Leveraging Heroku Postgres for Advanced Analytics

Last week, Heroku announced a new cloud database service, Heroku Postgres. How is this relevant to Force.com developers? Read on for my take on what you should know about Heroku Postgres.

Heroku Postgres is a new PostgreSQL database service built by the database experts at Heroku. The service lets you quickly provision a PostgreSQL database that you can access from anywhere. If you want some specifics on this new service, including a quick discussion of some interesting features, take a look at my personal Database as a Service (DbaaS) blog, read Heroku’s blog, as well as the Heroku Postgres service documentation. In this post, let’s instead consider how you might use Heroku Postgres as a Force.com application developer.

SOQL, Force.com’s query language is nice, but somewhat limited in what it can do with respect to data analytics. For this reason, many of you choose to bulk export data from your Force.com orgs (for example, using the Bulk API), load the data into a local relational database, which you then use to analyze with advanced SQL queries. One problem in this equation is that you need to install, configure, and manage that local database to support this flow. And that is really one of the things we are trying to get away from with cloud computing.

Heroku Postgres to the rescue. Instead of toiling with a local database, you can now provision a PostgreSQL database in a snap, load your data, and then analyze away using the power of the Postgres ANSI standard SQL implementation and all of the tools with which you are already familiar.

To get started with Heroku Postgres, head over to the site, sign up, pick your plan, and then read the documentation for more information about this powerful new cloud database service.

Published
November 30, 2011

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Leveraging Heroku Postgres for Advanced Analytics