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With decades under my belt in software technology, I've seen and used a vast array of tools. Today, I bring you an in-depth review of Heroku Cloud-platform-as-a-Service . I aim to provide you with the information you need, clear and concise, so you can determine if Heroku is the right software for your needs.

Heroku review showing members and their type of access on the platform
This is a screenshot view from Heroku's main dashboard.

Heroku Product Overview

Targeting developers and DevOps professionals, Heroku offers an intuitive workflow that integrates with frameworks and tools, such as review apps that can be triggered by a pull request, ensuring that new app features are verified in real-time environments before deployment. The platform's ability to create review apps and its Heroku pipeline address the challenges of managing and reviewing code changes, particularly for open-source contributions.

Its standout features include the Heroku dashboard – a user-friendly interface for managing web app configurations, build packs for setting up app runtime environments, and plugins for extended functionality. Whether you're managing a hobby project or a complex backend system, Heroku ensures permissions are set right, and data, like JSON, integrates smoothly, making the development process efficient and straightforward.


  • Deployment Ease: Heroku streamlines the process, allowing developers to focus on coding rather than server management.
  • Extensive Add-ons Marketplace: It offers a vast collection of third-party integrations, catering to various app needs.
  • Language Flexibility: The platform supports a plethora of programming languages, ensuring diverse development projects find a home.


  • Sleeping Dynos: Idle applications can go to sleep, leading to slower initial load times for some apps.
  • Data Storage Limitations: Its database solutions, like Heroku Postgres, have size limits that may not cater to data-intensive applications.
  • Complexity with Large Apps: While it’s great for small to medium projects, extensive applications might face challenges with scalability and management.

Expert Opinion

Having delved deep into various software technology practice management platforms, Heroku stands out in several domains. Its user-friendly interface coupled with straightforward integrations gives it an edge. Additionally, the onboarding process is smooth, and the support available, especially the rich documentation makes troubleshooting a breeze.

Compared to some competitors, Heroku might seem a tad expensive and might falter a bit when catering to massive, enterprise-level applications. However, for a majority of developers, especially those in startups mid-sized companies, or individual developers, the ease of deployment and the rich marketplace will be invaluable.

Heroku: The Bottom Line

What sets Heroku apart from similar platforms is its genuine commitment to developer experience. Unlike many venues where the focus might drift towards infrastructure or purely scalability, Heroku offers a balance of both while ensuring the developer's journey remains smooth. Its deployment process, undeniably one of its strongest suits, removes a huge weight from a developer's shoulders.

Add to that a marketplace that is so rich in integrations and the flexibility to jump between languages as needed, and you see why Heroku has carved a unique space in the industry. The sleeping dynos, although a point of contention for some, is a small price to pay for the holistic benefits the platform brings.

Heroku Deep Dive

Here's a deep dive into Heroku features, best use cases, pricing, customer support, and other purchase factors.

Product Specifications

  1. User Management - Yes
  2. Task Management - No
  3. Time Tracking - No
  4. Billing and Invoicing - No
  5. Document Management - No
  6. Reporting and Analytics - Yes
  7. Client Portal - No
  8. Calendar and Scheduling - No
  9. Communication Tools - Yes
  10. Code Deployment - Yes
  11. Code Integration - Yes
  12. Scalability Features - Yes
  13. Database Management - Yes
  14. Multi-language Support - Yes
  15. Add-ons Marketplace - Yes
  16. Environment Variables - Yes
  17. Security Features - Yes
  18. Collaboration Tools - No
  19. Cloud Infrastructure - Yes
  20. Continuous Integration - Yes
  21. Application Monitoring - Yes
  22. Email Notifications - Yes
  23. Performance Metrics - Yes
  24. Backup and Recovery - Yes
  25. Automatic OS Patching - Yes

Heroku Feature Overview

  1. Code Deployment: Heroku offers a straightforward git-based deployment system, simplifying the release process.
  2. Multi-language Support: Heroku supports various programming languages, catering to diverse project needs.
  3. Add-ons Marketplace: Heroku's rich collection of third-party integrations extends app capabilities.
  4. Database Management: With services like Heroku Postgres, app data storage and management are simplified.
  5. Scalability Features: Dynos in Heroku ensure applications can scale up or down based on demand.
  6. Security Features: Heroku provides automated OS patching and SSL to keep apps secure.
  7. Environment Variables: Configuration and sensitive data can be managed using Heroku's environment variables.
  8. Continuous Integration: Heroku offers built-in CI tools, easing the development process.
  9. Application Monitoring: Monitoring tools in Heroku ensure apps run efficiently, with metrics for performance evaluation.
  10. Backup and Recovery: Heroku ensures that app data remains safe with regular backups and easy recovery options.

Standout Functionality

  1. Git-based Deployment: Unlike many platforms, Heroku's deployment leverages the familiar git commands, making releases intuitive for developers.
  2. Dynos Infrastructure: Dynos, lightweight Linux containers, offer a unique scaling solution distinct from typical server setups.
  3. Heroku Add-ons Marketplace: An extensive array of third-party integrations, curated and managed by Heroku, which is rarely as extensive in competing platforms.


Heroku integrates natively with various tools like GitHub for code management, Heroku Postgres, Redis, and Kafka are notable integrations for data management. Heroku review also offers an API, enabling developers to automate tasks, manage apps, and retrieve log outputs. The add-on marketplace is a hub for third-party tools, extending the platform's capabilities.

Heroku Pricing

Pricing upon request.

Ease of Use

Navigating Heroku feels intuitive. The onboarding process is smooth, guiding me step-by-step. While the dashboard and primary functionalities come across as user-friendly, when it comes to more advanced features, a beginner might feel a bit overwhelmed. There's a slight learning curve, especially around managing dynos and understanding the metrics.

Customer Support

Heroku's support is commendable. They offer extensive documentation that covers almost every possible query. While the response times in their free tier can be a bit slower, the quality of answers is generally high. There are occasional mentions of customers wishing for a faster live chat option, but with the resources they provide, most problems are resolved promptly.

Heroku Use Case

Who would be a good fit for Heroku?

From my interactions with the platform and observations, startups and medium-sized businesses that require rapid application deployment and scalability form the core of Heroku's loyal user base. Developers seeking an environment that caters to multiple languages and who value an extensive marketplace of third-party integrations tend to gravitate toward it.

Heroku seems particularly favored in industries like e-commerce, social media, and SaaS products due to its simplicity in managing web applications. Companies with development teams ranging from a handful to a few dozen members find it especially beneficial due to its intuitive interface, which makes collaboration easier.

Who would be a bad fit for Heroku?

Large enterprises with very complex infrastructure needs and those looking for a more granular level of control over every aspect of their environment might find Heroku limiting. While it’s designed for ease of use, this sometimes comes at the cost of detailed customization.

Companies in industries that require very specialized tools or configurations, or those that are heavily regulated and need a specific set of compliance measures, might find Heroku less fitting. Small teams or solo developers working on very basic projects might also feel it's more than they need, both in terms of functionality and cost.

Heroku FAQs

What programming languages does Heroku support?

Heroku supports multiple languages including Ruby, Java, Node.js, Python, PHP, and Go.

How does Heroku handle data storage?

Heroku offers Heroku Postgres for relational data, Heroku Redis for key-value data, and Apache Kafka on Heroku for stream processing and event sourcing.

Can I scale my application with Heroku?

Yes, Heroku uses Dynos, which can be easily scaled up or down depending on application needs.

Is there a free plan available?

Yes, Heroku offers a free tier with limitations, suitable for small projects and testing.

How does Heroku ensure application security?

Heroku provides automated OS patching, SSL, and more to keep apps secure.

Can I use third-party tools with Heroku?

Absolutely, Heroku features an add-on marketplace with a plethora of third-party integrations.

How is billing managed on Heroku?

Billing depends on the resources used, such as the number and type of Dynos.

Does Heroku have a native API?

Yes, Heroku offers an API that allows developers to automate, and manage apps, and more.

Alternatives to Heroku

  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk: A tool from Amazon Web Services, often chosen for more granular control over environments.
  • Google App Engine: Best for developers embedded in the Google Cloud ecosystem and looking for a managed serverless platform.
  • Microsoft Azure: Favoured by enterprises deeply integrated with Microsoft products and services.

If you are looking for more options, this guide for the best PaaS software will help you.

Heroku Company Overview & History

Heroku operates as a cloud platform service, enabling developers to deploy, run, and manage applications. Many startups and mid-tier businesses across various industries employ it. Salesforce, a leading CRM company, owns Heroku. Its headquarters sit in San Francisco, California. Notable figures associated with the company include James Lindenbaum, Adam Wiggins, and Orion Henry, its co-founders.

Heroku's mission is to create a platform that allows developers to focus solely on writing code, without the distractions of server or infrastructure management. Founded in 2007, it quickly gained attention for its ease of use and developer-centric tools. One of its significant milestones was its acquisition by Salesforce in 2010.


In this review, I dove deep into the facets of Heroku, assessing its features, capabilities, and user experience. At its core, Heroku stands as a reliable platform for startups and medium-sized businesses looking to deploy applications. However, its fit largely depends on the specific needs of the company.

I hope this comprehensive look gives you a clearer perspective. Feel free to comment below and share your experiences with the community.

By Paulo Gardini Miguel

Paulo is the Director of Technology at the rapidly growing media tech company BWZ. Prior to that, he worked as a Software Engineering Manager and then Head Of Technology at Navegg, Latin America’s largest data marketplace, and as Full Stack Engineer at MapLink, which provides geolocation APIs as a service. Paulo draws insight from years of experience serving as an infrastructure architect, team leader, and product developer in rapidly scaling web environments. He’s driven to share his expertise with other technology leaders to help them build great teams, improve performance, optimize resources, and create foundations for scalability.