Amazon Web Services(AWS) vs Heroku

Team Avatar - Kane Hooper
Kane Hooper
December 3, 2023

AWS vs Heroku: A Practical Guide for Today’s Businesses

In the landscape of web and mobile development, the choice of hosting services, especially between AWS and Heroku, can make a difference in the businesses ability to deliver successful applications that can meet your customers needs. This guide is written to provide you with the key benefits of each platform and where, in my opinion, each platform shines.

The Allure of Heroku in Application Development

Heroku is definitely the standout service for companies that do not have large development teams and is ideally suited for start-ups and mid-sized companies given its ease of use. Heroku is a managed deployment and hosting platform. While it has limitations on how it can be customised. For the majority of business applications it has the power necessary to deal with applications of any size or complexity. Comparatively, AWS provides a much broader suite of services and customization. This is ideally suited for large enterprise companies with specialised teams.

The technical knowledge necessary to work with AWS can be complex. Whereas learning to use Heroku can happen in as little as a few hours.

If you don’t have the technical knowledge necessary to use AWS, you can make bundlers which can put the security of your application at risk. Whereas Heroku provides high level security out of the box.

Why Choose Heroku:

I would offer to say that in most situations, Heroku is likely the best fit for your company, especially if you are building web or mobile applications which you need to integrate with Salesforce in real time.

  1. Rapid Deployment: With just a few clicks or commands your developers can deploy your code to Heroku and have it running live. AWS generally requires a high degree of customisation.

  2. Less Overhead for Infrastructure Management: Heroku reduces the need for dedicated DevOps, allowing your developers to focus on their core coding work.

  3. Seamless Salesforce Integration: Heroku, being owned by Salesforce, excels in hosting applications which integrate with Salesforce, a huge bonus for businesses already using Salesforce’s suite.

  4. Friendly Pricing for Startups: Heroku’s pricing is designed with startups in and small businesses in mind. It does a good job of balancing cost and functionality.

  5. Developer-Focused Tools: Developers have access to tools that allow them to manage and monitor applications with ease.

The Game-Changer: Heroku and Salesforce

Heroku is the clear winner when it comes to Salesforce-connected applications, thanks to their service, Heroku Connect. Heroku Connect creates a near real-time sync between your Salesforce organisation and applications. This allows your applications to work with your records in real-time. Heroku really puts into place the Salesforce 360 degree ethos but connecting customers directly via your applications.

Heroku connect avoids the use of Salesforces APIs making development significantly simpler and rapid.

Heroku Connect vs Salesforce APIs:

For developers who have worked with the Salesforce APIs only, Heroku Connect is an amazing tool that allows simple access to Salesforce data, through a point and click interface.

  1. Easy Data Sync: Heroku Connect syncs Salesforce data with your application automatically, and therefore removes the complexity of using API in coding.

  2. Intuitive User Interface: The mapping of Salesforce data is done through a very simple graphical interface. With effectively a point and click approach, applications can access Salesforce data with ease.

  3. Instant Data Updates: Heroku Connect provides near real-time data updates, and should something go wrong, the data will automatically sync as soon as the problem has been resolved.

Real-World Examples: Salesforce and Heroku in Action

There are numerous opportunities to build really fascinating and powerful applications using Heroku and Salesforce.

  1. Membership Application and Customer Portal: A membership application and customer portal developed on Heroku, integrated with Salesforce via Heroku Connect, can offer a seamless user experience for managing memberships. This application can synchronize member information, subscription details, and interaction history from Salesforce, providing a comprehensive portal where members can update their profiles, renew subscriptions, and access personalized content or services. With Heroku Connect the portal reflects the latest member data from Salesforce. If a change is made in the application it is automatically updated in Salesforce, which is incredibly useful for customer service teams.

  2. Real Estate Management System: A large number of real estate companies use Salesforce and applications could be built to manage property listings, client enquires in real time, syncing with the data in Salesforce. All listings can be managed in Salesforce and key information about clients can be recorded in Salesforce to provide better marketing opportunities as appropriate listings become available.

  3. Salesforce-Integrated Learning Management System (LMS): A Learning Management System built on Heroku can track and manage educational courses, student progress, and feedback all managed out of Salesforce. Student data and course metrics can be synced with Salesforce, enabling educational institutions or training departments to monitor and better control learning outcomes.

  4. Healthcare Patient Engagement Portal: A healthcare portal on Heroku can integrate patient records, appointment schedules, and treatment plans with Salesforce. Using Heroku Connect, the portal can provide patients with access to their health records, appointment scheduling, and direct communication with healthcare providers, ensuring a seamless and personalized patient experience.

Heroku Connect plays a critical role in simplifying the integration process with Salesforce. It allows developers to create powerful, data-driven applications without the hassle of direct API programming. This not only speeds up development but also makes sure that applications can take advantage of the full potential of Salesforce data, leading to better customer experiences.

AWS for Enterprise-Level Applications

While Heroku shines in building apps that integrate with Salesforce, AWS stands out as the powerhouse platform for enterprise applications.

AWS’s Strengths for Enterprises:

  1. Diverse Services: AWS has a diverse ecosystem of services that provide powerful tools to any situation. For example AI tools and user authentication services.

  2. Customizable Infrastructure: It provides almost complete control over application resources, which may be necessary for very complex applications.

  3. Scalability and Dependability: AWS’s infrastructure guarantees consistent performance in any part of the world.

  4. Top-Notch Security: With advanced security features, AWS is ideal for handling sensitive data. It can be used to mitigate DDoS attacks and other security issues.

  5. Cost Management: It uses a pay-as-you-go model and budgetting tools aid in keeping costs under control.

  6. Comprehensive Development Tools: AWS equips IT teams with tools for every development and maintenance stage.

Final Thoughts: Choosing Between AWS and Heroku

For businesses with small teams, focused on quick development or leveraging Salesforce, Heroku is the smart pick. Its simplicity and feature set suit agile companies. However, AWS’s versatility is unmatched for extensive enterprise applications, especially for those not relying on Salesforce. Understanding the strengths of each platform is key to making an informed decision that aligns with your business goals.