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Thursday, March 14, 2013

What's Missing from Heroku Add-ons

Today I got burned by my redis service for the last time.  I am not going to name names, but they are listed within the heroku add-ons.  Everybody needs a redis instance so I had to pick a new service to replace my existing, but there are currently 5 redis providers listed as add-ons.

I had no way of deciding which one to pick.   Yeah yeah, i could have done some research, but my existing redis instance was just flat out not working and parts of our app was down.  I was in a hurry.  In the end, like  the seasoned engineer I am, I picked the one with the prettiest logo.  My point is, why doesn't Heroku have some type of transparency within their add ons section?  It should look like the itunes store.  When choosing between heroku add-ons, I should be able to see how many other projects are using the add-on and some reviews would also be nice.   Can anyone think of a reason why it doesn't work this way today?


  1. I agree and always figured sorting by installs, date updated, and perhaps ratings were coming. But maybe I was assuming too much.

  2. I opened up a dialogue with the heroku add-ons team and it does not seem they are headed in this direction which i dont quite get. To me they are missing the biggest benefit of having add-ons.

  3. Prettiest logo! I hadn't thought of that :) I usually decide based on price. I understand them not wanting to sort by number of installs or something since it makes it hard for newcomers to enter the add-on market, but reviews would be great. Or a column view where you can view items with pricing and hover over for more details, or something? Something? Anything? Deciding on add-ons is a total crap-shoot right now. (It used to be worse before they added categories)

    1. I dont feel they should be making it any easier for newcomers (add-ons).. Newcomers should be differentiating themselves and if they can't, then they probably should rethink their offering.

      Heroku should be focused on bringing transparency to developers on their platform.

  4. I would guess that Heroku doesn't want to get into the business of being a third-party service reviews site. The number of projects using a particular add-on, on Heroku especially, will probably just correspond to the free-est option. I think there's a need for a site like or for SaaS, since most of those services can be used no matter what you're using for app hosting.