS Elastic Load Balancing (ELB)
AWS Elastic Load Balancing (ELB)
Memcached
Memcached
Redis
Redis
Python
Python
AWS Lambda
AWS Lambda
Amazon RDS
Amazon RDS
Microsoft SQL Server
Microsoft SQL Server
MariaDB
MariaDB
Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL
Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL
Rails
Rails
Ruby
Ruby
Heroku
Heroku
AWS Elastic Beanstalk
AWS Elastic Beanstalk

We initially started out with Heroku as our PaaS provider due to a desire to use it by our original developer for our Ruby on Rails application/website at the time. We were finding response times slow, it was painfully slow, sometimes taking 10 seconds to start loading the main page. Moving up to the next "compute" level was going to be very expensive.

We moved our site over to AWS Elastic Beanstalk , not only did response times on the site practically become instant, our cloud bill for the application was cut in half.

In database world we are currently using Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL also, we have both MariaDB and Microsoft SQL Server both hosted on Amazon RDS. The plan is to migrate to AWS Aurora Serverless for all 3 of those database systems.

Additional services we use for our public applications: AWS Lambda, Python, Redis, Memcached, AWS Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), Amazon Elasticsearch Service, Amazon ElastiCache

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Docker
Docker
OpenShift
OpenShift
Heroku
Heroku

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.

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Priit Kaasik
Priit Kaasik
Engineering Lead at Katana MRP · | 8 upvotes · 8.7K views
atKatana MRPKatana MRP
LoopBack
LoopBack
Node.js
Node.js
Heroku Redis
Heroku Redis
React
React
Heroku Postgres
Heroku Postgres
Heroku
Heroku
JavaScript
JavaScript

We undertook the task of building a manufacturing ERP for small branded manufacturers. We needed to build a lot, fast with a small team, and have clear focus on product delivery. We chose JavaScript / Node.js ( React + LoopBack full stack) , Heroku and Heroku Postgres (also Heroku Redis ) . This decision has guided us to picking other key technologies. It has granted us high pace of product delivery and service availability while operating with a small team.

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Tim Nolet
Tim Nolet
Founder, Engineer & Dishwasher at Checkly · | 10 upvotes · 29.5K views
atChecklyHQChecklyHQ
Knex.js
Knex.js
Node.js
Node.js
Heroku Postgres
Heroku Postgres
Heroku
Heroku
PostgreSQL
PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL Heroku Heroku Postgres Node.js Knex.js

Last week we rolled out a simple patch that decimated the response time of a Postgres query crucial to Checkly. It quite literally went from an average of ~100ms with peaks to 1 second to a steady 1ms to 10ms.

However, that patch was just the last step of a longer journey:

  1. I looked at what API endpoints were using which queries and how their response time grew over time. Specifically the customer facing API endpoints that are directly responsible for rendering the first dashboard page of the product are crucial.

  2. I looked at the Heroku metrics such as those reported by heroku pg:outlier and cross references that with "slowest response time" statistics.

  3. I reproduced the production situation as best as possible on a local development machine and test my hypothesis that an composite index on a uuid field and a timestampz field would reduce response times.

This method secured the victory and we rolled out a new index last week. Response times plummeted. Read the full story in the blog post.

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Amazon RDS
Amazon RDS
Heroku Postgres
Heroku Postgres
Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL
Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL
Amazon EBS
Amazon EBS
PostgreSQL
PostgreSQL
Amazon EC2
Amazon EC2

I could spin up an Amazon EC2 instance and install PostgreSQL myself, review latest configuration best practices, sort Amazon EBS storage for data, set up a snapshot process etc.

Alternatively I could use Amazon RDS, Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL or Heroku Postgres and have most of that work handled for me, by a team of world experts...

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AWS Elastic Beanstalk
AWS Elastic Beanstalk
Heroku
Heroku
uWSGI
uWSGI
Gunicorn
Gunicorn

I use Gunicorn because does one thing - it’s a WSGI HTTP server - and it does it well. Deploy it quickly and easily, and let the rest of your stack do what the rest of your stack does well, wherever that may be.

uWSGI “aims at developing a full stack for building hosting services” - if that’s a thing you need then ok, but I like the principle of doing one thing well, and I deploy to platforms like Heroku and AWS Elastic Beanstalk where the rest of the “hosting service” is provided and managed for me.

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Munkhtegsh Munkhbat
Munkhtegsh Munkhbat
Software Engineer Consultant at LoanSnap · | 9 upvotes · 18.4K views
GraphQL
GraphQL
Apollo
Apollo
React
React
Heroku
Heroku
styled-components
styled-components
PostgreSQL
PostgreSQL
Prisma
Prisma
graphql-yoga
graphql-yoga
#Frontend
#Backend

In my last side project, I built a web posting application that has similar features as Facebook and hosted on Heroku. The user can register an account, create posts, upload images and share with others. I took an advantage of graphql-subscriptions to handle realtime notifications in the comments section. Currently, I'm at the last stage of styling and building layouts.

For the #Backend I used graphql-yoga, Prisma, GraphQL with PostgreSQL database. For the #FrontEnd: React, styled-components with Apollo. The app is hosted on Heroku.

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Interest over time
Reviews of Heroku and Heroku Postgres
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 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.

How developers use Heroku and Heroku Postgres
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 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 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 danlangford
danlangford uses HerokuHeroku

With its complimentary SSL (on *.herokuapp.com) we can test everything. Our dev branch is built and deployed out to Heroku. Testing happens out here. not production cause $20/mo is TOO much to pay for the ability to use my own SSL purchased elsewhere.

Avatar of PSESD
PSESD uses Heroku PostgresHeroku Postgres

Stores the admin database for the SRX apps - includes an audit log, error tracking, and SRX admin message log.

Will also store PRS rules when refactor is complete.

Avatar of Tim Lucas
Tim Lucas uses Heroku PostgresHeroku Postgres

Rock solid transactional storage of user, purchase and course activity data. During development database dumps were easy to create and download locally for testing.

Avatar of datapile
datapile uses Heroku PostgresHeroku Postgres

We use heroku PostgreSQL databases for testing alongside our sandboxed application(s) in heroku.

Extremely simple, practically a one-click setup.

Avatar of Hunt Norment
Hunt Norment uses Heroku PostgresHeroku Postgres

4 years of experience using Heroku Postgres for data storage and management.

Avatar of Kyle Fretwell
Kyle Fretwell uses Heroku PostgresHeroku Postgres

Created several tables for users, brands, deals, campaigns, and tracking.

How much does Heroku cost?
How much does Heroku Postgres cost?
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