Google App Engine vs Heroku

A feature-rich and reliable cloud computing platform is one of the most vital business requirements across industry domains. The choice of a platform directly impacts the performance of applications and the value they deliver to end-users.

While there are many choices out there, Google App Engine and Heroku are two widely-popular platform-as-a-service options. Between these two, developers are most likely to find all essential cloud computing features. Read on to take a detailed look at both platforms.

What is Google App Engine?

Google App Engine is a cloud computing platform from technology giant Google. It provides various application development, deployment and management features that accelerate workflows and ensure favorable outcomes. 

Google App Engine’s fundamental requirements are: 

  • Data being stored in Google’s Bigtable 
  • Writing code using these programming languages- Python, Ruby, .NET, Go, Java, Node.js, or PHP 
  • Using the Google query language. 
  • Customizing non-compliant applications. 

The App Engine provides relatively more infrastructure when compared with other expandable hosting products. It also excels at minimizing infrastructure management and system administration duties so developers can focus on crafting code, making it convenient to draft expandable applications.

Google App Engine is the best cloud computing technology invented to date. It permits developers to build web applications while ensuring security, scalability, availability, and accessibility. You also build host web apps on a server-less platform. Google App Engine provides the following services:

  • Allows developers to build expandable web applications on the Google Cloud platform.
  • Developers are required to focus on only one thing – building mobile applications on the cloud platform.
  • For the rest part, Google App Engine provides the required platform and manages the built applications in its data centers. 
  • Google App Engine data centers are suitable for efficient application hosting. 
  • It provides a flexible and time-served platform for maintaining infrastructure and monitoring application servers. 
  • Provides a robust and convenient option to developers through assorted developer tools and support for development languages.  
  • Allows business owners to stay valuable and innovative by providing a platform that is scalable, easy-to-use, diverse, and profitable. 

Google App Engine Core Features

Some prominent features of Google App Engine are: 

  • Automatic scalability

Web applications developed with Google App Engine are capable of automatic expansion based on changing application requirements.

It dynamically allocates computational resources and efficiently balances the load of the application performance. The level of scalability it offers helps developers reduce costs and save valuable time. 

  • Fully managed

The App Engine provides an environment that allows developers to focus on their core coding responsibilities, as it takes care of all infrastructure management responsibilities.

This also saves your time and lets you pay complete attention to building an app that complies with customer requirements and tailor it to their needs. 

  • Traffic splitting  

Google App Engine lets you perform A/B testing and incremental feature rollouts by splitting the entire traffic between two versions of developed applications.

It is achieved by connecting the incoming traffic automatically to the various apps. Google App Engine makes it easier for you to structure increments strategically based on what application version works the best for you.

  • Collection of tools and development languages

The Google App Engine provides a range of programming languages, including Python, .NET, Ruby, Go, PHP, Java, C#, and Node.Js. This allows a great deal of flexibility to developers, as they can easily import frameworks and libraries via docker containers.

Every language has its own runtime and SDK tools. These tools help in swift application development and effortless local testing. Developers can then deploy applications based on specific requirements. 

  • Effective diagnostic service

Google App Engine provides convenient diagnostic features in the form of Cloud Logging and Cloud Monitoring. These diagnostic services allow developers to scan applications smoothly and identify any potential bugs so developers can fix them without delay.

The platform is available on a usage-based model and speeds up resources when app traffic rises. This gives a comprehensive overview of the services used. Users are only required to pay for the resources they use.

Google App Engine Pricing

The Google App Engine free quotas give limited resources for applications. Users are billed when they exceed the resource limits. 

Pay-as-you-go model – App Engine’s pay-as-you-go pricing model is use-based. Users are billed based on the tools and add-ons they avail.

Google App Engine pricing is divided into the standard and flexible pricing models to meet the wide range of user requirements. These models also encompass the price of Google Cloud products.

  • Standard Environment –  Under the Standard Environment pricing plan, users are charged hourly billing rates depending on the number of instance classes. There are the options of basic scaling and manual scaling. Outgoing traffic is billed at a rate of $0.12 per GB for users of this plan. They must also pay additional Legacy App Engine resources like Search API, dedicated Memcache, and Blobstore data. 
  • Flexible Environment – The App Engine’s Flexible Environment pricing plan provides virtual machine deployments for users’ applications. Billing is done based on virtual machines on a per-second basis. Users are required to pay resources for application memory and runtime memory. Hourly billing is processed based on factors like outgoing and incoming traffic, memory, vCPU and persistent traffic. 

Developers can get started with the free quota of Google App Engine by opting for the Standard environment. The free quota is not available as part of the Flexible pricing plan. 

What is Heroku?

Heroku is a cloud-based platform as a service supporting a range of programming languages. It was initially developed for supporting applications compatible with Rack, the Ruby programming platform.

The Heroku application platform has come a long way, and now it supports other programming languages like Java, Scala, Python, Go, Clojure, PHP, and Node.Js.  

Over time, Heroku has earned a highlighting feature for its developers – allowing them to build, run, and scale projects in the same way across different languages. For this reason, users identify Heroku as a polygon platform.  

Heroku is a cloud platform that is the number one choice for most app developers. It provides the fastest route to go from idea to URL, making a detour around all those infrastructural headaches, providing simple app development and deployment.

Its popularity has grown recently, and its easy-to-use features have made it a top choice for most developers.

Read here to know more about Heroku Alternatives.

Heroku provides the following services: 

  • Heroku serves as the quickest way for an organization to become an app development company. It provides services that permit organizations to spend a major part of their valuable time in developing applications that immediately start giving out results. 
  • Heroku cloud platform service embraces several languages that attract developers from the modern app economy. Heroku gives an incredible developer experience, allowing them to get on with app development in the best way possible. It makes scaling, managing, configuring, deploying, and tuning applications as straightforward as possible.  
  • It is an ecosystem cloud service platform that expands apps after developing them with fully managed services. 

Heroku core features

Some prominent features of Heroku are: 

Heroku platform

Heroku’s cloud platform service reduces the developer’s need for managing infrastructure. It offers many convenient features that enable developers to deploy apps effortlessly.

Heroku provides quintessential expandability options and facilitates easy management of applications. Developers love to use this platform as a service for a variety of programming languages it supports.  

  • Heroku DX – This app-oriented feature allows developers to develop and deploy applications. 
  • Heroku OpEX – This feature is a plus point for users, as they can easily pinpoint the application issues and solve them with precision. Customized operations flow smoothly with Heroku’s OpEX feature. 
  • Heroku Runtime– Heroku has a special container, known as Dynos, that allows it to run apps in a fully managed runtime environment.  
  • Heroku Elements– It is the marketplace of an organization where customers can gain access to all its buttons, add-ons, and various other resources. 
  • Compliance and Security– Heroku’s compliance and security offer features such as authentication, HIPAA, SOC, compliance for PCI, GDPR, SSL, and other standards. 

Heroku Enterprise

Heroku’s enterprise-level features mainly benefit large organizations. It provides governance and management features by integrating the provider’s development functionalities and features. 

  • Heroku Connect – Heroku Connect is an offering of Heroku Enterprise and Connect SKU (Stock Keeping Unit). Users must opt for the Enterprise License to avail of the Connect SKU. 
  • Heroku Shield – It facilitates high-level security for high compliance apps. 
  • Heroku Private Spaces – It facilitates app creation with yielding requirements. Users can avail of this feature through Shield Private Space SKU. 

Heroku Data Services

Heroku’s data services offer fully managed dataset support for Apache Kafka, Postgres, and Redis. It also permits developers to develop apps with hassle-free scaling, backup, and performance. 

  • Apache Kafka – It is a Scala-based, Java, and a low latency stream processing platform, allowing users to run project cases in a real-time environment.  
  • Heroku Redis – It is an add-on that facilitates key-value data storage. Users can access Redis from any Redus driver, provided the driver has to encompass languages and frameworks that support Heroku.  
  • Heroku Postgres – It offers a managed SQL database. 

Heroku Teams

Heroku Teams provide a setup that facilitates effortless collaboration among developers and their associates. Users can rely on this feature to handle administration, change permissions, and configure resources.

This feature enables integrated collaboration and faster development of apps through facilitating administration, application administration, secure app development processes, and billing.

Heroku Pricing

Choose application types from the following offers: 

  • Buy non-commercial apps for $0 and up per month. 
  • Buy business-focused apps for $25 and up per month. 
  • Buy mission-critical apps for $250 and up per month. 
  • Contact the sales department for custom pricing for purchasing apps that meet collaborative needs, compliance, and control of large organizations. 

For purchasing applications that run on Dynos (isolated and lightweight Linus containers), choose from the following options: 

  • Buy Heroku with no commitment for 550-1000 dynos / hour/per month. 
  • Buy standard business apps for $25-$50 /dyno / month. 
  • Buy low latency and high traffic performance apps for $250-$500 /dyno/ month. 
  • Buy private apps (greater control, network isolation, and dedicated resources) after contacting sales.  
  • Contact sales for buying high compliance apps.  

Apache Kafka on Heroku 

  • Buy basic multi-tenant kafka for low-volume streams, testing, and development for $100-$175 / month. 
  • Buy dedicated kafka for high-volume streams for $3200 / month. 
  • Buy dedicated kafka for massive streams for $8700 / month. 
  • Buy high compliance apps and manage streams and events after contacting sales for custom pricing. 

Redis on Heroku 

  • Buy prototyping or personal apps for $0 or up / month. 
  • Buy apps that store workload and provide data protection for $15 and up / month. 
  • Buy apps that store intensive workloads for $750 and up / month. 
  • Buy apps that store data for network isolation after contacting sales for custom pricing. 

Postgres on Heroku 

  • Buy Heroku Postgress at no risk for $0 and up / month. 
  • Buy commercial apps for $50 and up / month. 
  • Buy apps that support heavy workload for $200 and up / month. 
  • Buy network-isolated apps after contacting sales for custom pricing. 

Google App Engine vs. Heroku | Comparison Table

Google App EngineHeroku
Parent OrganizationGoogleSalesForce
Year of Foundation20082007
Cloud HostingGoogle CloudAWS
Datacenter LocationsUSA, Europe, Asia-PacificUSA and Europe
Supported LanguagesNode.js, Java, Ruby, C#, Go, Python, or PHPRuby, Java, PHP, Python, Node, Go, Scala and Clojure


Google App Engine allows developers to build web apps on similar expandable systems that power Google apps. You can use Google App Engine to build, maintain, and scale the traffic with convenience. Developers can also scale apps without having to worry about how to manage them, as management is as simple as running them on web-based dashboards.

On the other hand, Heroku allows developers to deliver and scale-built apps with a trailblazing developer experience. It is an entirely new way of developing apps that permit developers to spend most of their time writing codes and leaving everything else on the cloud platform service to manage.

Both Heroku and Google App Engine are powerful platforms that can more than meet the application development and management requirements of businesses. Compare the features and pricing information given above to choose the right one for your needs.


What is Google App Engine?

A PaaS service from Google Cloud.

What is Heroku?

A PaaS service from Salesforce.

What are the similarities and differences between Heroku and App Engine?

– Both are platform as a service;
– Both speedup app development;
– Heroku runs on top of AWS;
– App Engine runs on top of GCP;
– Heroku has datacenters in the USA and Europe;
– App Engine has datacenters in the USA, Europe, and Asia;
– Heroku supports Ruby, Java, PHP, Python, Node, Go, Scala and Clojure programming languages;
– App Engine supports Node.js, Java, Ruby, C#, Go, Python, and PHP programming languages.

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