Explore the Heroku PaaS.
- I want you to pretend for a minute that I'm a programmer. No, I'm not just a programmer, I'm a developer. I've got an idea for a new kind of web application that everybody's gonna go crazy over. It's the next Dropbox, it's the next Gmail, I don't know but I love this thing. Now, keep in mind that I'm a programmer, okay, and that's what I do. I write programs and I've got this dream, but for me as a programmer to go through the process of setting this up, I'd have to be setting up servers and I'd have to have lots of administrators to protect all my systems and people running backups.
And then I would need people grabbing stuff for me, helping my development, and this, it's a big deal for somebody like me to get my dream out there. Wouldn't it be cool if we could create a magic little world where me as a programmer, all I see is a platform, a basically a screen that allows me to write my code, and not only write my code, but have access to big software libraries that I'll need to help write my code. That will help keep track of my development for me.
And then when I got it and I wanna see how it works, all I gotta do is press a button and say deploy and it magically appears on a server that's completely configured and ready to go. And all I have to do is type in www.checkoutmycoolsite.com and see how it's doing. Sounds fun? Well, that my friends is platform as a service. Platform as a service, there'll usually be some infrastructure as a service aspect to it, but that doesn't mean anything to me as a programmer. I don't care about what the internal LAN IP address is for a server, I don't even care if I have servers, or how many, or what kind of RAM they have.
I don't care what kind of operating system is running on my machines, I don't really care what's on the firewall, that's all another world and I don't wanna deal with all that. And that's what platform as a service is all about. A cozy little, cuddly world where developers can create amazing web applications, okay more than web applications, but that's the best way to think about this stuff, and they can make these web applications and press a button and it all goes and everything's taken care of for them and they all live happily ever after. To appreciate platform as a service, I need to show you.
And what I'm gonna do in one shot is using Heroku, I'm going to take my code, I'm gonna upload it to Heroku, it's gonna get everything configured, it's gonna bring along libraries, it's gonna check my code, it's gonna start anything up that needs to be started, and it's actually gonna give it a real URL so it can post up and we can check it out and we can deploy this thing pretty much in the press of one button. So let's go ahead and get started. Okay, so here's my code, and there's nothing too terribly exciting about my code, all it's gonna do is say Hello World.
Now, what's interesting here, oops, somebody already used fred. So I can go ahead and do it graphically, but what's really interesting about Heroku is that most of this stuff is actually done from a command prompt. So if you wanna use Heroku, well you could bring it in from Dropbox or anything else, but all the hip kids will actually install a Heroku tool kit which will add command line utilities to let them do all the work. So in order for me to make this happen, I need to open up a command prompt and run a few commands.
All right, so here I am, and if you remember, this is desktop and that's the folder name. So first thing I'm gonna do is create the app. Okay, now, look really close. It has created the application, which is really just basically made a container for it up on Heroku, but it already tells me now what the URL's gonna be for the site and this other one is used for something called a git, which we can use to load stuff up, and I'm actually gonna use that now.
Don't type those. So, I'm gonna use this git command, and this is actually going to send all my files up, it's gonna send my files up, it's gonna create the website and get everything started. Okay, now, if I've done everything right, I now have with a couple of commands, I've actually set up a complete website that runs my code.
So what I'm gonna do now is of course Heroku has another command line that'll allow me to actually open up a browser and check out my new web app. Ta-da, there it is, Hello World! Notice first of all, that I've got an actual URL, it's under herokuapp.com, so they can make all these that they want, but I'm legitimately up on the internet and I can test this out, do whatever I need to do.
There are people who use this as an ongoing basis, as I bring in new versions, it takes care of everything for me, and that's the power of what platform as a service does for me. I don't really care much about servers or anything like that. Now, let's say the website's running a little slow, Heroku lets me take care of that too. Okay, so here's the app that I created, lemme go ahead and click on this. So let's say I wanna build up a SQL server, 'cause I need a SQL server. In the old days, I would have to actually get a SQL server, install, get it up and running.
With Heroku I can just put in these add-ons, and there's zillions of add-ones for all kinds of stuff. Let's see, did I miss it? So I'm a big fan of Postgres, so I can actually just click on this if I want to and I've load myself in a complete SQL server just by going click. But we don't need any add-ons for this simple app.
Now, the other thing that's interesting here, are what they call Dynos. See, programmers don't care about gee, do we have enough web servers to do whatever we're going to do. Well, I'm sure they care, but only so far as they make sure that their application's running well. So let's say I deploy this and I got it up and running, and it seems sluggish. Well it's no big deal with Heroku. All I need to do is add more Dynos, now they cost more money as you add more, but I add more Dynos until my application's running well.
I mean, it's pretty trivial stuff. The beauty of platform as a service is that everything is obfuscated. As a programmer, I don't even see the servers, I don't see anything that I don't wanna see other than my beautiful code running beautifully in its own little URL.
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