Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Arbitrary Java webapps and Heroku

Heroku has been around for a while now, and it's an excellent service. They make it stupidly easy to deploy and manage your web applications, including expansion of resources as necessary and a whole host of plugins for all sorts of extra services.

The big problem with Heroku is that it only really worked if you wrote your applications in a way that they supported. The way it worked was that you pushed your Git source tree up to them, and they would build and deploy it automatically. And they did support a large number of very popular systems for doing this, so it wasn't all that limiting for the most part. It does suffer from the same problem that a lot of things do these days - the whole feeling of "If you do it our way, it's easy. If you don't do it our way, well tough."

Well - the good news is that, for Java webapps at least, this is now history. I'm not sure how long it's been available, but I've just found a page on their wiki detailing WAR Deployment. Which means that you can literally write you webapp in any way that you want, using any technologies that you want, and and build system, and anything at all like that, and as long as you can get a standard WAR file out of the build then you can deploy it to Heroku and get all the benefits of doing so. This is fantastic for anyone who wants to write Java webapps but not tie themselves to certain technologies, but it also starts to open up the way for enterprise developers to be able to write standard J2EE webapps and get them deployed on the Heroku cloud instead of the companies needing to run their own container solution.

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