Video Transcript


Introducing New Heroku Postgres Essential Plans Built On Amazon Aurora

We’re thrilled to launch our new Heroku Postgres Essential database plans. These plans have pgvector support, no row count limits, and come with a 32 GB option. We deliver exceptional transactional query performance with Amazon Aurora as the backing infrastructure. One of our beta customers said:

“The difference was noticeable right from the start. Heroku Postgres running on Aurora delivered a boost in speed, allowing us to query and process our data faster.”

Our Heroku Postgres Essential plans are the quickest, easiest, and most economical way to integrate a SQL database with your Heroku application. You can use these fully managed databases for a wide range of applications, such as small-scale production apps, research and development, educational purposes, and prototyping. These plans offer full PostgreSQL compatibility, allowing you to use existing skills and tools effortlessly.

Heroku Postgres Partnership With Amazon Aurora

Compared to the previous generation of Mini and Basic database plans, the Essential plans on the new infrastructure provides up to three times the query throughput performance and additional improvements such as removing the historic row count limit. The table highlights what each of the new plans include in more detail.

Product Storage Max Connection Max Row Count Max Table Count Postgres Versions Monthly Pricing
Essential-0 1 GB 20 No limit 4,000 14, 15, 16 $5
Essential-1 10 GB 20 No limit 4,000 14, 15, 16 $9
Essential-2 32 GB 40 No limit 4,000 14, 15, 16 $20

Our Commitment to the Developer Experience

At Heroku, we deliver a world-class developer experience that’s reflected in our new Essential database plans. Starting at just $5 per month, we provide a fully managed database service built on Amazon Aurora. With these plans, developers are assured they’re using the latest technology from AWS and they can focus on what’s most important—innovating and building applications—without the hassle of database management.

We enabled pg:upgrade for easier upgrades to major versions and removed the row count limit for increased flexibility and scalability for your projects. We also included support for the pgvector extension, bringing vector similarity search to the entire suite of Heroku Postgres plans. pgvector enables exciting possibilities in AI and natural language processing applications across all of your development environments.

You can create a Heroku Postgres Essential database with:

$ heroku addons:create heroku-postgresql:essential-0 -a example-app

Migrating Mini and Basic Postgres Plans

If you already have Mini or Basic database plans, we’ll automatically migrate them to the new Essential plans. We’re migrating Mini plans to Essential-0 and Basic plans to Essential-1. We’re making this process as painless as possible with minimal downtime for most databases. Our automatic migration process begins on May 29, 2024, when the Mini and Basic plans reach end-of-life and are succeeded by the new Essential plans. See our documentation for migration details.

You can also proactively migrate your Mini or Basic plan to any of the new Essential plans, including the Essential-2 plan, using addons:upgrade:

$ heroku addons:upgrade DATABASE heroku-postgresql:essential-0 -a example-app

Exploring the Use Cases of the Essential Plans

With the enhancements of removing row limits, adding pgvector support, and more, Heroku Postgres Essential databases are a great choice for customers of any size with these use cases.

  • Development and Testing: Ideal for developers looking for a cost-effective, fully managed Postgres database. You can develop and test your applications in an environment that closely mimics production, ensuring everything runs smoothly before going live.
  • Prototype Projects: In the prototyping phase, the ability to adapt quickly based on user feedback or test results is crucial. With Essential plans, you get the flexibility and affordability needed to iterate fast and effectively during this critical stage.
  • Educational Projects and Tutorials: Ideal for educational setups that require access to live cloud database environments. They're perfect for hands-on learning, from running SQL queries to exploring cloud application management and operations, without managing the complex infrastructure.
  • Low Traffic Web Apps: Ideal for experimental or low traffic applications such as small blog sites or forums. Essential plans provide the necessary reliability and performance, including daily backups and scalability options as your user engagement grows.
  • Startups: The Essential plans offer a fully managed and scalable database solution, important for startup businesses to grow without initial heavy investments. It can help speed up time-to-market and reach customers faster.
  • Salesforce Integration Trial: The best method to synchronize Salesforce data and Heroku Postgres is with Heroku Connect. The demo plan works with Essential database plans. Although the demo plan isn’t suitable for production use cases, it provides a way to explore how Heroku Connect can amplify your Salesforce investment.
  • Incorporating pgvector: Essential database plans support pgvector, an open-source extension for Postgres designed for efficient vector search capabilities. This feature is invaluable for applications requiring high-performance similarity searches, such as recommendation systems, content discovery platforms, and image retrieval systems. Use pgvector on Essential plans to build advanced search functionalities such as AI-enabled applications and Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG).

Looking Forward

As announced at re:Invent 2023, we’re collaborating with the Amazon Aurora team on the next-generation Heroku Postgres infrastructure. This partnership combines the simplicity and user experience of Heroku with the robust performance, scalability, and flexibility of Amazon Aurora. The launch of Essential database plans marks the beginning of a broader rollout that will soon include a fleet of single-tenant databases.

Our new Heroku Postgres plans will decouple storage and compute, allowing you to scale storage up to 128 TB. They’ll also add more database connections and more Postgres extensions, offer near-zero-downtime maintenance and upgrades, and much more. The future architecture will ensure fast and consistent response times by distributing data across multiple availability zones with robust data replication and continuous backups. Additionally, the Shield option will continue to meet compliance needs with regulations like HIPAA and PCI, ensuring secure data management.


Our Heroku Postgres databases built on Amazon Aurora represent a powerful solution for customers seeking to enhance their database capabilities with a blend of performance, reliability, cost-efficiency, and Heroku’s simplicity. Whether you're scaling a high web traffic application or managing large-scale batch processes, our partnership with AWS accelerates the delivery of Postgres innovations to our customers. Eager to be part of this journey? Join the waitlist for the single-tenant database pilot program.

We want to extend our gratitude to the community for the feedback and helping us build products like Essential Plans. Stay connected and share your thoughts on our GitHub roadmap page. If you have questions or require assistance, our dedicated Support team is available to assist you on your journey into this exciting new frontier.

Originally published: May 21, 2024

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