Deployment from GitHub to Heroku

This guide is intended for developers who have a CUBA project located on GitHub.

Heroku account

Create an account on Heroku using the web browser, free account hobby-dev is enough. Then login to the account and create new application using New button at the top of the page.

Select unique name (or left the field blank to assign automatically) and choose a server location. Now you have an application, for example, space-sheep-02453, this is a Heroku application name.

At the first time, you will be redirected to Deploy tab. Use GitHub deployment method. Follow the screen instructions how to authorize your GitHub account. Click Search button to list all available Git repositories then connect to desired repo. When your Heroku application is connected to GitHub you are able to activate Automatic Deploys. This allows you to redeploy Heroku application automatically on each Git push event. In this tutorial, the option is enabled.

Heroku CLI
  • Install Heroku CLI

  • Open command prompt in any folder of your computer and type:

    heroku login
  • Enter your credentials when prompted. From now on you don’t need to enter credentials for this project.

PostgreSQL database
  • Return to web browser with Heroku dashboard

  • Go to Resources tab

  • Click Find more add-ons button to find the database add-on

  • Find Heroku Postgres block and click it. Follow the instruction on the screen, click Login to install / Install Heroku Postgres.

Alternatively, you can install PostgreSQL using Heroku CLI:

heroku addons:create heroku-postgresql:hobby-dev --app space-sheep-02453

where space-sheep-02453 is your Heroku application name.

Now you can find the new database on the Resources tab. The database is connected to the Heroku application. To obtain database credentials go to the Datasource page of your Heroku database, scroll down to Administration section and click View credentials button.

Host compute.amazonaws.com
Database zodt
User artd
Port 5432
Password 367f
URI postgres://artd:367f@compute.amazonaws.com:5432/zodt
Project deployment settings
  • Navigate to your local CUBA project folder ($PROJECT_FOLDER)

  • Copy the content of modules/core/web/META-INF/context.xml to modules/core/web/META-INF/heroku-context.xml

  • Fill heroku-context.xml with your actual database connection details (see example below):

        <Resource driverClassName="org.postgresql.Driver"
        <Manager pathname=""/>
Build configuration

Add the following Gradle task to your $PROJECT_FOLDER/build.gradle

task stage(dependsOn: ['setupTomcat', ':app-core:deploy', ':app-web:deploy']) {
    doLast {
        // replace context.xml with heroku-context.xml
        def src = new File('modules/core/web/META-INF/heroku-context.xml')
        def dst = new File('deploy/tomcat/webapps/app-core/META-INF/context.xml')
        dst << src.text

        // change port from 8080 to heroku $PORT
        def file = new File('deploy/tomcat/conf/server.xml')
        file.text = file.text.replace('8080', '${port.http}')

        // add local.app.properties for core application
        def coreConfDir = new File('deploy/tomcat/conf/app-core/')
        def coreProperties = new File(coreConfDir, 'local.app.properties')
        coreProperties.text = ''' cuba.automaticDatabaseUpdate = true '''

        // rename deploy/tomcat/webapps/app to deploy/tomcat/webapps/ROOT
        def rootFolder = new File('deploy/tomcat/webapps/ROOT')
        if (rootFolder.exists()) {

        def webAppDir = new File('deploy/tomcat/webapps/app')
        webAppDir.renameTo( new File(rootFolder.path) )

        // add local.app.properties for web application
        def webConfDir = new File('deploy/tomcat/conf/ROOT/')
        def webProperties = new File(webConfDir, 'local.app.properties')
        webProperties.text = ''' cuba.webContextName = / '''

A command that launches the application on Heroku side is passed by special file Procfile. Create a file named Procfile in $PROJECT_FOLDER with following text:

web: cd ./deploy/tomcat/bin && export 'JAVA_OPTS=-Dport.http=$PORT' && ./catalina.sh run

This provides JAVA_OPTS environment setting to Tomcat which starts with the Catalina script.

Premium addons

If your project uses CUBA Premium Add-ons, set additional variables for the Heroku application.

  • Open the Heroku dashboard.

  • Go to the Settings tab.

  • Expand the Config Variables section clicking the Reveal Config Vars button.

  • Add new Config Vars using your license key parts (separated by dash) as username and password:

CUBA_PREMIUIM_USER    | username
Gradle wrapper

Your project requires Gradle wrapper. You can use CUBA Studio to add it: see the Build > Create or update Gradle wrapper main menu command.

  • Create the system.properties file in $PROJECT_FOLDER with the following content (example corresponds to local JDK 1.8.0_121 installed):

  • Check that files Procfile, system.properties, gradlew, gradlew.bat and gradle are not in .gitignore

  • Add these files to repository and commit it

git add gradlew gradlew.bat gradle/* system.properties Procfile
git commit -am "Added Gradle wrapper and Procfile"
Application deployment

Once you commit and push all changes to GitHub, Heroku starts redeploying the application.

git push

The building process is available on the dashboard on the Activity tab. Click View build log link to track the build log.

After building process is completed, your application will become accessible in browser using the https://space-sheep-02453.herokuapp.com/. You can open the application from Heroku dashboard using the Open app button.

Logs monitoring

Heroku application log is shown by console command:

heroku logs --tail --app space-sheep-02453

Tomcat logs are also available in web application: Menu > Administration > Server Log