Heroku is a cloud-based service that offers a single platform to configure, deploy, run, and, most importantly, scale web applications.
When it launched in 2007, it addressed a specific development bottleneck that startups were experiencing in getting their applications to market: deployment time. Entrepreneurs and startups were able to build applications quickly using rapid prototyping languages like Ruby and Python, but when it came to the deployment stage, things slowed down. As teams created new and better iterations, deployment again slowed the development cycle, making it harder to update apps and scale up as business grew.
With Heroku, teams can deploy any application in the cloud with a single push from Git. It also makes it easy to add resources when you need them, where you need them. On Heroku’s elastic, all-under-one-roof platform, an application can be versioned, expanded, and modified over time. It’s all managed for you, behind the scenes.
In this article, we’ll explore some details of the Heroku cloud computing platform, how deployment works, and how its integration into Salesforce has leveraged its data capabilities for some of the largest, most high-traffic, cloud-based applications and services on the web.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Let’s start by taking a look at cloud computing and how it’s changed the development landscape. Cloud computing represented a major shift in how we use the web for business, how we access content, and how we think about the server-side operations of websites and applications. By taking the bulk of local hardware requirements (like servers, databases, network infrastructure, and server software) and moving it to remote servers—where they’re accessible via nothing more than a web browser—cloud computing disrupted the traditional client-server model. It’s faster, easier to work with, and lets businesses grow when and how they want.
Once your application is deployed. Heroku has a few additional services and value-added extras that make development and continued maintenance streamlined and easy. These include:
Add-ons: Customize your application however you want with add-ons from Heroku’s marketplace. These third-party services include data stores, big data analysis, caching, payments, security, email, testing, and network services that help extend the functionality of your application.
Rollbacks: If a new version of your application breaks, you can quickly revert back to a previous version.
The Dashboard: This feature gives you centralized access to all deployed apps and to your database.
Metrics: Available in the Dashboard when apps have more than one dyno, this feature gives insights into how an application is running (e.g., response times, errors, memory, etc.) so problems can be easily spotted and fixed.
Heroku Postgres SQL: Heroku’s relational database-as-a-service handles data stores, backups, and utilities so you don’t have to. Get a smaller plan, or opt for Premium or Enterprise Postgres plans.
Postgres DbX: Similar to metrics, this allows developers to see how a database is functioning and fine-tune any performance issues.
Heroku & Salesforce Together: Heroku Connect
Heroku’s approach to cloud-based big data capturing and management made it a natural match for Salesforce, which acquired Heroku in 2010. As web applications started capturing and processing large amounts of data in Heroku, companies were looking for an easy way to connect this data with other systems in their organization such as Salesforce’s customer relationship management (CRM) software-as-a-service (SaaS). The result? Heroku Connect.
Heroku Connect makes it easy for you to share and update data between Heroku and Salesforce through bi-directional synchronization. Heroku Connect seamlessly takes data from Heroku-hosted campaigns, marketing sites, mobile applications, APIs, and web-based services and merges it with Salesforce software.
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