Cool Tools Part XVII: Heroku

You know that we at Function1 can help you out with all of your Plumtree/AquaLogic/WebCenter needs. That's not all we do though, and we hope to show you some of that on this blog.

Recently, we were building an employee review site for a client. We made the decision to build it in Ruby on Rails. If there is interest, I'll do a later post talking about what Rails is or it's merits. While we were developing the application, we were looking for a way to rapidly deploy changes we made to the application so the client could use it and stumbled upon Heroku.

Heroku, now owned by Salesforce, is the simplest way I've seen so far to get a Rails application up and running on the internet. Heroku relies on git to deploy changes to your application, so you will need an account on Github and install Git on your computer. For more information on Git, you can read Dave's post on it here.

Once your application is using Git, all you need to do is run the following lines:

$ gem install heroku
$ heroku create

You will be prompted for your Heroku credentials and then Heroku will create an application space for you as well as a Git remote named heroku. To deploy your code all you need to is run:

$ git push heroku master

Heroku will push the changes to your code to the URL and will also make sure that all your dependency gems have are satisfied. At that point, your application will be available at

Obviously, there are a lot of other things you can do with Heroku and they have a lot of add-ons available that can help you with logging, email, database access, etc. For getting your rails application quickly and cheaply running in the cloud, your best bet is to use Heroku.

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