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Marcus Kohlberg for Encore

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What became of Heroku? πŸ€”

πŸ§Ÿβ€β™‚οΈ In the industry, it's a bit of a cautionary tale...

In its heyday, Heroku was an innovative cloud platform that made deployments much more convenient than alternatives at the time.

😬 Ultimately though, Heroku couldn't manage to retain its best customers β€” who through scaling ended up having the most complex requirements. The current major clouds AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, started offering a much broader range of services to support such use cases, and customers ended up migrating away from Heroku.

In 2010, Heroku was bought by Salesforce, and by most accounts the business and technical innovation stagnated. When they announced last year that they were shutting down their free tier, many saw it as the final nail in the coffin.⚰️

πŸŒ… Yet... many small(ish) companies still use Heroku

β€” Why? They've become accustomed to the simple workflow, and stepping up to "the real cloud providers" would involve major investments in both knowledge and tooling. So they are making do for now, but many seem to be plotting their escape.πŸ§—β€β™€οΈ

πŸ₯Έ Many confuse what we're building at Encore as being another Heroku. Probably because the "push to deploy" workflow is similar.

πŸ‘‰ However, there are major differences between the two β€” which we've built into Encore by design in order to make Encore a long-term suitable technology choice. (We don't want to end up in the same trap.)

πŸ’‘ Encore provides Heroku-like simplicity by automating provisioning and management of all common infrastructure primitives like Compute, Databases, Queues, Caching, Secrets, etc.

πŸ“£The big difference is: ENCORE IS NOT A HOSTING PROVIDERπŸ“£

Instead, Encore is designed to be a tool to help you build your application using cloud services from the major cloud providers, like AWS and GCP. This way you get the full power of "big cloud", without the learning curve and the ongoing DevOps investment.πŸ’Έ

And to make sure you're not handcuffed to what we're able to provide in our Infrastructure SDK, we've carefully designed Encore so that you can always use any cloud service directly, as you normally would if you weren't using Encore.

We think this is the only way to build a longer-term sustainable product that will be able to scale with our best users.πŸ’—

πŸ—Ί What does the current landscape look like?

In the graph below, I've tried to make sense of some of the current generation of tools and services, quantifying them in terms of flexibility and simplicity.

Graph of backend services

πŸ“A path forward from Heroku

If you are currently using Heroku and want help planning your escape to get the benefits of the major cloud providers, we're here to help!πŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈ

Join the Developer's Hangout on SlackπŸ‘ˆ to chat with me and other Encore developers.

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