London Fork-a-thon

On 15 May, join Heroku for the London Fork-a-thon, a hack-a-thon-like event (hands-on and live coding), where Heroku engineers will be available to answer any questions you might have regarding Heroku in Europe, and to help you to fork your app to the Europe region.

Space is limited, register now.

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New Dyno Networking Model

Today we're announcing a change to how networking on Heroku works. Dynos now get a dedicated, virtual networking interface instead of sharing a network interface with other dynos. This makes dynos behave more like standard unix containers resulting in better compatibility with application frameworks and better parity between development and production environments.

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Heroku Postgres - GIS Support Now Available

Today we're announcing geospatial support for Heroku Postgres with PostGIS 2.0.

Heroku Postgres is increasingly enabling rich use cases – adding services from key/value datatype in hstore, querying across postgres databases with dblink, and now adding rich geospatial functionality. Adding PostGIS within your Postgres database reduces the number of services you need to add to your stack, reducing complexity and allowing you to build in location-based functionality into apps faster.

Get started integrating location into your apps today by provisioning your Heroku Postgres database and exploring the functionality of PostGIS 2.0 or read more about it on the Heroku Postgres Blog.

Building Location Based Apps with Heroku PostGIS

Smartphones have changed the world – everyone has a device in their pocket that’s constantly connected to the internet and knows where you are. Combined with the rise of digital mapping it has become commonplace to build applications that use GIS (Geographical Information Systems) to digitally represent our physical reality and our location in it. Storing and manipulating geospatial data has become an essential part of application development. If you are building a mobile app it’s becoming table stakes that you take advantage of location.

Today we’re releasing PostGIS 2.0 into public beta as an extension to Heroku Postgres. Now all Heroku Postgres customers will be able to store and manipulate geospatial data as part of their Postgres database. PostGIS 2.0 capabilities are now available in all production tier plans at no additional charge—allowing you to add powerful location functionality to your application.

PostGIS 2.0 will enable a new class of Heroku applications that leverage location data. Whether you are looking to compute walkability scores to nearby schools, target ads based on GPS locations, or search for apartments by specific neighborhoods PostGIS can help make you build richer functionality into your application more easily.

PostGIS now follows the standard extension format within Heroku Postgres. Installing PostGIS is as simple as create extension postgis on any new Postgres 9.2 database crane and above. This means that you can continue starting small with your application, grow functionality, then enable PostGIS at any time to begin taking advantage of it.

Get Started

You can get started with PostGIS 2.0 today by provisioning a database then enabling the extension; or read more about what PostGIS provides.

To provision your database:

heroku addons:add heroku-postgresql:crane

Once provisioned you’ll want to connect to it and enable the extension:

$ heroku pg:psql
create extension postgis;

Your geospatial database is now enabled and ready to use.

More about PostGIS

PostGIS is an extension, adding support for geographic objects and working with them, within PostgreSQL. Similar to PostgreSQL itself, PostGIS is open source. Since Heroku Postgres runs unmodified from the main branch you always use standard technology. The technology is flexible and there is no technology lock-in – you can take data in and out at any time.

PostGIS has grown over several years with a large community behind it now supporting a variety of new operators, specialized types, and a long list of functions for interacting with spatial data.

Adding Location to App

While SQL and specifically PostgreSQL can perform basic algebra this method quickly hits limitations when it comes to more complex location searching. Understandably there’s value in providing your users with richer functionality such as searching by neighborhood, by radius of proximity, or by routes versus just direct distance. At PyCon 2013 Julia Grace talked about how some developers use various math tricks to compute distances or you can take an easier approach by using PostGIS.

By using PostGIS whether natively or through Rails with ActiveRecord, Django with GeoDjango, Hibernate you can add a variety of rich functionality around location and geographic data very quickly, including:

To begin taking advantage of the GIS functionality available within your Heroku Postgres database read more in DevCenter on getting it setup with ActiveRecord for Rails or within GeoDjango.

Summary

Heroku Postgres is increasingly enabling rich use cases – adding services from key/value datatype in hstore, querying across postgres databases with dblink, and now adding rich geospatial functionality. Adding PostGIS within your Postgres database reduces the number of services you need to add to your stack, reducing complexity and allowing you to build in location-based functionality into apps faster.

Get started integrating location into your apps today by provisioning your Heroku Postgres database and exploring the functionality of PostGIS 2.0.

RailsConf 2013

Developers are worthy of great experiences and at Heroku we aim to help improve this. Whether its making it easier to prepare your application for production on Heroku, not having to worry about security updates in your database, or getting notified of the latest rails vulnerability we want to make the world better for developers. This extends beyond the Heroku platform as well. For instance, our Ruby Task Force contributes back to projects like Ruby on Rails, Bundler, Code Triage, and Rails Girls.

Likewise, we aim to do everything we can to make your RailsConf experience better. Whether it is relaxing with some sake or getting performance advice for your application, we have a slew of activities planned for the conference:

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