What IS Heroku

Short introduction to HEROKU

HEROKU is a popular Platform-as-a-Service provider (PaaS) which makes it easy for developers to deploy apps in different technologies and frameworks using a short learning curve. The platform support all major languages like Python, Ruby, Java, PHP, and popular frameworks: Flask, Django, Express.

To use effectively HEROKU we need to install the CLI, the command line interface that helps us to interact with the deployment platform.

How to start

  • Create a FREE account on HEROKU platform

  • Install the Heroku CLI that match your OS: Mac, Unix, or Windows

  • Open a terminal window and authenticate via HEROKU login command:

    • Type in terminal heroku login. This will open a new browser window where the LOGIN action must be confirmed

HEROKU - Sign Up page

HEROKU - Sign Up page



After the installation is complete, open a terminal window and type heroku -v to check if HEROKU CLI is usable.

$ heroku -v
$ heroku/7.42.13 win32-x64 node-v12.16.2
$ # The sample output returned by HEROKU CLI on a Windows PC

HEROKU Sample Deployment

We can see HEROKU in action by using two samples FREE apps provided by AppSeed - Flask Black Dashboard. This popular Flask starter is provided with all assets required by HEROKU to be deployed in seconds. The relevant files:

Step #1 - Edit runtime.txt and specify the Python version to be used


Step #2 - Edit Procfile, the HEROKU app bootstrapper

web: gunicorn run:app --log-file=-

The above line instructs HEROKU to use the Gunicorn WSGI server to execute the WSGI app object, returned by run.py, located at the root of the project.

# Contents of run.py
from flask_migrate import Migrate
from os import environ
app = create_app( app_config )
Migrate(app, db)
# At this point, app is the WSGI object that Gunicorn expects.

The gunicorn module must be also present in the requirements.txt file, along with other modules required by the app.

gunicorn # <--- The magic line

With all configuration in place, we can start the deployment by typing a few lines in the terminal.

Step - #3 Clone the source code of target project

$ git clone https://github.com/app-generator/flask-black-dashboard.git
$ cd flask-black-dashboard

Step - #4 HEROKU Login - this will trigger a new browser window

$ heroku login

Step - #5 Create the app in HEROKU platform

$ # Create the app with a random name
$ heroku create
$ # Create app using a name
$ heroku create you-name-here

Step - #5 Compile the app in the HEROKU environment

$ git push heroku master

Step - #6 Open the app in the browser

$ heroku open

At this point, the sample app should be visible in the browser.

Flask Dashboard - Black Design, free starter coded in Flask by AppSeed.

HEROKU troubleshooting

  • First, make sure HEROKU CLI is accessible in the terminal. To check this type heroku -v in the terminal.

  • Make sure the commands are typed inside source code directory

  • heroku create used with an argument - Make sure that name is available in the HEROKU namespace.

HEROKU-ready apps

Starters provided by AppSeed are deployment-ready by default for many popular platforms - Docker, HEROKU and Gunicorn/Nginx.