2014-06-25 08:32:00 UTC

Does Heroku charge for support? Do developers need to adopt new technologies?


Hello – I am doing a review of PaaS vendors, specific to their Dev Ops features. I was trying to find out the following on Heroku:

  • Customer technical support – is this free, for fee, or not even offered? Are there dedicated staff to monitor user support forums?
  • Are developers required to adopt any proprietary or vendor-provided client or server technologies in order to leverage the cloud platform?
  • What are the key differentiators for developers? 

Thank you for your time.

Guest
33 Answers

author avatar
Vendor

Thanks so much for your detailed response - I did see Heroku's description of their support services, but wasn't sure how to interpret it agaiinst other vendors'. These personal use reviews are very helpful to the non-IT person.

2014-06-25 13:16:28 UTC
author avatar
Vendor

Hi,

I am very happy with Heroku and its staff over all.

1- Technical support is often prompt and correct, no they havent charge for
Support at all, I have been querying them every now and then without being
charged, not sure if they charge for any premium service or anything,
2- Usually no the developers are not required to learn the proprietary
technologies, Heroku setup and its configuration has a bit of learning
curve but their documentation in that regard is excellent
3- Differentiators for developers? for us it was the ease of setup with
their plugins add-ons, its very easy to focus on Coding your product when
your extra tasks like emails or setups are already been taken care of.

Nawaz

2014-06-25 11:57:03 UTC
author avatar
Vendor

I've not used their Customer support but here is what they say about it

>>
Free Support

Support is available for all Heroku users through our Help platform, which lets you file tickets with our support team and get more information on common questions and issues.

Premium Support

For critical production apps and enterprises, Heroku Premium Support offers guaranteed response times, 24/7 support, and 1:1 help in running your application. Contact our Customer Advocates.
<<

So IOW free support is provided via email/BBS and yes they have staff looking at bugs but not dedicated to your account unless you pay for a premium license.

And yes Heroku - like all other Platform/Fabric as a vendor is essentially proprietary. While their data store is SQL based on PostGres, not all SQL servers support the same features (Sequences for example) nor perform the same way.

furthermore while you are coding to Java, Node.js or Ruby... the portability BETWEEN VENDORS in the cloud for these is the issue just like there were differences between different J2EE middleware servers.

So in choosing any cloud vendor you do end up with some level of vendor lockin. How specific it is depends on your architecture, data complexity etc.

As to differentiators - Differentiators vs what? MS-DOS? AWS? Windows Azure? you need to be more specific in your question here.

The value proposition of PaaS in general is that your devs code to a fabric rather than a server stack so that you alleviate the OpEx costs of maintaining and configuring a server stack. Processes migrate and scale essentially across the compute platform/fabric ideally seamlessly.

But this is just as true for AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Windows Azure, Google App engine, Uhuru etc. Furthermore - tying back to your 2nd question. Azure supports development in Node.JS, Ruby, PHP and even Java. The question comes down to the operational call support.

So here you start to have both differentiators and "vendor lockin" (a differentiator is "lockin" by another name). Amazon offers Simple Server Storage, Azure offers its Azure Storage, and both offer a version of SQL Server as well. Heroku only offers Heroku Postgres.

And Heroku and Uhuru differentiate themselves largely on price.

you also have intangible differentiators: AWS and Azuure have huge opex staff that is waging the never ending security/malware fight at the highest of levels. OTOH because they are large services, things can and do go wrong.

Heroku and Uhuru etc. are smaller services, they are less likely to be as secure and reliable and they offer a more limited set of 3rd party services. But they are cheaper.

So your question is actually quite complex given the broad way you have stated it. A more narrow and specific statement of what your goals are would help narrow the answer a lot

2014-06-25 11:56:04 UTC
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