Sunday, February 10th, 2008

Heroku: Web based Rails Hosting

Category: Prototype, Rails, Ruby, Showcase

Heroku is a new YCombinator startup that joins the growing number of “use your browser to build your apps” type of applications.

You can create new Rails applications, and they are magically hosted up in the cloud. You can import your own Rails application, or you can use the inline editor and tools to built the application directly in the browser.

Heroku itself is a Rails application. I wonder if they now self hosting :)

Being able to quickly build an application and have it running live is great (using Amazon EC2), and this is just the beginning. They already tie into the usual tools like Rake, but there is room to go further and have nice DB utilities, cloning of functionality, and much more.

The editor itself could use a bunch of work too. I can never see where the cursor is, let alone have all of the Textmate / Aptana / IntelliJ goodness.


Posted by Dion Almaer at 9:28 am

3.2 rating from 31 votes


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This looks pretty cool, I’d like to see how stable it is.

Is there anyone currently using this who can speak to its stability?

Also, what will it cost to keep a rails app running compared to rails machine?

Comment by Tr0y — February 10, 2008

Would be a pretty nice thing if they could indeed up the editor a bit.

Comment by Michael Hendrickx — February 10, 2008

I’ve been using Herkou for some time now and I think its an excellent platform. Hats off to Adam et al for a great service – I really hope it succeeds as a business.

For a beta I the platform is amazingly stable and the Heroku team are incredibly responsive to emails on issues of significance.
On small scale projects and especially for Rails newbies Heroku has several significant attractions over standard rails development…
* Zero Setup. You really can get straight into coding with Heroku.
* You don’t need to remember to restart for config changes – it does it automatically (I love that)
* You don’t need to remember to migrate (you get a nice big message about outstanding migrations)
* I can get to my app from any machine – saves having to carry the laptop home.
* This maybe fraught with risk but you can have more than one person working on the app without any special server set up.
* I don’t have to leave the browser at all none of this browser/textmate/MySQL Query Browser switching.
* Their snapshot facility is really cool too.

For a small scale app or prototyping I really think Heroku beats doing it locally. Navigating larger apps could soon get difficult to with the current editor but I’m sure they’re working on this. You’d be surprised how much essential functionality is already there – try command ] for example.

No ideas of cost of full fledged apps but they are planning on keeping a free option. The main limitation is no outgoing connections (including email).

Comment by juliancox — February 11, 2008

can anyone send me an invite to unisoniq [a] gmail ?


Comment by unisoniq — February 11, 2008

@unisoniq – done

Comment by juliancox — February 11, 2008

i’d love one also :D (at thampou at gmail dot com)

Comment by thampou — March 6, 2008

Heroku is awesome! I am working on a series of Ruby on Rails with Heroku videos on my blog:

Feel free to ping me for an invite as well.

Comment by matthewcarriere — August 11, 2008

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