Heroku in a Nutshell
So many teams chose Heroku during the past Hackathons, of course it will be available for this year’s Hackathon as well! Heroku focuses relentlessly on apps and the developer experience around the app. It’s a perfect platform for our Hackathon Stuttgart where speed is in need! Heroku lets you embrace your hackathon project, not the distraction of computer hardware, nor the distraction of servers – virtual or otherwise. By choosing Heroku you have a whole ecosystem at your hands speeding up your hack at the Hackathon Stuttgart. The following should give you an idea what’s it all about.
Check it out before the game begins it might give you the edge over the competition.
Heroku is a PaaS Offering. Key features you are most likely to encounter during your hack are:
Your Heroku App
… consists of your source code, a description of any dependencies, and a profile. It runs on one or more Dynos. Your Heroku App is the entity you configure and operate. In the Heroku Web interface you can set config variables for your application, configure Add-ons to be used, you can deploy your code, set access rights and move your app between the different stages of your development pipeline, if you choose to have one. In addition, you can manage the runtime of your Heroku app by starting, stopping and scaling it.
If you want to know more or even do a short tutorial you can have a look here. Tutorials are not only available in Java of course.
… are isolated, virtualized unix containers, that provide the environment required to run an application. Dynos come in different flavors, you will most likely go with the free dyno type. But beware it falls asleep after 30 min inactivity. If you have a high workload you can even scale your dynos. There are one to many Dynos per Heroku App.
… provide you with features you might need in your application but don’t have time to reinvent them yourself, there are more than 150 Add-ons available for you to add with a single klick. The vast majority of these Add-ons come with a free plan, so they are ideally suited for our hackathon. Examples for Add-ons are:
- Data Stores
- Messaging Systems
- Email Systems
- Image and Video processing
Find the whole set here.
… are a great starting point for your hack. They are a one-click provision, configure and deploy third party components, libraries and pattern apps. Choose one that best matches your Hackathon project and start hacking based on one of these templates. If you want to get a short overview take a look here.
… automate the build processes for your preferred languages and frameworks. You can choose between many languages such as Java, Go, Scala, Ruby, Python, NodeJS, … and loads more: Pick your poison.
Be prepared for the Hackathon and look at what’s available here.
Command Line Interface (CLI)
… for those guys who don’t want to put their hands off the keyboard Heroku also provides a command line interface. It allows you to create new Heroku Apps, add the Add-ons you want to use and even manage your App at runtime. Basically, everything you can do in the WebUI. Find Details here.
How to get started?
Heroku offers you great resources online helping you to easily and quickly master the Heroku Platform. This is only a short intro to give you an Idea:
- signup with Heroku
- download and install the Heroku CLI
- implement your app
- push the app to the remote Heroku git repository to deploy
- test the app
Look at a Heroku tutorial online. It will walk you through the details in no time and gives you a very good idea how things work.
How to develop my app?
Do the getting started part. App development is the same as usual. Focus on your business logic, integrate the Add-ons (if you use a database Add-on you still must write code to store it there). Working in a team you can use a cloud based git repository such as GitHub. You can even connect Heroku with your GitHub repository and automatically deploy new commits on your HerokuApp. It’s as simple as that.
During the Hackathon you can always as the guys from logicline (red hoodies) to help you with Heroku specific question. We are happy to support!
We prepared a compilation of links that might be interesting for you before or during the Hackathon.