We recently launched Apache Kafka on Heroku into beta. Just like we do with Heroku Postgres, our internal engineering teams have been using our Kafka service to power a number of our internal systems.

The Big Idea

The Heroku platform comprises a large number of independent services. Traditionally we’ve used HTTP calls to communicate between these services. While this approach is simple to implement and easy to reason about, it has a number of drawbacks. Synchronous calls mean that the top-level request time will be gated by the slowest backend component. Also, internal API calls create tight point-to-point couplings between services that can become very brittle over time.


One of the challenges when starting a mobile app project is deciding what technology stack to use. Should the client app use iOS or Android native, mobile web, or a hybrid? Do the backend in Node, Ruby, or Java? Or skip the backend and use an Mobile Backend-as-a-Service?

To help avoid needing to answer all those on your own we are open sourcing the Heroku Mobile Template. This app provides a full-stack starting point for creating new hybrid mobile apps and deploying them to Heroku.

Heroku Connect is a service offered by Heroku which performs 2-way data synchronization between force.com and a Heroku Postgres database.

When we first built Heroku Connect, we decided to use polling to determine when data had changed on either side. Polling isn't pretty, but its simple and reliable, and those are "top line" features for Heroku Connect. But polling incurs two significant costs: high latency and wasted resources. The more you poll the more you waste API calls and database queries checking when there are no data changes. But if you lengthen your polling interval then you grow the latency for the data synchronization.

Subscribe to the full-text RSS feed for Scott Persinger.