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Heroku vs Heroku Postgres: What are the differences?


In this article, we will explore the key differences between Heroku and Heroku Postgres. Heroku is a cloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS) that allows developers to build, run, and scale applications easily, while Heroku Postgres is a relational database service provided by Heroku.

  1. Pricing: One of the main differences between Heroku and Heroku Postgres is their pricing model. Heroku charges for the resources used by the application, such as dynos (computing containers) and add-ons, while Heroku Postgres has its own pricing based on the size of the database and the required performance level. This means that you can use Heroku without necessarily using Heroku Postgres, and vice versa.

  2. Scalability: Heroku provides a wide range of scaling options for applications, allowing you to easily increase or decrease the number of dynos to handle different levels of traffic. However, Heroku Postgres offers limited scalability options and requires manual resizing of the database instance or using database forks for increased capacity.

  3. Database Management: Heroku takes care of the infrastructure and management of the application platform, including features such as deploying, monitoring, and scaling the application. On the other hand, Heroku Postgres focuses solely on database management and provides advanced features like backup, replication, and data rollback.

  4. Data Persistence: Heroku Postgres ensures data persistence by providing reliable and durable storage for your application's database. It offers features like automatic backups, replication, and failover to ensure data availability and integrity. Heroku, on the other hand, does not provide built-in data persistence as it is primarily a platform for running applications.

  5. Compatibility: Heroku supports various programming languages and frameworks, allowing developers to build applications using their preferred tools. Heroku Postgres, being a PostgreSQL-based service, is compatible with standard SQL and supports many PostgreSQL features, making it suitable for a wide range of applications.

  6. Data Isolation: Heroku Postgres provides data isolation by allowing you to create multiple database instances, each with its own database connection and access credentials. This ensures that the data for different applications or environments remains separate. Heroku, on the other hand, does not provide direct data isolation as it is primarily an application platform, but you can implement data isolation within your application code.

In summary, Heroku is a cloud platform-as-a-service that handles the infrastructure and management of applications, while Heroku Postgres is a PostgreSQL-based relational database service that focuses on database management. They differ in pricing, scalability, database management, data persistence, compatibility, and data isolation.

Advice on Heroku and Heroku Postgres

Considering moving part of our PostgreSQL database infrastructure to the cloud, however, not quite sure between AWS, Heroku, Azure and Google cloud. Things to consider: The main reason is for backing up and centralize all our data in the cloud. With that in mind the main elements are: -Pricing for storage. -Small team. -No need for high throughput. -Support for docker swarm and Kubernetes.

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Replies (2)
David Weinberg

Good balance between easy to manage, pricing, docs and features.

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Max Musing
Founder & CEO at BaseDash · | 1 upvotes · 45.7K views

DigitalOcean's offering is pretty solid. Easy to scale, great UI, automatic daily backups, decent pricing.

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Pros of Heroku
Pros of Heroku Postgres
  • 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
  • 4
    I love that they make it free to launch a side project
  • 4
  • 3
    Great UI
  • 3
    Just works
  • 2
    PostgreSQL forking and following
  • 2
    MySQL extension
  • 1
  • 1
    Able to host stuff good like Discord Bot
  • 0
  • 29
    Easy to setup
  • 3
    Follower databases
  • 3
    Dataclips for sharing queries
  • 3
    Extremely reliable

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

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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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What companies use Heroku?
What companies use Heroku Postgres?
See which teams inside your own company are using Heroku or Heroku Postgres.
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What tools integrate with Heroku?
What tools integrate with Heroku Postgres?

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Sep 29 2020 at 7:36PM


PythonSlackG Suite+17
Jun 19 2015 at 6:37AM

What are some alternatives to Heroku and Heroku Postgres?
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 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.
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