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The API reference tool

The API reference tool

Back4App has long provided the tools necessary to build software applications. This past week, we released an API Documentation tool to further augment the development experience. The platform automatically generates docs for any objects saved in your database. This includes code snippets for each of the supported programming languages, as well as example requests and responses:

api-reference-code-sample


What’s new in Back4App?

What’s new in Back4App?

Our mission at Back4App is to help developers create better code and apps faster, which is why we have been evolving our BaaS platform, introducing intuitive features, and improving our existing capabilities.

Now, we are pleased to announce that Back4App has rolled out a raft of robust and advanced features for the app developers. The new changes and improvements include the latest version of Parse: the Parse Server 3.1.1, a new code assistant to perform CRUD operations in the Back4App cloud database, improved push notification mechanism, query caching option, and the new Analytics toolset.


Track any event in your app with Parse Analytics

back4app-analytics

 

We are pleased to announce that Back4App has recently launched a new advanced, innovative feature for its customers, and that is the ‘Parse Analytics Tool.’ The end goal of rolling out this ready-to-use feature is to gather and analyze accurate, relevant event data to better understand your users as well as track data-driven reports to monitor the health and performance of your app in real-time. This tool helps you to improve your app to achieves better performance and successfully meets your business’s pre-defined goals like conversion and engagement rate.


Announcing new features on security and web-hosting

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We are pleased to announce that we have introduced a raft of advanced and robust features for our Back4App users. The motive behind implementing these features is to get our customers more productive and secure. These facets are simple yet pretty effectual, and you can customize them without any difficulty. So let’s check them out!


GDPR best practices in 7 steps

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR is effective since May 25, 2018. A lot has been done to make IT companies compliant with GDPR, however, it is just the beginning. Although it applies only to European citizens GDPR rules imposed a new reality in the world and all the efforts made to achieve compliance to this regulation can be lost if organizational practices and infrastructure are not maintained.


GDPR FAQ for App developers

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 On May 25, 2018, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that has been in the pipeline for a couple of years now goes into effect across European Union EU and European Economic Areas EEA. This has replaced the old privacy laws of 1995. It is a much tougher regime now, not least because companies must adhere to a new framework that creates consistent and reliable data protection rules across the EU and EEA. All businesses that process the personal data of individuals in the EU and EEA must comply with the GDPR or risk strict penalties and fines. The regulators will be able to impose hefty fines on organizations that misuse customers/citizens personal information.


How to start a SaaS business

go-to-market-mountain

A SaaS company delivers value to its customers through its platform.  When a founder decides to start a startup he’s well aware of the fact that he’ll need to invest time in two big activities: talking to prospects and building consumer-focused products. That’s the path to reach the product-market-fit. For SaaS startups, the second task frequently is where they(and all his team) will need to invest more time and effort. On the other hand, software vendors who are already selling applications on-premises and wishing to move to a SaaS/recurring revenue model will need to invest a lot in platform development.


The Best 10 Alternatives to Heroku in 2022

The Best 10 Alternatives to Heroku in 2022
heroku-alternatives

Heroku is a PaaS (Platform as a Service) and one of the pioneers of cloud services. Before they came into the scene, developers faced considerable challenges in building and configuring servers from scratch.

Other bottlenecks include shared hosting limitations and the complication of cloud technology and its deployment strategies.

However, the Heroku platform introduced a technology that makes building, scaling, and deploying apps faster and easier than ever. That is why the company became a household name in the developer community.

Heroku is an innovative company that created novel standards for a commercially sustainable cloud service, such as Platform as a Service (PaaS). The company has accomplished a lot, helping many enterprise companies achieve their business objectives. 

However, I recently began to notice that developers were researching Heroku alternatives. So, I started wondering, “Why would developers want to jump ship to a Heroku alternative?”

In this article, you’ll learn why developers want alternatives and available options to Heroku. You’ll also see a comparison table showing each option’s pros and cons and how they compete with Heroku.

Why Are Developers searching for Heroku alternative?

With the information I’ve gathered so far in forums and other online communities, the common complaints about Heroku are price, sleeping apps, and hosting regions.

Price

Heroku prices its services in “dynos,” containers that run and scale Heroku apps. Your cost increases as the app scales vertically or horizontally with more dynos. Most applications running on Heroku require more than one dyno to run flawlessly.

Most app owners find it challenging to cope with the cost of running apps on Heroku at scale. However, Heroku uses AWS infrastructure, which costs lots of money to deploy its apps.

So, the platform must use a pricing structure to maintain a profit margin. In this respect, a downward review of prices may not be a feasible option.

Sleeping Apps

The free tier that Heroku offers comes with its pros and cons. Both hobbyists and developers rely on it to host experimental projects, but the major challenge is that apps on the free plan “go to sleep” after a period of inactivity.

Heroku basically shuts down app containers to free up system resources. However, the app “wakes up” with a delayed response of some seconds once it gets a web request from users. Consequently, developers and compelled to upgrade to the paid tier, where prices can increase rapidly

Regions

Heroku runs over AWS, but it is only available in 2 regions, the US and Europe. If you are running an App with customers from Asia countries, you may face some increase in lead times compared to US or European users. Other regions are available, but only under the Private Spaces plans. 

Heroku New App

What are the advantages of Heroku?

  • Getting started with Heroku is very easy

It’s pretty straightforward for beginners can set up their first app. It takes less than five minutes. It’s mostly just running simple Git commands to deploy an app and get it running. The documentation on Heroku’s official site also helps a lot.

  • Excellent error logs

A standard error log is displayed when your deployment fails in Heroku. This feature is hardly available in other PaaS platforms; most alternatives give nondescript messages that make debugging a colossal challenge. Debugging Heroku is more straightforward than other PaaS providers, making deployment relatively easy.

  • Add-ons make it easy to add new features and technologies

Heroku provides an option to add a vast list of plugins and services to an instance. These plugins cover features ranging from databases to email systems.

Users don’t have to manually install services and set them up because Heroku does it painlessly through add-ons.

  • Simple scaling

The horizontally and vertically scaling on an instance on Heroku is as simple as increasing or decreasing the number of available dynos for that instance.

Users can perform this action through the CLI (Command Line Interface) or Heroku’s web UI (User Interface).

  • Dedicated servers

Heroku’s dedicated servers allow you to build app dependencies that ensure you won’t have issues like “out of memory” errors when deploying your application.

  • Many years of experience

Heroku is one of the oldest PaaS providers; the platform has grown and evolved over the years. There are also many articles, guides, and tutorials on Heroku for beginners and advanced users.

  • Free Tier

Heroku offers a free tier with a single dyno instance, 512MB of memory, and two process types, and the app sleeps after 30 minutes of inactivity.

  • Offers standard SQL

Heroku offers a standard SQL which is not commonly found in other PaaS service providers.

Disadvantage of Heroku

  • Cost-Intensive

Once you leave the free tier, Heroku starts to get expensive. It’s not just the basic Heroku service that is costly; the addons are also very expensive.

  • Not as large as Google and AWS

Even though Heroku has been around for a long time, it is not as large as Google and its other competitors.

  • Add-ons Limitation

There are limitations to customizing your production environment in Heroku because libraries or services can only be installed through the Heroku plugin. Using a service with no Heroku plugin will be virtually impossible.

  • Subsequent deployments are slow

While starting an app on Heroku is swift and easy, and the first few deployments are equally fast, larger applications tend to be very slow to deploy.

From my experience, it takes some time for the dynos to restart; during that period, the application goes offline. It means some seconds of application runtime is lost.

Heroku’s Pricing Model

Heroku’s pricing model is available in four pricing options. The pricing options are listed below:

PlanPricingDetails
Free and Hobby$0.00Noncommercial applications, solo projects, and minimum viable products.
Production$25/moProduction applications like web internal portals and APIs.
Advanced$ 250/moMore sophisticated applications that require low latency and fast performance. 
EnterpriseQuotationCustom made solution for large companies

The available Heroku alternatives

Let’s take a brief overview of Heroku Alternatives:

  • Back4app
  • Elastic Beanstalk (AWS)
  • Google App Engine
  • Dokku on Digital Ocean etc.
  • Firebase
  • OpenShift
  • Engine Yard
  • Netlify 
  • Docker
  • Kubernetes

Keep reading to know more about each provider. 

Back4app

Back4App Heroku Alternative

Back4app is a popular Backend as a service (BaaS) provider and a terrific open-source option for Heroku.

It provides a fully managed backend featuring automated provisioning and scaling applications, backup and recovery, 24/7 monitoring and alerting, web-based management tools, technical support, and many more.

The advantages of Back4app include a user-friendly dashboard, the ability to scale apps seamlessly, and best-in-class support. The core features include:

  • Scalable Realtime Database (SQL and NoSQL)
  • APIs (REST and GraphQL)
  • Storage
  • Authentication 
  • Notifications

Back4pp utilizes a complete serverless approach to deploy and scale apps backend. Its serverless architecture allows the freedom to focus on app development instead of sleepless nights over infrastructure hassles.

It’s a reliable serverless database platform fosters speedy app development, codeless backend development, hosting apps without infrastructure hassles, and scale apps without technical challenges.

Advantages of Back4app

Ease of Use

Using Back4app is a piece of cake, and the platform has built-in features like a scalable real-time database, ready-to-use APIs, notifications, and authentication.

An integrated CDN layer is part of the deal and allows applications to have lower latency and better performance.

Open Source

Back4app is a BaaS provider and Backend generator built using open-source technologies.

  • Multiprotocol APIs

Back4app works with both GraphQL and REST API, and it’s a flexible option for developers.

  • No Infrastructure maintenance

There is no need to maintain any infrastructure as you do with other PaaS platforms. There is no software or runtime to install or administer. The platform DevOps team completely takes over the infrastructure management hassles.

  • Automatic and Flexible scaling

Apps on the Back4app scale up/down automatically, allowing you to only pay for resources you have consumed. No need to worry about maintaining the server, even when your app users increase significantly.

  • Built-in availability

As a serverless platform, Back4app features fault tolerance and built-in availability. You do not need to provide these capabilities because the application’s serverless architecture offers it by default.

  • Pricing

The price structure works based on API call consumption, pre-paid subscriptions (you won’t have surprises on your bills), and dedicated instances.

Free Tier

Back4app makes provision for a free tier with limited server resources for developers to use per month while building and deploying your functions.

The free level is limited to 25k requests per month. So, you can use the free plan for test projects without paying a dime.

To know more about Back4App, please read the article Why users love Back4app.

Elastic Beanstalk (AWS)

AWS Heroku Alternative

Elastic Beanstalk (EB) is a DevOps tool for deploying and scaling web applications and services. It supports multiple languages like Java, .NET, PHP, Node.js, Python, Ruby, Go, and Docker web applications.

From my experience, EB has powerful customization abilities, strong automation capabilities, and outstanding security.

This platform is an orchestration service for deploying infrastructure. It coordinates various AWS services, including Simple Notification Service (SNS), Elastic Load Balancers, CloudWatch, auto-scaling, S3, and EC2. 

You can also use EB to create an RDS database tier that connects to your application. You can achieve all these feats without writing a single line of code. Use the EB command-line interface (CLI) or the EB management Dashboard to configure the deployment environment.

Advantages of Elastic Beanstalk (AWS)

  • Easy to change the deployment configurations

EB allows you to deploy more servers quickly. All that is required to launch more servers is to change configurations with a click of a button. For example, you can quickly move from micro to nano instances or add/delete more servers.

  • Advanced security and upgrade

You’ll always receive notifications of software updates, allowing you to redeploy your application on an upgraded system if the need arises.

  • Different upgrade strategies

If your deployment fails during an upgrade, the instance automatically falls back to the previous stable one. It also provides options to use other upgrade strategies if you so desire.

  • Cost

If you hope to use AWS services for a longer term, you can drastically reduce your cloud bill by buying reserved instances. It has many instance types, allowing you to utilize better the computer resources you purchased.

  • Security

Elastic Beanstalk (AWS) allows you to choose the security level you want. You can leverage its advanced networking features to create a more restrictive and secure topology on your application.

  • Flexibility

Elastic Beanstalk integrates several AWS services, so you won’t need to worry about doing it yourself. However, you can always dig deeper and build your deployment scripts or use Elastic Beanstalk’s CLI.

Disadvantages of Elastic Beanstalk (AWS)

  • Very Weak application performance monitoring

The bug detection, application performance monitoring systems, and documentation are weaker on Elastic Beanstalk (AWS) compared to its competitors.

  • Difficult to understand

No matter how cute and easy the AWS walkthrough videos seem, new users still find it challenging to understand the platform because of the many configurations involved.

  • Cost of additional resources

Elastic Beanstalk (AWS) is free, but you pay for the server resources, so you eventually end up using more resources and spending more.

  • Inferior CPU performance

Elastic Beanstalk (AWS) has an abysmal CPU performance compared to its PaaS competitors.

  • High learning curve

The learning curve of Elastic Beanstalk is steep compared to other PaaS platforms. Although Elastic Beanstalk added more important features recently, it doesn’t make it easier for new users.

Remember that getting familiar with Elastic Beanstalk and other essential AWS services may take some weeks.

  • Flexibility

AWS comes with multiple ways of doing things, and you can lose track of all the features in your environment if you’re overwhelmed.

To know more about the differences between Heroku and Beanstalk, please read the article Elastic Beanstalk vs Heroku.

Google App Engine

App Engine Heroku Alternative

Google App Engine is a PaaS (Platform as a Service) platform hosted and owned by Google. It allows you to build, develop, and deploy mobile backends and scalable web applications.

It supports many programming languages like Python, Java, and PHP. The App Engine is part of the Google Cloud Platform that also offers Container Engine, Compute Engine, Container Registry, Cloud Functions, and Storage / Databases.

Google App Engine is fast, easy, and with a reasonable price tag. It comes with a free tier that is excellent for beginners and developers who want to create small apps quickly.

It can also autoscale, create new instances on the go, and automatically handle availability. App Engine gets a positive rating for performance from developer communities.

Another helpful feature is the ease of integrating various Google apps through Google’s Cloud Datastore, which securely integrates with the App Engine.

Advantages of Google App Engine

  • Access to the rest of Google services

Google App Engine gives you access to all Google cloud services. This feature is beneficial for app developers.

  • Running asynchronous tasks is much more straightforward

Running asynchronous functions in the Google app engine is more straightforward than Heroku and other PaaS Platforms.

  • Hosted on Google cloud infrastructure

Google App Engine runs on Google cloud infrastructure. As a Google-hosted service, it would enjoy more uptime than competitors like AWS.

  • Easy to deploy

Ease of deployment is one of the benefits Google App Engine offers new developers.

  • Auto-scaling

Google App Engine has autoscaling capabilities allow beginners and experts to scale apps without technical challenges.

  • Free plan

Google App Engine comes with free resources that are adequate for beginners to learn the platform and build exciting applications.

  • All services in one place

Google App Engine gives you access to all Google cloud features, and you can control all your services in one place.

Disadvantages of Google App Engine

  • Google App Engine Faces uncertain future

Google has not taken its App Engine as a core Google product, making its future uncertain. Google is known for changing technology directions in the past. Going by development antecedence, we think this product is not in Google’s long-term plans. 

  • Developer’s expenses are tough to control

Monitoring your expenditures is challenging and hard to manage. The service bill is under a pay-as-you-go model, and users may receive an unpleasant invoice by the end of the month.

  • Lack of extensive geographical support

Google platform as a service (PaaS) capabilities lags behind Elastic Beanstalk (AWS) and Heroku capabilities. Most people think that Google is not ready to take on its competitors now.

Although the platform has existed for a long time, it has limited geographical support compared to competitors.

  • Problematic support

Support is sometimes challenging even on paid services, especially for new users.

  • No SQL database available

Google App Engine uses Google’s NoSQL cloud database. That means there’s no option to use a SQL database with your application.

To know more about the differences and similarities between Heroku and App Engine, please read the article Heroku vs. App Engine.

Dokku on Digital Ocean

Dokku heroku alternative

Dokku is a Docker-powered mini-Heroku with around 100 lines of Bash script. It’s a Heroku clone tool that allows you to build and deploy complex applications by merely pushing it via the Git repository. 

Docker-powered mini-Heroku is the smallest PaaS implementation in existence. It supports Heroku build packs directly, so you can migrate existing Heroku apps without hassles. It also offers several plugins for datastores and other components.

Dokku makes it easy to deploy and manage web applications on your server, similar to Heroku. That is why Dokku on Digital Ocean is an incredible combination, even with the Digital Ocean server’s additional costs. 

Digital Ocean is cheaper, faster, and offers you more control. There’s a one-click application for creating Dokku Droplets on Digital Ocean, making it easy to have your private server in minutes.

The pre-installed Dokku image on Digital Ocean saves you the headache of installing Dokku yourself. So you can launch a server in no time and start Dokku.

You to set up a Dokku server on Digital Ocean with your root domain and deploy a simple static site without hassles.

Advantages of Dokku

  • Simplicity

Dokku on Digital Ocean is simple to set up and runs in no time with the pre-install Dokku image. It takes about a minute to spin up a server and get it running.

  • Open Source

Dokku is an open-source Platform as a Service (PaaS) built on Docker and uses open-source Heroku Build Packs. It comes with technical support from Digital Ocean.

  • Built on Docker

Dokku is powered by Docker mini-Heroku build pack.

  • Free

Dokku is an open platform; the cost of the Digital Ocean hosting plan is the only expenditure required to run Dokku. Once your app is live, you can push the server to the limits!

  • Git deployment

Dokku allows developers to deploy their apps with a Git push.

Disadvantages of Dokku

  • Required a little experience to run the server

Dokku requires at least some level of experience running your servers. You must manually configure some plugins, modify Nginx configurations, or even turn to debugging system tools.

  • Complex for beginners

Dokku uses Docker, an excellent platform, but can add an extra layer of complexity to installing a server.

  • Steep learning curve

Dokku requires root access to a VPS to install plugins, run commands, and do many other tasks. Remember, you must run more command line setups on Dokku than in Heroku, which means you will need to do some serious learning.

To know more about the differences between Dokku and Heroku, please read the article Dokku vs. Heroku.

Firebase

Firebase Heroku Alternative

Firebase is a Backend cloud service platform from Google. It is designed to build and power real-time applications with features like notifications, authentication, and other frontend services. 

Firebase takes a huge burden away from developers by managing hosting, backend servers, and creating backend services without writing server-side code.

Firebase automatically configures the backend storage with a simple NoSQL database that supports automatic SSL encryption and a GUI for making manual database entries.

Firebase is an excellent tool for authentication; OAuth logic’s abstraction through its robust API makes authentication via Facebook, Twitter, Google, and other platforms easier.

The in-built Google Analytics and AdSense support save developers the hassles of adding SDKs and external libraries for tracking and advertising purposes. It also allows multiple devices running a Firebase app to sync data changes instantly.

The database platform uses JSON, which is suitable for a web or mobile application. It supports Android, iOS, and Web applications, making it an excellent choice for creating native apps and web-based admin components.

The latest version is now completely hosted on Google Cloud infrastructure and has beautiful features like cloud storage and Push notifications for Android/iOS devices.

To know more about the differences between Heroku and Firebase, please read the article Heroku vs. Firebase

Advantages of Firebase

  • Real-time Database

It is one of the best features of Firebase; real-time data authentication is the future of database technology. Most database platforms make HTTP calls to sync data on demand.

Firebase does not use conventional HTTP; it uses a WebSocket, which is faster than HTTP. You only need one socket to automatically syncs all your data in a single connection.

This real-time database allows you to save, retrieve, and sync your data with the NoSQL cloud database, which is different from the traditional relational database. Its auth includes a built-in email/password authentication system.

It also supports OAuth2 for Twitter, Google, Facebook, and GitHub. This auth is also directly integrated into its database, granting you access to control your data.

  • Hosting

Firebase has easy-to-use cloud hosting services for all your static files that can be served from a single global CDN with HTTP/2.

  • Automatic Notifications

Firebase Notifications is a free service built on its Cloud Messaging (FCM) and the FCM SDK, enabling targeted user notifications for mobile app developers.

Firebase keeps two systems synchronized through automatic update notifications without requiring manual messaging.

  • Highly scalable applications

It allows you to treat data as streams to build highly scalable applications.

  • JSON

Its Database platform uses JSON, an excellent tool for mobile and web applications.

  • Free Tier

Firebase comes with a free Spark Plan for building hobbyist applications.

  • No Server for a simple UI

You don’t need a server for a simple UI on the Firebase platform.

Please read the Top 10 Advantages of Firebase article to learn more about this topic.

Disadvantages of Firebase

  • Vendor-lock-in

Migrating your applications away from the Firebase platform is difficult, if not impossible. You must do due diligence to ensure it’s the right platform for your applications.

  • Server Side limitation

Backend limitations are the most significant disadvantage of the Firebase platform. It provides less flexibility vs. its Heroku counterpart and may limit development for more sophisticated projects.

You can only rely on Google’s ‘black box.’ This limitation undermines your abilities to control backend operations. Although Firebase offers some utilities for backend configuration, it’s still limited to some extent.

  • Enterprise Support and Dedicated Servers

Firebase does not offer enterprise support or dedicated servers. Depending on your SLA and privacy requirements, this may be an issue.

For a thorough review of Firebase, please read Firebase | Secrets Unlocked.

Open Shift

Open Shift Heroku Alternative

OpenShift is a range of containerization products from the Redhat stable. This range’s main product is the OpenShift Container Platform, an on-premises PaaS(platform as a service) offering created on Docker containers.

A Red Hat Enterprise powers up the product, which is managed through Kubernetes. OpenShift Online is a platform that functions as a software as a service, and OpenShift also offers a managed service known as Openshift Dedicated.

OpenShift Console provides purpose-specific views for administrators and developers. The administrator views facilitate container health and resources monitoring, effortless user management, and operator functionality.

Developer views focus on application resources enclosed within namespaces. OpenShift also offers a CLI with support got Kubernetes CLI action presets.

Open Shift Advantages

  • Faster time to market

OpenShift enables development teams to prioritize their essential functions, i.e., designing applications and putting them to the test.

Developers can utilize their time better than container management and deployment activities. As a result, the development process becomes faster, and the time to market duration is also shortened.

  • Faster app development

Container deployment and management are complex and time-consuming tasks for developers.

OpenShift facilitates swift container orchestration, enabling rapid application provisioning, deployment, and scaling.

Apps also become easier to manage. OpenShift improves DevOps processes by organizing and automating the management process of containers.

Reducing the time that must be spent on container management enhances the productivity of a business. It directly results in faster application development processes.

Container-based platform without vendor lock-in

OpenShift is a vendor-agnostic and open-source platform enabling users to migrate container processes to any new operating system quickly.

It also helps them get freedom from paying the high costs related to migrating from conventional proprietary frameworks.

Open Shift Downsides

  • Log management 
  • Only support Jenkins
  • SSL knowledge required to run web projects
  • Learning curve
  • Best fit for large deployments

Engine Yard Overview

Engine Yard Heroku Alternative

Engine Yard is a company that offers a platform for cloud application management. In 2006, the company was co-founded by Lance Walley, Ezra Zygmuntowicz, and Tom Mornini. Since then, it has reached many innovative peaks in the field of application development infrastructure.

The company entered into a partnership with tech giant Microsoft in 2013. It was followed by it becoming a part of the Windows Azure marketplace.

This Platform-as-a-Service offering is a viable choice for developers as it runs in the cloud infrastructure of Microsoft. It facilitates the convenient deployment of mobile and web applications.

Engine Yard acquired OpDemand and the company’s PaaS Deis container in April 2015, and Crossover acquired engine Yard. Engine Yard supports direct one-click deployment of applications from Git repositories.

Engine Yard Advantages

  • Allow companies to innovate faster
  • Let companies to focus resources on core operations
  • Reduce time to market and save engineering time 
  • Up to date technology 
  • Scalability and uptime guarantee 

Engine Yard Disadvantages

  • No Free Tier
  • More granularity on security groups
  • Works only with AWS cloud

Netlify Overview

Netlify Heroku Alternative

Netlify is a leading cloud computing solution provider with many distinct offerings, such as hosting and serverless back-end services for static websites and web apps.

Some critical features of Netlify include Git-powered continuous development, a global-level app delivery network infrastructure, AWS Lambda function support, serverless form handling, and more. It also enjoys full-fledged Let’s Encrypt integration and comes with the options of free and premium plans.

Netlify is a service provider for leading companies such as Facebook, NBC, Google, Unilever, Cisco, Nike, TriNet, Kubernetes, Verizon, Citrix, Samsung, and LiveChat, among others. It can be the right choice for your development requirements.

Netlify Advantages

  • Cost-Friendly

Netlify is widely regarded as a more cost-friendly option for developing, hosting, and deploying applications and websites. The development and hosting of static apps can help businesses save considerably. 

  • Fast and straightforward

Netlify offers a feature-rich and agile solution that lets web apps and static website developers create through integrations. Users can create unlimited site branches when modifying site functionality or changing content required.

  • DNS Management

Netlify is a convenient choice for launching a website with its built-in DNS management feature.

Netlify Disadvantages

  • Logs 
  • Not an end-to-end application development platform
  • Can get costly for high bandwidth 

To know more about the differences between Heroku and Netlify, please read the article Heroku vs. Netlify.

Docker

Docker Heroku Alternative

Docker is a collection of the platform as service offerings that utilize OS-level virtualization technology to make software available in packages or containers. 

Containers are separate from each other and have their respective software, configuration files, and libraries. As a result, containers can communicate with each other via pre-existing channels.

A single OS kernel is used to run all the containers, which translates to Docker containers using fewer resources than virtual machines.

Docker is available in free and premium versions for its users. It comes with the Docker Engine, the software used to host its containers.

Docker Advantages

  • The environment is isolated and stable

Utilizing containers lets developers generate stable and consistent environments that stay isolated from other applications.

The consistency is maintained irrespective of where an application has been deployed. As a result, users benefit from lesser debugging, increased productivity, and more time to enhance the features and functionality of applications to entice users.

  • Fast deployments at lower costs

In many cases, containers in Docker can reduce deployment time to a matter of seconds. It is a standout advantage of using Docker that many developers have realized.

Specific tasks such as provisioning and hardware preparation can take many days and make things difficult for developers. But containerization makes things easier and faster without any hassle.

  • Flexible offering

Docker containers also provide added functionality to developers and are pretty flexible. They can be utilized for performing swift upgrades while the release cycle of a product is ongoing.

Implementing changes, testing out containers, and launching new ones are easy. The flexibility offered by Docker makes it a top choice for many developers.

They can quickly develop, test, and release deployable images across multiple servers. Processes maintain their consistency regardless of whether there are new security patches.

Patches can be instantly applied, tested, and made ready for production. Docker also enables users to perform fast startup applications and services to make conditions optimal within cloud environments.

Docker Cons

  • Not the same speed as bare metal
  • Not ideal for graphical applications
  • Complex persistent data storage

Kubernetes 

Kubernetes Heroku Alternative

Kubernetes is an open-source orchestration system for containers. It is used to initiate automation for app deployment, scaling, and management.

Kubernetes was developed by Google and provides users a platform to easily automate tasks such as the deployment and scaling of applications.

It also enables automating application operations across multiple hosts. Kubernetes can be utilized with various container tools and initially also had Docker support.  

Many cloud service providers offer Kubernetes-based IaaS and PaaS. These infrastructures and platforms support the Kubernetes service. Many companies also provide Kubernetes distributions.

Kubernetes Advantages

  • Better productivity with Kubernetes

Kubernetes can benefit productivity if it has been precisely implemented within engineering workflows. The Kubernetes ecosystem is vast and has many features that users can efficiently utilize.

Developers can rely on some cloud-native software tools to create sophisticated solutions that would otherwise not have been possible.

Applications are stable with Kubernetes

Kubernetes lets users gain certainty that their application is functioning correctly and reliably at any given time.

Users can utilize rolling updates to make application modifications without having to deal with downtime. Kubernetes can also be configured to support high availability apps, and users can expect high uptime with leading vendors and cloud service providers. 

  • Affordable solution

Using Kubernetes is usually very inexpensive, and there are many orchestration platforms you can benefit from. 

Heroku Alternatives | Comparison Table 

ProviderOne LinerPriceScalableEcosystem
HerokuHeroku is a platform as a service (PaaS) that enables developers to build, run, and operate applications entirely in the cloud.Free Tier + Paid Plans at $25/moYesProprietary
Back4appLow code backend to build mordern appsFree Tier + Paid Plans at $5/moYesOpen-Source
Elastic BeanstalkEasy-to-use service for deploying and scaling web applications and services developed with Java, . NET, PHP, Node. js, Python, Ruby, Go, and Docker on familiar servers such as Apache, Nginx, Passenger, and IIS.Free + Pay only for other AWS servicesYesProprietary
Google App EngineLets app developers build scalable web and mobile back ends in any programming language on a fully managed serverless platform.Pay as you goYesProprietary
DokkuThe smallest PaaS implementation you’ve ever seen. Dokku helps you build and manage the lifecycle of applications. Free to downloadYesOpen-Source
FirebaseBuild, Improve, Grow – Mobile App Success Made SimpleFree Tier + Pay as you go modelYesProprietary
OpenShiftIs an open source container application platform based on the Kubernetes container orchestrator for enterprise app development.Free Trial + See website for pricingYesOpen-Source
EngineYardThe 10-year leader in Ruby DevOps. You’ve got the apps. We’ve got the ops. Come for the Platform as a Service (PaaS). Stay for the support.Free Trial + Paid Plans at $49/moYesProprietary
NetlifyDeploy modern static websites with Netlify. Get CDN, Continuous deployment, 1-click HTTPS, and all the services you need. Get started for free.Free Tier + Paid Plans at $19/moYesProprietary
DockerEmpowering App Development for DevelopersFree Tier + Paid Plans at $5/moyesOpen-Source
KubernetesIs an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications.Depends on vendorYesOpen-Source

Conclusion

This article presented the best Heroku alternatives. It compared the platforms against features, pricing, hosting options, SLA, and flexibility.

No right or wrong vendor exists, and the ideal decision will depend on your project requirements. More specific projects like MVPs and internal apps may fit nicely on Back4app, Dokku, or Firebase.

More sophisticated and more extensive projects may have better adherence with AWS Beanstalk.

FAQ

Why look for a Heroku alternative?

The two main reasons are the Price and Sleeping Apps.

What are the best alternatives to Heroku?

– Back4app
– Elastic Beanstalk
– App Engine
– Firebase
– Dokku
– OpenShift
– Engine Yard
– Netlify
– Docker
– Kubernetes

What are Heroku advantages?

– Easy to use and great documentation
– Amazing error logs
– Scaling is simple

What are Heroku disadvantages?

– Expensive in comparison to AWS or Google Cloud
– Limited quantity of plugins and add-ons
– Sleeping apps on the free tier


Looking for a reliable Parse Alternative? Here’s the choice of most Parse users

parse-alternative-back4app

Four years since Facebook open-source the Parse framework. The Parse developer community is even stronger now and new features are being released constantly. For example, a beta version of GraphQL APIs were made available in 2019 and the production mode is ready to use in 2020.  

There’s no denying the fact that finding an ideal replacement for Parse is probably tricky. While there are numerous options in the contemporary market, only a handful of them is trustworthy and reliable. Back4App is one such alternative that has been consistently attracting developers’ attention at an astounding rate.


What is function as a service?

serverless-faas

The general concept in the developer community is that serverless technology is basically all about Function as a service (FaaS). In fact, most developers think another name for serverless is FaaS — a process that allows developers deliver workloads without provisioning and managing facilities like servers and other infrastructures.