AWS Amplify vs Heroku – Which is the best?

This article will explore the diferences and similarities between AWS Amplify vs Heroku. It will cover the core functionalities and pricing structure.

Selecting the right cloud service that complement the app is a crucial aspect of software development. There are several types of infrastructure services available in the market, each offering a different level of flexibility and features. 

In the following post, we take a look at two of these, i.e., BaaS and Paas, along with two of the most popular providers in each category.

Continue reading to compare the features and pricing discussed below. If you have been wondering about which one to select for your upcoming projects, the following comparison should help you make an informed decision.

What is AWS Amplify?

First, we take a look at a popular backend as a service provider AWS Amplify. A BaaS provider offers cloud computing resources and automates the backend tasks, allowing developers to focus on improving the frontend of the application and delivering an excellent user experience.

Amplify is essentially a bunch of tools and services offered by Amazon that can be used by developers to create full-stack applications using AWS infrastructure.

Amplify supports a wide range of programming languages, including JavaScript, React, Next.js, and Angular for web development, and Flutter, Android, iOS, and React for mobile development.

It brings several advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities, allowing developers to create highly advanced, modern applications for all platforms.

The Admin UI in Amplify now also supports backend capabilities, allowing developers to configure backends and manage users outside the AWS console. Content Editors and Testers can easily save data and update the app to render rich texts.

AWS Amplify Features

  • Hosting: Amplify offers full-stack fully managed hosting right within the platform integrated with continuous integration and development systems. Developers can build the backend of a full-stack serverless application with cloud resources from the BaaS and the frontend with single-page frameworks.
  • Analytics: Being part of the AWS ecosystem, Amplify allows developers to use other services from Amazon to enhance the overall functionality of the workflow. For instance, Amazon PinPoint and Kinesis allow developers to see how their apps interact with various operating systems over specific metrics.
  • DataStore: Powered by GraphQL, Amplify offers a persistent, on-device storage system that allows developers to take advantage of unshared and shared streams of data without developing code for any of it. The DataStore automatically synchronizes data between the apps and the cloud, enabling workflows that incorporate cross-user data.

AWS Amplify Pricing

Amplify follows a pay-as-you-go model where you are charged a separate price for building and hosting. There are no charges for using the Amplify framework. It also has a free tier, both of which are discussed in brief below:

  • Static web hosting free tier: Upon signing up, each AWS user gets 1000 build minutes with 5 GB of data storage and 15 GB served per month.
  • Static web hosting pay as you go: In this tier, you are charged for build and deploy at $0.01 per minute and separately for storage at $0.023 per GB and service at $0.15 per GB monthly. You will need to pay only for the resources used to build and deploy, features like a public SSL certificate and multiple sites per project offered at no extra cost.

What is Heroku?

Moving on to the Platform service, we take a look at Heroku, one of the most popular implementations in Ruby workflows.

Launched in 2007, Heroku is offered as a platform as a service implementation, which offers a complete environment for developing high-performance applications.

In PaaS, users are provided with a complete platform that can be used to build, run, and manage cloud-based software solutions without maintaining and managing the background servers required to run them.

The model followed by Heroku is very similar to a serverless computing model, with the only difference being that it does not only execute in response to a trigger event.

Heroku is one of the first cloud computing models that follows a container-based model. It offers isolated Linux containers called “dynos” distributed over a “dyno grid”. 

Heroku Features

  • Fully managed runtime environment: Dynos in Heroku are fully managed runtime environments where developers can simply upload their code and Heroku will handle the rest. It supports a wide range of input languages; apart from the originally supported Ruby, Heroku supports Node, Java, PHP, Go, Scala, etc. The runtime keeps your apps running without any manual intervention.
  • Threshold monitoring: Termed Heroku Operational Experience, the platform offers a series of tools and services that monitor negative trends and notify the developers in real-time. Heroku also automatically scales dynos or migrates the deployment to a new tier if the response time crosses a threshold.
  • Server security: Heroku continuously monitors servers and performs security audits to ensure that the platform maintains compliance with HIPAA, SOC, ISO, etc. All app data stored on the servers are encrypted and regularly monitored.

Heroku Pricing

Like Amplify, Heroku also offers a free tier, where enthusiasts can try the platform and develop non-commercial applications.

It also has a Hobby tier starting at $7 with similar resources (550-1000 dyno hours) but offers free SSL and automated certificate management. The business tiers are discussed in brief below:

  • Standard: Standard 1x at $25 for lightweight apps that can run with 512 MB RAM and Standard 2X at $50 for compute-intense background workers that need 1 GB RAM.
  • Performance: Performance M at $250 per dyno per month for developing and running high traffic, low latency apps; Performance L at $500 per dyno per month for extremely high concurrency and max throughput for latency-sensitive, highest traffic apps.
  • Enterprise: Private tier for running apps that need greater control and Shield tier for high compliance applications; custom pricing for dedicated resources.

Heroku vs AWS Amplify Comparison

AWS AmplifyHeroku
OverviewPlatform to create web and mobile apps fasterPlatform to build, deploy, and scale applications
CategoryBackend as a ServicePlatform as a Service
Parent CompanyAmazonSalesforce
Year Launched 20182007
Core FeaturesLibraries
Managed databases
Container platform
Free TierYesYes
PricingPay as you goStarts at $7/month
Featured ClientsNeiman Marcus
Amazon Music


The choice between a backend service and a platform service implementation depends substantially on how much flexibility the development teams want.

Therefore, you will need to carefully measure the requirements of your development teams in order to select the best infrastructure for your organization.

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