Last updated January 11, 2023
Table of Contents
- Understanding Heroku Postgres Plans
- Provisioning Heroku Postgres
- Local Setup
- Designating a Primary Database
- Sharing Heroku Postgres between Applications
- Version Support
- Legacy Infrastructure
- Performance Analytics
- Using the CLI
- Connecting to Heroku Postgres
- Migrating between Plans
- Data Residency
- Removing the Add-on
As of November 28th, 2022, free Heroku Dynos, free Heroku Postgres, and free Heroku Data for Redis® plans are no longer available. See our FAQ for more info. Eligible students can apply for platform credits through our new Heroku for GitHub Students program.
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.
In addition to a variety of management commands available via the Heroku CLI, Heroku Postgres provides a web dashboard, the ability to share queries with dataclips, and several other helpful features.
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 above, the config var’s name is
A shared database isn’t necessarily the primary database for any given app that it’s shared with. You promote a shared database with the same command that you use for any other database.
You can stop sharing your Heroku Postgres instance with another app with 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.
Heroku occasionally deprecates old versions of its infrastructure. See this article on deprecating legacy infrastructure.
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, services ancillary to Heroku Postgres and the systems managing the database fleet might not be 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.
- Application logs are routed to Logplex, which is hosted in the US. In addition to logs from your application, this includes System logs and Heroku Postgres logs from any database attached to your application.
- 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.
At add-on creation time, a flag can be passed 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. If you must turn it off after it has been turned on, a migration to a new database will be 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
You must remove the add-on to destroy your Heroku Postgres database.
$ 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, you would run:
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.
All Heroku Postgres support and runtime issues should be submitted via one of the Heroku Support channels.