Facebook is partnering with cloud hosting service Heroku to
make Facebook application deployment more plug-and-play. The new service likely uses the Heroku API to allow developers to instantly have a basic Facebook app running in minutes instead of hours or days. Facebook’s app wizard lets you choose from Heroku’s supported languages, then pre-populates an app with working examples of common tasks using the Facebook API.
Heroku’s dev center walks you through the process of creating a new app and using the new “cloud services” option. Facebook seems to have left an option to support other providers in the future, but it seems to only be driven by Heroku at the moment.
Next you choose your desired programming language from the drop-down, which includes Ruby, Node.js, Python, and PHP. Heroku prides itself in being a polyglot platform, which allows developers to take advantage of multiple programming languages, and being able to apply the best tool for the job. However for this early release there is only partial support for Python and PHP.
After entering a developer email address to use for your Heroku user account, the Facebook application is created. Immediately there are working examples of accessing the Facebook API to list friends, photos, interests, and other commonly used Facebook implementations for developers to take advantage of.
Facebook apps have long been a major segment of applications deployed on the Heroku platform, and Facebook needed to streamline their application deploy process, so partnering with Heroku, who is one of the leaders in modular cloud application deployment, makes sense.
Now developers have a more seamless, instant-on option for deploying their Facebook application using the programming language of their choice. All of this without worrying about setup costs, server environment, capacity and scaling, since Heroku allows deployment of low-volume apps for free, and a pay as you go cloud pricing model, so we only have a bill when our apps actually get traction.