Last updated August 11, 2023
Table of Contents
Heroku Postgres is a managed SQL database service provided directly by Heroku. You can access a Heroku Postgres database from any language with a PostgreSQL driver, including all languages officially supported by Heroku.
Understanding Heroku Postgres Plans
Heroku Postgres offers a variety of plans, spread across different tiers of service: Essential, Standard, Premium, Private, and Shield. For more information on what each plan provides, see Choosing the Right Heroku Postgres Plan.
Pricing information for Heroku Postgres plans is available on the Heroku Postgres add-on page.
If your app’s requirements eventually outgrow the resources provided by the initial plan you select, you can easily upgrade your database.
Provisioning Heroku Postgres
For more information about how to provision a Heroku Postgres database, see Provisioning Heroku Postgres.
Heroku recommends running Postgres locally to ensure parity between environments. For more information about how to set up Heroku Postgres to run in your local environment, see Local Setup for Heroku Postgres.
Designating a Primary Database
DATABASE_URL config var designates the URL of an app’s primary Heroku Postgres database. For apps with a single database, its URL is automatically assigned to this config var.
For apps with multiple Postgres databases, set the primary database with
heroku pg:promote. Common use cases include leader-follower high-availability setups or as part of the database upgrade process.
Sharing Heroku Postgres Between Applications
You can share a single Heroku Postgres database between multiple apps with the
heroku addons:attach command:
$ heroku addons:attach my-originating-app::DATABASE --app example-app Attaching postgresql-addon-name to example-app... done Setting HEROKU_POSTGRESQL_BRONZE vars and restarting example-app... done, v11
The attached database’s URL is assigned to a config var with the name format
HEROKU_POSTGRESQL_[COLOR]_URL. In the example, the config var’s name is
A shared database isn’t necessarily the primary database for any given app that it’s shared with. To promote a shared database, use the same command that you use for any other database.
To stop sharing your Heroku Postgres instance with another app, use the
heroku addons:detach command:
$ heroku addons:detach HEROKU_POSTGRESQL_BRONZE --app example-app Detaching HEROKU_POSTGRESQL_BRONZE to postgresql-addon-name from example-app... done Unsetting HEROKU_POSTGRESQL_BRONZE config vars and restarting example-app... done, v11
The PostgreSQL project releases new major versions on a yearly basis. Heroku Postgres supports each major version shortly after its release. For more information about version support on Heroku Postgres, see Heroku Postgres Version Support.
For more information about performance analytics, see Heroku Postgres Performance Analytics.
Using the CLI
For more information about managing Heroku Postgres using the CLI, see Managing Heroku Postgres Using the CLI.
Connecting to Heroku Postgres
For more information about connecting to Heroku Postgres, see Connecting to Heroku Postgres.
Migrating between Plans
See this detailed guide on updating and migrating between database plans.
When a database gets provisioned, the data associated with that database is stored within the region in which it’s created. However, some services ancillary to Heroku Postgres and the systems managing the database fleet aren’t located within the same region as the provisioned databases:
- Postgres Continuous Protection for disaster recovery stores the base backup and write-ahead logs in the same region that the database is located.
- Logs for the Common Runtime are routed in the same region the app is running within. For example, logs for an app in the
usregion gets routed through the
- Logs for apps in Private Spaces stay within the same region as the space itself. For example, logs for an app in a Tokyo space routes through the infrastructure in Tokyo. You can deploy apps with strict compliance requirements in Shield Private Spaces, which uses Private Space Logging to route logs instead of Logplex.
- Logging of Heroku Postgres queries and errors can be blocked by using the
--block-logsflag when creating the database with
heroku addons:create heroku-postgres:....
- PG Backup snapshots are stored in the US. To capture logical backups in another region, see Heroku Postgres Logical Backups.
- Dataclips are stored in the US.
See the Salesforce Infrastructure & Sub-processors document for the list of sub-processors Heroku uses and the list of countries where Heroku data is stored and processed.
At add-on creation time, you can pass a flag to prevent logging of queries that get run against the database. If this option is turned on, it can’t be turned off after the database has been provisioned. To turn it off after it has been turned on, a migration to a new database is required.
Blocking the queries in the logs reduces Heroku’s ability to help debug applications and tune application performance.
$ heroku addons:create heroku-postgresql:standard-0 -a example-app --block-logs
Removing the Add-on
To remove your Heroku Postgres database, you must destroy the add-on:
$ heroku addons:destroy heroku-postgresql
If you have two databases of the same type you must remove the add-on using its config var name. For example, to remove the
HEROKU_POSTGRESQL_GRAY_URL database, run the command:
$ heroku addons:destroy HEROKU_POSTGRESQL_GRAY
If the removed database was the same one used in
DATABASE_URL config var is unset on the app.
Submit all Heroku Postgres support and runtime issues via one of the Heroku Support channels.