Heroku is a Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) product.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a series of many different services, they
offer a service similar to Heroku called AWS Elastic Beanstalk.

AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is usually the service people are
thinking of when they think of AWS.  EC2 is what is called
Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).  IaaS like EC2 gives you a virtual
machine, usually a Linux server. You maintain the Linux server,
install dependencies such as Ruby, MySQL, PHP, Apache, etc, install
updates, etc and are essentially the sysadmin for that server.  You
upload your application and keep it running on there and maintain

With PaaS like Heroku, most of that Linux sysadmin stuff is abstracted
away and largely done by automatically. Instead, you just create a
simple configuration file to tell Heroku what kind of application you
have (Ruby on Rails, Python, PHP, Java, etc), and maybe also what
services you need (MySQL, PostgreSQL, Redis, etc) and then upload your
code.  The PaaS will automatically install dependencies and wire
things up for you and make things just magically work for you, you
don't need to worry about monitoring the server, upgrades, etc.  PaaS
makes it simpler to deploy and maintain an app, you don't need to
worry as much about being a sysadmin.

There are some drawbacks:
- it might not be quite as flexible as a full VM depending on your needs
- you usually must adhere to certain app development methodologies,
ie: 12-factor apps (but this can be a benefit
- sometimes there is a little bit of vendor lock-in -- you often must
make some minor changes to your application if you want to move to a
different vendor

Hope this helps :)


On Wed, Jun 8, 2016 at 6:43 AM, Harper, Cynthia <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> How does it compare to Amazon Web Services?
> Cindy Harper
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Andromeda Yelton
> Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2016 9:50 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Heroku
> I'm a freelance software developer not embedded in a library, but I use Heroku routinely to host apps I'm developing for fun, or as a testing site, and one of my clients deploys its production app on Heroku. It took me a while to wrap my head around, but I love it to little tiny pieces (and once you do wrap your head around it, it becomes *unbelievably* straightforward).
> Do you have any more specific questions?
> On Mon, Jun 6, 2016 at 3:15 PM, Louisa Choy <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Hi everyone,
>> My college is using Heroku to host a web application for another
>> department.  I'm trying to get a sense of how many institutions out
>> there are using it, what you use it for, what the pool of expertise is
>> like for it, and what your thoughts on it are.
>> Thanks!
>> -Louisa
>> Louisa Choy
>> Digital Services Librarian
>> Wheelock College Library
>> 132 Riverway
>> Boston, MA   02215
>> (617) 879-2213
>> (she/her/hers)
> --
> Andromeda Yelton
> Board of Directors/Vice-President Elect, Library & Information Technology
> Association:
> @ThatAndromeda <>