Thursday, February 21, 2013

Deploy PHP Apps to Heroku, Simplified

Despite some recent pr debacle around performance issues that were known but not documented, Heroku remains a good platform for getting started with PaaS. It is by far the most popular PaaS platform out there and allows you to develop scalable web applications without having to worry about managing servers, database clustering or other systems administration tasks.

Though initially a Ruby on Rails platform, Heroku now provides supports for virtually every major language and framework, including PHP, Python and Java. However, developing for Heroku in one of these other languages requires more work, particularly around setting up your development environment on Windows or Mac OS X. With our experience in providing instant development environments, we decided to put together a stack to make it easier to get started with Heroku with PHP (we plan to extend this to other languages). For those of you not familiar with BitNami, a 'stack' is a self-contained environment for a specific web application or development framework that you can install in your machine or launch as virtual machines or cloud images.

As of yesterday, we have added the Heroku client and extensions to our AMP (Apache/MySQL/PHP) and APP (Apache/PostgreSQL/PHP) Stacks, so you can have a complete PHP development environment setup for Heroku on your laptop or server in minutes. As with all of our self-contained stacks, the BitNami PHP development stacks are free and available as virtual appliances and cloud images as well as native installers for Linux, Windows or OS X. In addition to providing a PHP development environment, they also include a minimal ruby runtime and a ready-to-run Heroku client, so you have everything you need to start developing for Heroku. They are already fully configured so you can start developing as soon as you have one of them running on your machine.

To learn how to get started, check out our wiki entry, which walks you step by step through developing in PHP for Heroku. You will also need to download the BitNami Stack for your environment:

To develop for Heroku with PHP and MySQL, download the stack for your operating system:

To develop for Heroku with PHP and PostgreSQL, download the stack for your operating system:

After you have a chance to give one of the stacks a try, we would love to get your feedback - just post your thoughts on our Q&A site. Enjoy!

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