Heroku leverages the open-source technology of PostgreSQL to deliver a powerful and reliable database-as-a-service solution. Heroku Postgres acts as both a source and destination for data integration. With native support for a variety of programming languages and features that ensure security and compliance, it is a top resource for many companies. What do you need to know about Heroku, and what tools should you use to perform ETL (extract, transform and load) and ELT (extract, load and transform)? Most importantly, how can you best choose between the many ETL tools on the market?

Table of Contents

  1. What is Heroku Postgres?
  2. Six Best ETL Tools for Heroku
  3. Comparing ETL Solutions
  4. Integrate.io as the Best ETL Tool for Heroku

What is Heroku Postgres?

Heroku is a platform-as-a-service solution that enables users to build applications. It provides a managed environment to run apps written in a variety of programming languages. Developers store data in Heroku's database solution, Heroku Postgres, in order to ensure security and compliance with such standards as PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) and HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Salesforce purchased Heroku in 2010 and guarantees top quality.  

Heroku Postgres is a managed service and the Heroku DevOps team provides patches and other security services as needed. Over 14% of companies in need of a database solution choose Postgres, so it only makes sense to leverage the open-source technology with Heroku’s continuous protection and exceptional reliability. 

The primary concern with Heroku is how to transfer data securely to and from the database. Integrate.io provides a simple way to do this while meeting various essential compliance standards. 

Six Best ETL Tools for Heroku

ETL is a data integration process for bringing data from various sources into a single repository. Besides basics like speed and reliability, you also want to look for an ETL tool that contains native connectors to Heroku Postgres. This allows you to avoid spending a lot of time configuring connectors. The six tools at the top of the list are Talend, Informatica, IBM InfoSphere, Stitch, Fivetran, and Integrate.io. 

1. Talend

Talend is a platform with various self-service tools that allow users to draw data from many different sources and automatically prepare it for use. Since Talend boasts the ability to integrate almost any type of data and connect to nearly any source or destination, it is useful for Heroku ETL. According to some users, it does have a few major cons, such as:

  • Complex interface
  • Lack of adequate documentation
  • Difficult and time-consuming setup

The most common complaint is that Talend is just too confusing or complicated for most users. 

2. Informatica

Informatica is a cloud-based ETL solution for any industry. The platform offers code-free data integration as well, reducing the learning curve for performing complex ETL. Informatica has various types of pipelines, providing both real-time and batch processing capabilities. Some users have complained of the following:

  • Heavy CPU consumption
  • Limited scheduling capabilities and scalability
  • Somewhat complex deployment
  • Some compatibility issues with different programming languages

It can still require an annoyingly long time to perform certain simple tasks as well. Still, Informatica is a solid possibility for Heroku Postgres ETL. 

3. IBM InfoSphere

IBM InfoSphere Information Server is an excellent ETL platform with MPP (Massively Parallel Processing) capabilities. You can perform cloud-based data integration and utilize integrated rules analysis to draw insights from data. Additionally, IBM BigIntegrate offers support for big data, enabling you to handle large datasets with ease. IBM has a hugely popular suite of solutions including IBM Planning Analytics, which includes automated forecasting, and many other compatible tools. But what are some of the cons of IBM InfoSphere? 

  • Confusing logs and job deployment
  • Steep learning curve/confusing for budding developers 
  • Price

IBM has a long history of quality and reliability, but complexity for new users is a top reason why businesses might need to go elsewhere. 

4. Stitch

With integrations for over 130 sources, Stitch is a versatile solution that provides a low-code experience. It is also compatible with many different leading analysis tools. Stitch secures all web-based sources with HTTPS. Additionally, AWS hosts Stitch’s servers and the platform works inside of an Amazon VPC (Virtual Private Cloud). One of its top features is extensibility, which allows Stitch to bring data from virtually any source in virtually any format through the Stitch Import API. While Stitch is a popular choice, users have named a few downsides as well. 

  • Limited native source connectors. Users may need to spend extra time with the Stitch Import API for many sources.
  • The learning curve can be steep. 
  • Some users complain of a confusing or over-complicated GUI (Graphical User Interface). 

5. Fivetran

The next tool on our list, Fivetran, is more correctly an ELT software, meaning that unstructured data is loaded into sources prior to transformation. While there are some downsides to ELT, it has certain use cases. Fivetran is also a BI (Business Intelligence) tool, meaning that moving from data storage to drawing deep insights from data is a relatively quick and painless process. Fivetran offers more than a hundred native connectors to different sources. Some of the complaints from various users include:

  • Confusing error messages
  • Price
  • Limited flexibility and functionality due to its commitment to ELT

Fivetran has limited room for application, but it is still a useful tool in many cases. 

6. Integrate.io

Integrate.io is a no-code ETL and ELT platform. It offers the height of flexibility with built-in connectors to various top database solutions and a simple drag-and-drop GUI. Integrate.io deploys quickly, and you can build data pipelines in minutes. With incredible scalability and built-in compliance to many major data security standards, Integrate.io is a reliable option for ETL to and from Heroku. What are Integrate.io’s cons according to some users?

  • Error logs can be confusing under certain circumstances. 
  • Support can sometimes be a little slow to respond to questions.

When performing ETL to Heroku Postgres, you want the highest level of speed and ease of use. Even users with zero coding experience can build data pipelines and perform ETL with Integrate.io. 

Comparing ETL Solutions

What should you look for in your ETL platform? How can you choose between all of these options? Here are a few features you may require: 

  1. Performs both ETL and ELT. You can do either with Integrate.io. 
  2. No-code and low-code functionality. Integrate.io is a no-code ETL platform. While this may not be completely essential for your company if you already have a team of talented developers, it does mean a quicker onboarding process as well as reduced time to delivery. 
  3. Quick and easy to deploy. How much time do you really want to spend configuring software and building data pipelines instead of getting insights from data?
  4. Full compliance. Integrate.io provides compliance for GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), PCI DSS, HIPAA, SOC 2 (Service Organization Control), and more. 
  5. Full and clear documentation. You can find Integrate.io’s full documentation on the website. 
  6. Simple GUI. Nearly all of the above-mentioned tools have an overly complex GUI and a steep learning curve. This is not the case with Integrate.io. 

All ETL tools have their pros and cons. Companies need to find the ideal solutions for their individual needs. 

How Integrate.io Can Help

Simplify your ETL process and reduce the amount of time necessary to build data pipelines with Integrate.io. Data integration is complicated, and there are many places along the process where data can be lost or you can suffer from errors in configuration. By reducing the possibility of leaks and decreasing the potential for error, Integrate.io can save you considerable time and money. 

If you are ready to learn more about why Integrate.io is the best ETL tool for Heroku, schedule a call with us today and get a 7-day demo.