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Running ChicagoBoss (erlang web framework) on Heroku

N.B. This process was an initial attempt and is subject to change :)

To create a new project from scratch:

  1. Create a top level project directory. Add an empty ebin/ directory. (N.B. also create a dummy file to commit to git)
  2. Create a new heroku instance: $ git init $ heroku create --stack cedar $ heroku config:add BUILDPACK_URL=
  3. Add ChicagoBoss as git submodule (also repeat for cb_admin if required) $ git submodule add ChicagoBoss
  4. Create app $ cd ChicagoBoss; make; make app PROJECT=myapp
  5. Add Procfile, from this project - edit project name in

  6. Edit myapp/ - add the following sections: (running erl with the -sname param causes heroku startup to fail)

           # Start Boss in production mode with no -sname parameter
           echo "starting boss in production mode..."
           START=$(./rebar boss c=start_cmd|grep -v "==>"|perl -pe 's/-sname\s+\S+//')
           # Start Boss in development mode
           START_DEV=$(./rebar boss c=start_dev_cmd|grep -v "==>"|perl -pe 's/-sname\s+\S+//')
  7. Edit myapp/boss.config change boss path line to:

    {path, "../ChicagoBoss"},

    change port line to:

    {port, {env, "PORT"}},

    N.B. above currently requires ChicagoBoss HEAD to work

  8. Deploy!

    $ git add .; git push heroku master

A few caveats:

  • This is based on using the heroku supplied erlang buildpack at:
  • A better solution would be to modify the buildpack to build CB at the compile stage (as opposed to the run stage)
  • As such, the above solution may crash at the first deploy due to the app not starting within 60secs. Run:

    $ heroku logs -t

    in a seperate window to keep an eye on the deployment/startup process.

Heroku specific stuff:

$ heroku info

within a project will display info about the current project (app url, git url etc)

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