8 Reasons This Salesforce Developer Loves Heroku

With so many options for application development, why do we focus so heavily on Heroku? In many cases, it is simply the fastest and often the least expensive way to create an enterprise-level application. Heroku’s ecosystem of support, backed by Salesforce and AWS is nearly impossible to beat with an in-house solution. However, there are other distinct advantages of building on Heroku. Here are my top eight:

#1 Awesome User Interface

Heroku was built by developers, for developers and the user interface is a prime example of this fact. It is simple, intuitive and works precisely like a developer would expect. Both the Heroku Connect dashboard and the Heroku dashboard allow developers to visualize application health, provide traffic data, and display activity levels of servers and dynos.

If you are a non-developer considering Heroku for your application, this should not scare you away. In fact, it should be make you want Heroku even more. Why? Because you will likely never see Heroku’s UI but your developers will and your developers will love it because it saves them time and makes their job easier which means that you save money and schedule with every Heroku project.

#2 Express Development

Heroku’s AWS infrastructure and rich library of add-ons significantly reduce project time and cost. For developers, this means less (or no) time spent on things like load balancing and building email servers and more time spent on the creative aspects of development that translate into real game changers. For businesses looking to deploy a new application, it means increased speed to market and a smaller development budget.

“Good design adds value faster than it adds cost.” Thomas C. Gale, DaimlerChrysler Board of Management (retired)

Heroku enables great design by removing the roadblocks that stand in the way of creative development. Roadblocks like Containerization, Monitoring, Storage, OS Setup…do you know what a Kubernetes Cluster is? Don’t worry…with Heroku, you don’t need to.

#3 Collaborative Development

At RadialSpark, we have enabled Heroku’s GitHib integration as means of version control. Each new pull request is associated with its own new application, enabling truly collaborative development and continuous delivery. Application updates are completed much faster using this model allowing businesses to respond to market changes quickly.

#4 Supports Multiple Languages

Heroku works with a variety of open-source languages to provide flexibility in selecting from a wide variety of plug-and-play tools and to ease integration with existing systems. Heroku currently supports Node.js, Java, Ruby, PHP, Python, Go, Scala and Clojure.

Leveraging the strength of a specific language allows you to build a combination of applications (in a variety of languages) or choose the one language that works best for your unique needs.

#5 Vibrant and Active Community

The Heroku community is stupendous. Not only is there a wealth of information and support available through Heroku’s Dev Center, Help, and Partners, there is an active community of developers in online forums. This community is continuously creating new add-ons that enhance the ability of Heroku and make it easier to quickly deploy new applications.

“The biggest savings [we found in moving to the cloud] were in focus: Look at all the things we didn’t have to build!” Eric Gunderson, CEO of MapBox

The development team at RadialSpark is engaged within the Heroku community, which keeps us up-to-date on all of the latest news and features. We stay on top of the latest add-ons, newest integrations, and best development techniques so we can bring the best to our clients.

As a bonus, the Heroku platform has experienced a tremendous amount of growth over the last few years. For those that have an application built on Heroku, this means that there will be no shortage of talent (depending on the language) available to support your application for years to come.

#6 Limitless Development

Due to its multitenant architecture, Salesforce is not a high-performance system and there is no way to make it such. You cannot go to Salesforce with your pockets turned-out and beg for more processing power. It is simply not available.

However, this is not the case for applications built on Heroku. Maintenance and upgrade opportunities are 100% controllable. While Salesforce may not be best suited to iterating over tens of millions of rows of data or creating pixel-perfect applications, Heroku makes it possible.

Do I need more than Salesforce can offer? Maybe now. Maybe soon.

As an experienced Salesforce developer, I have witnessed the limitations of the Salesforce platform firsthand. A client once came to me with a simple request: he needed to periodically update the territories of all of his sales reps and he wanted an application, built on the Force.com platform, to handle the process.

However, he had huge network of sales reps and each sales rep had 8,000 accounts and all of the contacts and opportunities associated with each account in their network. This translated into each sales rep being associated with between 20,000 and 100,000 records.

Since Salesforce only allows 10,000 records to update at a time, the only solution was to build a custom asynchronous process that requires 36 hours to run and locks down all accounts during processing.

Applications built on Heroku are not limited by a multitenant architecture. Heroku add-ons and custom development allows for data crunching over billions of rows of data and the ability to scale apps to manage services of any size. Close integration with Salesforce, enabled by Heroku Connect, makes this level of processing possible. Herkou is distinct from yet wholly compatible with Salesforce.

Heroku allows your custom application to work as an extension of Salesforce while placing it under the safety of the Salesforce umbrella. If you are taking your business to the cloud with Salesforce, Heroku just makes sense.

In fact, applications on Heroku dynamically scale up and down — instead of blowing-up! Let’s say you get a mention on the Today Show and your traffic spikes through the roof. Heroku will scale your application up to manage the increased traffic and then go back down when the rush is over, all without having to purchase a single new piece of hardware.

#7 Non-Proprietary Platform

Applications built on Heroku utilize open source languages. If you acquire another company (or are acquired), the applications built on Heroku can be transferred between companies. However, applications built in Salesforce will only work on the Salesforce platform. If you are acquired by a company that is running Azure, this may present a problem.

Building on Heroku ensures that your application is flexible and portable and that the investment made in development becomes part of your company’s value proposition. Applications built on Heroku are part of your business’ intellectual property and add dollars to your company’s market value.

#8 Reliability and Stability

Heroku is built on AWS infrastructure and backed by Salesforce — it is exceptionally reliable.

Businesses that utilize an application built on Heroku offload most security side concerns to Amazon who employs a fulltime team of experts dedicated to infrastructure security. Both Amazon and Salesforce have the capacity, engineers, IT infrastructure, ability, and understanding to fend-off modern attacks. This level of support is difficult to match in-house.

Even when faced with these facts, I still hear some say, “I don’t want to be in the Cloud. I want to be able to see and touch my server,” without realizing the huge amount of work this requires. On-premise hosting requires businesses to manage physical security, including access to the building and data controls.

“I’ve hugged a lot of servers in my life, and believe me, they do not hug you back. They hate you.” Werner Vogels, CTO at Amazon

It also requires the business to manage internet security through redundant internet service providers and redundant domain name servers. It is truly a misconception to think that you can manage your data more securely on your own.

While I am far from a round-peg-square-hole kind of guy, rare are the instances where Heroku does not outshine other development tools. This is especially true if you are integrating with Salesforce since Heroku is the only non-native platform that fully integrates with Salesforce. In my experience, Heroku is often the best choice when developing enterprise applications.

Michael Rockford, CEO and Founder of Radialspark, a registered Salesforce partner and leader in custom software development and implementations.
Originally published on www.radialspark.com