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How does Heroku compare to other platforms?

6.6.19 By: Dan Ruley

Recently, a client reached out to me requesting help in building out a custom Salesforce community portal for their constituents. After some discovery, we realized that they not only had the need for a Salesforce community but also had the need to connect multiple disparate systems to their Salesforce instance.

These types of projects are my favorite because I can really show my clients how Salesforce can work for them and create a 360-degree view of who is in their database.

Ultimately, my recommendation to the client was to use Heroku. By leveraging a custom-built community portal on Heroku and connecting all of those disparate systems using Heroku Connect, they would have a beautiful community portal for their constituents and be able to connect all of their data sources to Salesforce in near real-time.

If your organization is like my client and has numerous disparate databases, this type of solution can work for you.

Before we dig into this further, let me explain what Heroku is and how it can help.


What is Heroku?

Heroku is an extremely versatile multi-coding language (polyglot) platform that allows you to build, scale, and deploy modern applications on top of it. I think of Heroku like that baseplate Lego that you build all your creations on top of.

Because it’s built to be a foundation, Heroku is a great way to centralize all of your data. It’s considered a “single source of truth” for all your data and records.


How does Heroku compare to other platforms?

First, let me say that I know this can be confusing. I’m often asked what the real difference is between all of the cloud storage options. And how does Heroku fit into the Salesforce equation?

As a father, I find my world filled with toys. So here I can lay out a simple toy metaphor to help you understand how Heroku compares to other platforms, including Amazon Web Services.

Heroku is like a playmat. It’s the foundation of your imagination. On this mat, you can build on top of it, bring in a whole world of different types of toys and have them all play together. The caveat is that you have to use your imagination to build the toy world.

how does heroku compare to other platforms


Heroku Connect is like Hotwheels. Heroku Connect is what allows you to build apps and connect them to everything you have in the cloud. It allows for movement and transferring data.

how does heroku compare to other platforms

Salesforce is like a Lego. It’s got tons of flexibility allowing for you to build out anything your heart desires using the toy. The drawback is that the bases for Lego are only so big and can fit so many things. Bringing them onto the playmat allows you to build more.

how does heroku compare to other platforms

Google Cloud and Amazon Web Service are similar to Knex. Similar to Salesforce/Lego above, you have lots of flexibility to build out whatever your heart desires. However, it’s just a tad more difficult to create and play with than Lego.

how does heroku compare to other platforms


Non-cloud based platforms are similar to model toys. Think of on-premise solutions like the models you’d have to build by hand. It’s a fun exercise but you will put in a lot of work for a few toys. And they may not play well with other toys and can be easily broken.

how does heroku compare to other platforms


Why should I consider Heroku?

If you’re tired of disparate systems, Heroku might be right for you. Here are the four main benefits of using Heroku:

  • Heroku helps you scale. Completely takes the guesswork out of scaling your programs and donor base.

  • Heroku gives you secure private spaces. Keeps all of your data in manageable containers called “Dynos.”

  • Heroku has additional resources. Offers a marketplace with a ton of additional tools to make development even easier.

  • Finally, Heroku is easy and versatile to use. Manages infrastructure for you so your developers can do what they do best: code!


Am I right for Heroku?

This can be a tricky question, as every organization’s needs and processes are different. At a minimum you should consider Heroku for your nonprofit or company if you have:

  • Five or six different database systems to help you accomplish tasks

  • You’re running into API call limitations

  • You’re running into Salesforce data limitations


Ready to talk about Heroku for your organization?

With deep roots in the Salesforce development ecosystem, our developers and consultants are ready to get to work for you.


Let’s Talk

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