Elastic Beanstalk vs Heroku

When developing applications on the cloud, an orchestration platform as a service (PaaS) implementation eliminates the hassles of provisioning compute and storage resources while providing a fully functional development environment. Such platforms significantly increase the pace of development, providing developers with a competitive advantage in highly crowded niches.

Heroku is one of the oldest container-based app development platforms and is fairly easy to use. Continue reading as we discuss its features and advantages compared to AWS Elastic Beanstalk, another extremely popular orchestration service.

Key Takeaways

  • Both platforms are PaaS implementations
  • Heroku has environments in the USA and Europe
  • Beanstalk is available in all AWS regions
  • Heroku has a free tier, and plans start at $7 per month
  • Beanstalk is free to use, and the user only pays for the associated AWS services

What is Elastic Beanstalk?

Elastic Beanstalk is the orchestration service under Amazon Web Services that allows developers to build and scale web apps and services using existing AWS infrastructure. As a developer, you simply need to upload your code to the AWS Cloud, and EB will provision the resources and handle the configuration on your behalf.

Elastic Beanstalk effortlessly integrates with other AWS services, making it a popular choice among developers who already have experience working with Amazon infrastructure.

EB sets up “environments” that can contain EC2 instances along with other AWS components like Elastic Load Balancer, Security Group, Auto Scaling Group, etc., and then manages these services when you want to update your application.

Elastic Beanstalk Core Features 

  • App deployment options

As a web developer, you can choose to deploy your applications through either the AWS Management Control, Visual Studio, Eclipse, or Elastic Beanstalk CLI, depending on your preferences. You also get to choose between multiple deployment policies for speed or safety.

  • Native and third-party integrations

EB supports almost every application development language, including C#, Python, PHP, etc., and frameworks. Each language and framework get their own SDK runtimes, meaning you need to make almost no change to the code when uploading it to the cloud. You can increase the functionality of the app using native and third-party integrations.

  • Easy monitoring

Similar to Heroku, you get an intuitive unified user interface for monitoring and managing the application health called the Health Dashboard. It collects and displays over 40 crucial app metrics and integrates with X-Ray and CloudWatch for advanced logging and tracing. 

Elastic Beanstalk Advantages 

  • Full advantage of AWS

An orchestration service like Elastic Beanstalk makes it extremely easy to develop and host apps on the AWS architecture and integrate it with other services like EC2, S3, Elastic Load Balancers, Security Group, CloudWatch, etc.

Either use the Management Control or an IDE like Visual Studio to write your code or directly upload it from a Git repository to the Cloud and EB will handle everything on your behalf.

  • Complete control over the resources

While EB manages all the infrastructure, as a developer, you have control over the AWS resources that will power your application. Select the AWS or third-party services that you believe to be optimal for your project. As your app scales, you can seamlessly use the Management Console to control some or all of the resources manually.

  • Quicker time to market

With backend infrastructure provisioned on your behalf, your development team can focus on writing and improving the app code instead of wasting the time learning completely new tasks like provisioning resources, managing backend firewalls, handling load balancers, etc. Your app stack becomes ready for the end-user within minutes of uploading the code to the cloud.

What is Heroku? 

As stated earlier, Heroku is one of the oldest container-based Platform as a Service (PaaS) implementations for deploying and managing modern scalable applications. Heroku is also based on AWS, but unlike EC2 or EB, it is much simpler to use and is highly efficient for rapid scaling and super fast deployment.

Being a fully managed PaaS solution, Heroku also completely manages the server infrastructure on your behalf, providing your development team with a simple and quick way to deliver PoC applications rapidly out of the gate. You get the tools and services required to improve production efficiency without the hassles of provisioning or maintaining the hardware.

To know more about the best Heroku alternative services, please read the article Top Ten Heroku Alternatives.

Heroku Core Features 

  • Security audits

Heroku might be one of the most secure app development platforms that run in security compliance with HIPAA, SOC, ISO, PCI, etc. It regularly audits the app data on the platform and the infrastructure to ensure the security of its users’ data.

  • Heroku OpEx

Heroku Operational Experience is the platform’s app health monitoring implementation that notifies the testers and developers when there is something wrong with their app stack. At no extra cost, you get access to threshold monitoring and alerting, and view crucial app metrics, allowing you to fix any negative trends immediately.

  • Functionality integrations

With Heroku, you can also improve the functionality of your apps without bloating the source code with the help of various APIs and third-party integrations. You can easily add functionality improvements like notifications, security, storage, etc.

Heroku Advantages 

  • Dynos and scalability

Dynos are isolated virtualised Linux containers that hold a copy of the code, designed to execute the code on a user-specified command. These containers serve as the building blocks of Heroku and help in automatic scaling, as Heroku simply adds new dynos to the app stack when your app needs to scale to meet increased traffic.

  • Directly upload from Git repositories

One of the ways Heroku helps in rapid app deployment is through directly deploying the code from the software version control system Git and its hosting platform repositories like GitHub, etc. In addition, you can write your own code using any of the supported app development languages and deploy it directly using Heroku buildpacks.

  • Heroku buildpacks

Buildpacks are a set of open-source scripts that essentially form the backbone of the platform’s polyglot. Official Heroku buildpacks can be used to extend the platform’s build system to support your language and customisations, or to make particular binary packages available to the runtime.

Heroku vs Beanstalk Comparison

Elastic BeanstalkHeroku
DescriptionOrchestration service from Amazon Web ServicesPlatform as a Service from Salesforce
Launch Date20112007
Pricing StructureFree to useFree Tier
Plans start at $7 per month and work under the Pay as you go structure
Featured ClientsGeoNet
Ebury
CrowdChat
ThinkMD
GNAR
EletricSMS
Developer CentricYesYes
RegionsWorldwideUSA / Europe
FlexibilityMore flexibleLess Flexible
Managed SolutionAWS incorporates managed and non-managed servicesFully Managed
Programming languagesGo, Java, Node. js, PHP, Python, RubyRuby, Java, PHP, Python, Node, Go, Scala and Clojure
PopularityAccording to Google Trends, Elastic Beanstalk is a less popular term vs Heroku.According to Google Trends, Heroku is a more popular term vs Elastic Beanstalk.

To know more about these two great platforms, please refer to the following articles:

Conclusion

Heroku and AWS Elastic Beanstalk are extremely popular among developers.

Elastic Beanstalk is Amazon Web Services’ orchestration service. It was launched in 2011, supports Go, Java, Node, PHP, Python, Ruby, and has customers like GeoNet, Ebury, and CrowdChat.

Heroku is Salesforce’s platform as a service. It was launched in 2007, supports Ruby, Java, PHP, Python, Node, Go, Scala and Clojure, and has customers like ThinkMD, GNAR, and EletricSMS.

If you are selecting one for your project and cannot decide between the two, experts at a leading app hosting company can help you get deeper insights into the matter.

FAQ

What is Elastic Beanstalk?

Elastic Beanstalk is Amazon Web Services’ orchestration service. It was launched in 2011, supports Go, Java, Node, PHP, Python, Ruby, and has customers like GeoNet, Ebury, and CrowdChat.

What is Heroku?

Heroku is Salesforce’s platform as a service. It was launched in 2007, supports Ruby, Java, PHP, Python, Node, Go, Scala and Clojure, and has customers like ThinkMD, GNAR, and EletricSMS.

What are the differences and similarities between Heroku and Elastic Beanstalk?

– Both platforms are PaaS implementations
– Heroku has environments in the USA and Europe
– Beanstalk is available in all AWS regions
– Heroku has a free tier, and plans start at $7 per month
– Beanstalk is free to use, and the user only pays for the associated AWS services


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