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Heroku vs Microsoft Azure: What are the differences?

Introduction

Heroku and Microsoft Azure are both cloud computing platforms that offer a wide range of services for developers and businesses. However, they have some key differences that set them apart from each other. In this article, we will discuss the main differences between Heroku and Microsoft Azure.

  1. Pricing Model: One of the key differences between Heroku and Microsoft Azure is their pricing model. Heroku follows a more simplified pricing structure, where you pay for the resources you need without having to worry about infrastructure management. On the other hand, Microsoft Azure offers a more flexible pricing model with a variety of options based on usage, including pay-as-you-go, reserved instances, and enterprise agreements. This allows businesses to choose the most cost-effective option based on their specific needs.

  2. Supported Languages and Frameworks: Heroku is primarily focused on supporting popular programming languages and frameworks like Ruby, Python, Node.js, and Java. It provides a simple and streamlined platform for developers working with these technologies. On the other hand, Microsoft Azure offers support for a much wider range of programming languages, including C#, Java, Python, Ruby, Node.js, PHP, and more. It also provides extensive tools and frameworks for developers working with Microsoft technologies.

  3. Scalability and Performance: Heroku provides an easy-to-use scaling mechanism that allows developers to scale their applications vertically by adding more resources such as dynos or horizontally by adding more instances. However, it has some limitations in terms of scalability and performance, especially for resource-intensive applications. On the other hand, Microsoft Azure offers a highly scalable and performant infrastructure with features like auto-scaling, load balancing, and virtual machine scale sets. This makes it an ideal choice for applications that require high scalability and performance.

  4. Integration with Developer Tools: Heroku provides seamless integration with popular developer tools like Git, GitHub, and Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) tools. It simplifies the deployment process and makes it easy for developers to manage their applications from within their preferred development environment. Microsoft Azure, on the other hand, offers its own set of developer tools and services like Azure DevOps, Visual Studio, and GitHub Actions. These tools provide an integrated development and deployment experience for developers working with Microsoft technologies.

  5. Databases and Data Management: Heroku offers support for a limited set of databases including PostgreSQL, MySQL, and Redis. While it provides a simple and easy-to-use database-as-a-service (DBaaS) solution, the choices are limited compared to Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Azure offers a wide range of database options including Azure SQL Database, Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Database for PostgreSQL, Azure Database for MySQL, and more. It also provides tools and services for managing data at scale, such as Azure Data Factory, Azure Data Lake, and Azure SQL Data Warehouse.

  6. Service Offerings: Heroku primarily focuses on providing a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution, where developers can deploy and manage their applications without having to worry about infrastructure management. It abstracts away much of the underlying infrastructure and provides a streamlined experience for developers. On the other hand, Microsoft Azure offers a comprehensive range of service offerings including Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), and Function-as-a-Service (FaaS). This allows businesses to choose the most suitable service model based on their requirements.

In summary, Heroku and Microsoft Azure differ in terms of pricing model, supported languages and frameworks, scalability and performance, integration with developer tools, databases and data management options, and service offerings. Businesses and developers should evaluate their specific needs and requirements before choosing between these two cloud computing platforms.

Advice on Heroku and Microsoft Azure
Michael R.
Full-Stack Web Developer at STHCoders · | 4 upvotes · 28.1K views
Needs advice
on
HerokuHeroku
and
Microsoft AzureMicrosoft Azure
at

We are preparing to deploy a MERN-stack application (PWA) for a client. The app will be a public-facing real estate platform for listing, buying, and selling homes. While presenting a user experience much like a website, it retains the scalability and functionality of a web application.

I am weighing the pros and cons of using Microsoft Azure over Heroku, especially now that Heroku no longer supports mLAB for connecting Mongo databases. See more Suggestions and feedback always welcome.

See more
Replies (2)
Thomas Hutterer-Tik
Founder, CEO at Watt Analytics GmbH · | 4 upvotes · 9.1K views
Recommends
on
DigitalOceanDigitalOcean

Meanwhile I migrated away from Azure and Heroku to DigitalOcean. Reasons are high cost of both compared to DigitalOcean, cumbersome usability on Azure and limited stack flexibilty on Heroku. 4 month after the move we are still happy with the decision.

See more
Amhed Herrera
Recommends

Even if the integration is no longer available on Heroku, you can still startup a MongoDB hosted database and deploy it on one of the regions that Heroku uses for good latency (e.g. AWS Oregon for North America) https://www.dropbox.com/s/k2y2xbpoy95b09l/Pasted_Image_9_14_20__11_55_PM.png?dl=0

I really like how simple the Heroku interface is, how reliant their services are, and in general how great their CLI tools work.

The Azure control panel has grown to a point where it's very convoluted, and in general it's a bit more expensive than the rest. They also stopped their entrepreneur incentive program (Spark?) so there's little incentive to start something new on it.

Depending on what I'm building I usually go for: a) Vercel + Serverless functions if it's a React SPA b) Heroku, for NodeJS/Express + Postgress + Any FE framework you like c) DigitalOcean if I need full control of the server

That said... if latency is REALLY important then go with Azure. If you have tradeoffs, go for the ones that make your customer's experience better, even if you're annoyed at Azure's interface, or have to pay a few extra bucks

Hope that helps

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Decisions about Heroku and Microsoft Azure
Michael R.
Full-Stack Web Developer at STHCoders · | 6 upvotes · 13K views

This decision is a follow-up to my previous request for advice

We ultimately decided to use Heroku for the production build of the full-stack web application we built for Ormica LLC. React.js, Node.js, Express.js

The deployment had its share of issues; all of these I experienced firsthand. It would seem that Heroku takes a stricter view than even most development environments to the slightest syntax issue or the tiniest bug. Not to mention their engineers are unavailable on weekends, even if you are using a paid subscription, which I found quite surprising.

But, as I have before, I will again give credit to their documentation for being extremely detailed and intuitive. Additional credit goes to Mars Hall for the use of his trusty heroku-cra-node template as the baseline for the application.

At the end of the day, I still recommend Heroku for their thorough documentation, infallible uptime, and extensive plugin options.

Just be aware that if you missed anything in your code, the Heroku build engine is going to find it for you. Every. single. time. Which, from an objective point of view, is actually a good thing. Thanks for reading!

See more

I'm transitioning to Render from heroku. The pricing scale matches my usage scale, yet it's just as easy to deploy. It's removed a lot of the devops that I don't like to deal with on setting up my own raw *nix box and makes deployment simple and easy!

Clustering I don't use clustering features at the moment but when i need to set up clustering of nodes and discoverability, render will enable that where Heroku would require that I use an external service like redis.

Restarts The restarts are annoying. I understand the reasoning, but I'd rather watch my service if its got a memory leak and work to fix it than to just assume that it has memory leaks and needs to restart.

See more
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Pros of Heroku
Pros of Microsoft Azure
  • 703
    Easy deployment
  • 459
    Free for side projects
  • 374
    Huge time-saver
  • 348
    Simple scaling
  • 261
    Low devops skills required
  • 190
    Easy setup
  • 174
    Add-ons for almost everything
  • 153
    Beginner friendly
  • 150
    Better for startups
  • 133
    Low learning curve
  • 48
    Postgres hosting
  • 41
    Easy to add collaborators
  • 30
    Faster development
  • 24
    Awesome documentation
  • 19
    Simple rollback
  • 19
    Focus on product, not deployment
  • 15
    Natural companion for rails development
  • 15
    Easy integration
  • 12
    Great customer support
  • 8
    GitHub integration
  • 6
    Painless & well documented
  • 6
    No-ops
  • 4
    I love that they make it free to launch a side project
  • 4
    Free
  • 3
    Great UI
  • 3
    Just works
  • 2
    PostgreSQL forking and following
  • 2
    MySQL extension
  • 1
    Security
  • 1
    Able to host stuff good like Discord Bot
  • 0
    Sec
  • 114
    Scales well and quite easy
  • 96
    Can use .Net or open source tools
  • 81
    Startup friendly
  • 73
    Startup plans via BizSpark
  • 62
    High performance
  • 38
    Wide choice of services
  • 32
    Low cost
  • 32
    Lots of integrations
  • 31
    Reliability
  • 19
    Twillio & Github are directly accessible
  • 13
    RESTful API
  • 10
    PaaS
  • 10
    Enterprise Grade
  • 10
    Startup support
  • 8
    DocumentDB
  • 7
    In person support
  • 6
    Free for students
  • 6
    Service Bus
  • 6
    Virtual Machines
  • 5
    Redis Cache
  • 5
    It rocks
  • 4
    Storage, Backup, and Recovery
  • 4
    Infrastructure Services
  • 4
    SQL Databases
  • 4
    CDN
  • 3
    Integration
  • 3
    Scheduler
  • 3
    Preview Portal
  • 3
    HDInsight
  • 3
    Built on Node.js
  • 3
    Big Data
  • 3
    BizSpark 60k Azure Benefit
  • 3
    IaaS
  • 2
    Backup
  • 2
    Open cloud
  • 2
    Web
  • 2
    SaaS
  • 2
    Big Compute
  • 2
    Mobile
  • 2
    Media
  • 2
    Dev-Test
  • 2
    Storage
  • 2
    StorSimple
  • 2
    Machine Learning
  • 2
    Stream Analytics
  • 2
    Data Factory
  • 2
    Event Hubs
  • 2
    Virtual Network
  • 2
    ExpressRoute
  • 2
    Traffic Manager
  • 2
    Media Services
  • 2
    BizTalk Services
  • 2
    Site Recovery
  • 2
    Active Directory
  • 2
    Multi-Factor Authentication
  • 2
    Visual Studio Online
  • 2
    Application Insights
  • 2
    Automation
  • 2
    Operational Insights
  • 2
    Key Vault
  • 2
    Infrastructure near your customers
  • 2
    Easy Deployment
  • 1
    Enterprise customer preferences
  • 1
    Documentation
  • 1
    Security
  • 1
    Best cloud platfrom
  • 1
    Easy and fast to start with
  • 1
    Remote Debugging

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Cons of Heroku
Cons of Microsoft Azure
  • 27
    Super expensive
  • 9
    Not a whole lot of flexibility
  • 7
    No usable MySQL option
  • 7
    Storage
  • 5
    Low performance on free tier
  • 2
    24/7 support is $1,000 per month
  • 7
    Confusing UI
  • 2
    Expensive plesk on Azure

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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 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.

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