Heroku is a cloud-based platform-as-a-service (PaaS) that enables developers to build, deploy, and manage applications quickly and easily. It supports multiple programming languages, including Ruby, Java, Node.js, Python, and PHP, allowing developers to focus on writing code without worrying about the underlying infrastructure. By offering scalability, add-ons, and seamless integration with popular tools like Git, Heroku simplifies the application development and deployment process.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Heroku” is: /həˈɹoʊkuː/

Key Takeaways

  1. Heroku is a cloud platform that helps developers to easily deploy, scale, and manage their applications, supporting multiple programming languages.
  2. Heroku offers a user-friendly interface, along with a range of add-ons for easy integration with other services, making it a popular choice for developers.
  3. Heroku uses a container-based architecture called dynos that can automatically scale and handle distribution, enabling developers to focus on their application code while Heroku manages infrastructure.


Heroku is an important technology term because it represents a modern, cloud-based Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) designed to streamline the deployment, management, and scaling of web applications.

It simplifies the development process by eliminating the need to manage infrastructure, allowing developers to focus on writing and refining their application code.

Heroku supports numerous programming languages such as Java, Python, Ruby, Node.js, and PHP, ensuring versatility and compatibility with various projects.

Additionally, its integration with popular development tools, coupled with an extensive array of add-on services, allows for seamless collaboration, efficient monitoring, and security management.

Altogether, Heroku is significant for enabling rapid, agile development and facilitating continuous, high-quality application delivery.


Heroku is a cloud-based platform as a service (PaaS) that allows developers to build, run, and manage web applications with ease. Its primary purpose is to simplify the deployment, scaling, and management of applications, allowing developers to focus on writing code without the need to be concerned about the underlying infrastructure.

By abstracting away the complexities related to server management, Heroku empowers users to create applications rapidly, reducing the time to market and promoting agile development practices. The platform supports a wide range of programming languages and frameworks, making it a popular choice for businesses and developers working with diverse technology stacks.

One of Heroku’s standout features is its seamless integration with popular version control systems like Git, allowing developers to deploy their code directly from their repositories. Additionally, the platform offers a rich add-on ecosystem that can be used to extend the functionality of applications, encompassing various services such as databases, caching, and storage.

Heroku also provides a robust suite of tools for monitoring application performance and health, ensuring that developers can quickly identify and resolve any issues. The combination of easy scalability, flexibility, and a developer-friendly environment makes Heroku an ideal choice for businesses, startups, and individual developers looking to build and maintain high-quality web applications with minimal overhead and maximum productivity.

Examples of Heroku

Real-time Election Monitoring AppIn March 2021, Heroku was used by the Observatorio de Datos, a civil society organization in Ecuador, to build a real-time election monitoring app called VOTAe. The platform provided an easy, scalable solution for hosting the app and helped to consolidate information about electoral processes from various sources. Heroku’s simple deployment process and robust performance allowed the developers to stay focused on improving the app during the high-demand period surrounding the election season.

Improved Medical Treatment for Cancer PatientsFlatiron Health, a New York-based healthcare technology company, uses Heroku to build, develop, and operate its platform, with a focus on improving treatment and care for cancer patients. They have effectively created a more efficient system for collecting and sharing oncology data, facilitating collaboration among doctors, researchers, and patients. Heroku’s platform enables Flatiron Health to be agile with development and scale their system as needed, ensuring that valuable data is always available and accessible to stakeholders in real-time.

Digital Transformation in Fitness: CoachUpCoachUp, a Boston-based startup, has harnessed Heroku’s technology to create a marketplace for private sports coaching sessions. By connecting athletes with professional coaches from multiple sports, CoachUp has revolutionized the personal training landscape. With Heroku, the developers have built an efficient platform that is responsive to fluctuations in demand and able to scale quickly, ensuring customers are consistently able to locate and book coaches with ease.

Heroku FAQ

What is Heroku?

Heroku is a cloud platform as a service (PaaS) that allows developers to build, run, and scale applications. It supports several programming languages, including Ruby, Java, Node.js, Python, Go, PHP, and Scala. Heroku simplifies application deployment and provides various tools and services to help developers manage and scale their applications.

How does Heroku work?

Heroku works by providing developers with a virtualized, containerized environment called “dynos” to run their applications. Developers push their code to a Heroku repository, and the platform automatically deploys the application to one or more dynos, depending on the application scale requirements. Heroku also provides a range of add-on services, such as databases, caching layers, and monitoring tools, which can be easily integrated with an application.

How do I deploy an application on Heroku?

To deploy an application on Heroku, follow these steps:

  1. Create a Heroku account if you do not have one.
  2. Install Heroku CLI (Command Line Interface) on your local machine.
  3. From the command line, log in to your Heroku account using the “heroku login” command.
  4. Navigate to your application’s directory and run “git init” to initialize a Git repository if you haven’t already.
  5. Create a new Heroku application using the “heroku create” command.
  6. Add a remote repository for Heroku using the “heroku git:remote” command.
  7. Deploy your application by pushing your code to the Heroku remote using the “git push heroku main” command (replace “main” with your default branch name if necessary).

After deployment, Heroku will provide a URL where your application can be accessed.

What are the key features of Heroku?

Some of the key features of Heroku include:

  • Support for multiple programming languages and frameworks
  • Automatic scaling of dynos based on application demand
  • Automated application deployment using Git
  • Easy integration with a variety of add-on services
  • Extensive support for popular databases such as PostgreSQL, MySQL, and Redis
  • Built-in application monitoring, error tracking, and logging tools
  • Customizable build and runtime environments using buildpacks

Is Heroku free?

Heroku offers a free tier with limited usage for developers to experiment and build small applications. The free tier includes 550-1000 dyno hours per month, which allows running one web dyno or worker dyno continuously for the entire month. Add-on services might have their free tiers as well. However, for larger-scale applications, users need to upgrade to paid plans to access additional resources and features, such as more dyno hours, multiple concurrent dynos, and enhanced support.

Related Technology Terms

  • PaaS (Platform as a Service)
  • Heroku Add-ons
  • Heroku CLI (Command Line Interface)
  • Heroku Dynos
  • Heroku Connect

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