Heroku task processing plugin

Heroku plugin

Heroku provides a convenient environment for users to develop and deploy their applications. Born in 2007, the cloud provider has taken a small but unique market segment among similar cloud players. Although Heroku offers an extensive range of features, when it comes to task queue processing, there is still room for improvement.


Enter the IronMQ Heroku plugin. Heroku allows people to extend functionalities by allowing users to install add ons. For queueing tasks, IronMQ can meet your queueing demand and help you to build your application more efficiently. This article discusses the concept of task queue processing and the features of IronMQ Heroku plugin.

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What is task processing?

Task processing is a general term that is used in different domains. However, the gist is similar - you send tasks to be done to a line (queue) and the workers subscribed to the queue receive them and start working on it one-by-one.

In software development, task queues enable applications to execute jobs asynchronously. When we want to run jobs in the background, we can add the tasks to task queues, then, the workers subscribing to the queues can take each request and start carrying out a job.

You can also use a queueing system to communicate with other applications and any bank-end logic that needs horizontal processing or data streaming too.

If we list the whole benefits of message queueing, they include:


  • Decoupling dependencies
  • Redundancy
  • Handle traffic spike by scaling
  • Batching for efficiency
  • Asynchronous communication
  • Increase app load time
  • Transaction ordering
  • Create resiliency


In a message queueing system, there are four main components regardless of what queueing service you use - producer, consumer, queue, and exchange.


  • Producer: this is where you send a message to queues.
  • Consumer: the end users who receive messages from queues.
  • Queue: this is where messages are stored and delivered.
  • Exchange: it is responsible for routing messages and sending them to queues. 

Why is Heroku a great environment for task processing?


In Heroku, you can use a containerized server environment where you can easily build your first apps. Also, infrastructure maintenance is not required by users since Heroku takes care of it. All these benefits are attributed to Heroku’s focus on providing prepared resources to app development. When you want to do something outside that, you may face constraints or may not find the services you are looking for.


In that case, if you already use other cloud services such as AWS, GCP, or Azure, you can use the queueing service to combine your distributed infrastructures as a whole. Then, you can benefit from multi-cloud environments and shortcomings of each cloud can be cancelled out. 


Furthermore, in Heroku, you can simply use the IronMQ plugin to implement your queueing system easily whereas, in other cloud environments, you need to consider many infrastructural and functional requirements.

How to perform task processing in Heroku

Heroku does not have a dedicated service for message queueing. Instead, it provides an option to implement a queueing system by allowing addons. Among the plugins recommended by Heroku, IronMQ was mentioned as the first option for queueing system addon. Let’s learn more about IronMQ in general and the key benefits of using it.

What is IronMQ?

IronMQ is our Messaging Queue as a Service product. It provides a reliable way to communicate between services and application components. IronMQ ensures high availability and persistence. Also, it offers best-effort one-time delivery. IronMQ is a cloud-native solution for modern application architecture. You can experience the strengths of IronMQ in the four major areas.


  • Pull, push, and long polling: with these core functionalities, you can push to and pull from queues. Also, you can perform long-polling, error queue handling, sending alerts and triggers, and more.
  • Automated failover: IronMQ runs globally with multiple availability zones and on multiple clouds. When you have critical messaging needs, queues can automatically point to alternative zones when an outage occurs without needing to change your code.
  • Highly scalable: IronMQ runs on cloud infrastructure and uses multiple high-availability data centers. IronMQ does not require users to maintain resources and automatically scales.
  • REST based API: it uses REST APIs for simpler and more efficient interactions. IronMQ was built with the considerations of MQ standards for maximum flexibility and configuration.


The result of these powerful features is faster speed than AWS SQS and RabbitMQ. Also, we provide flexible deployment options.

IronMQ Heroku plugin

You can use IronMQ in your cloud environment or even on-premise. The IronMQ Heroku plugin is for you to benefit from all the important features in Heroku. Now, let’s find out more in detail about the IronMQ Heroku plugin.


IronMQ Heroku plugin is a serverless and extremely fast queueing service that can be used for your applications. The plugin supports major programming languages such as Ruby, PHP, Python, Java, .Net, Go, and more. So, it is unlikely that the language you are using in Heroku is not supported by the plugin. 


To install the plugin, you can simply execute the following command in your Heroku terminal.

$ heroku addons:create iron_mq:fanatic

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Major features

In addition to the IronMQ features above, the Heroku plugin also offers an extensive range of functionalities.


  • Fast setup: the whole setup process including installation and configuration  will be completed within only minutes. Just install the plugin in your Heroku and connect to IronMQ endpoints. You can start having instant and unlimited access to IronMQ queues.
  • No server maintenance: if you have experience in the queueing service of other cloud providers, you will know that you need to maintain infrastructure to a certain degree. For the Heroku plugin, IronMQ takes care of the time-consuming jobs for you.
  • Reliability: with IronMQ, your queues become persistent and failure safe. Thanks to the high reliability, you can rely on IronMQ queues as the source of monitoring data.
  • Customization: although IronMQ provides ready-to-use capabilities, you may have unique needs. In that case, you can contact us and discuss requirements. We can build a customized queueing solution based on what you need.
  • No extra code to learn: using IronMQ entails simple configuration for your queues. That’s it. You don’t need to learn extra code or study long documents to use IronMQ. This user-friendliness helps you to achieve work efficiency and productivity.
  • Maximum reliability and availability: Iron operates availability zones globally to ensure maximum availability for the queueing service. When an incident happens in a region, it will fail over to another available region. Furthermore, we allocate dedicated servers to achieve maximum reliability and to reach faster speed in queueing execution.
  • Security: you can interact with IronMQ via HTTPS and SSL, which enhances your security. In addition, OAuth and REST API give you an ability to scale authentication capability.
  • FIFO & one-time delivery: First-in-first-out and one-time delivery are critical factors in a queueing system. You want to have a guarantee that a message in a queue will be retrieved once by a consumer, otherwise it can lead to duplicate processing and inefficient operation. IronMQ ensures that all messages are in a FIFO order and are received once.

Benefits of task processing plugin

Developing a solution from scratch requires a lot of effort and it does not guarantee success. Moreover, even if we can successfully build one, maintaining the solution still needs a lot from us. If you are considering building a task processing system for your Heroku apps by yourself, we strongly recommend using a plugin.


It will dramatically reduce cost for both building and maintaining your queueing infrastructure. Plus, the Heroku plugin, as explained above, offers many powerful features, high availability and reliability, which can be extremely difficult and costly if you try to build your own.


You can try the IronMQ Heroku plugin for 14 days to check if it suits your needs. We also offer flexible pricing plans for different team sizes and use cases.

Wrapping up

In this article, we learned the concept of task processing and the best way to implement it in your Heroku applications. Heroku does not provide a dedicated queueing service but, instead, allows you to utilize third-party addons to extend capabilities of your apps.


The IronMQ Heroku plugin is the quickest and easiest way to start your queueing service. It does not require any complicated configuration or code writing. You can start using IronMQ only in minutes. 


IronMQ provides maximum availability and reliability harnessing Iron’s dedicated servers and global availability zones.

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