v2.1 Deploying an API Platform App on Heroku

Deploying an API Platform App on Heroku

Heroku is a popular, fast, scalable and reliable Platform As A Service (PaaS). As Heroku offers a free plan including database support through Heroku Postgres, it’s a convenient way to experiment with the API Platform.

The API Platform Heroku integration also supports MySQL databases provided by the ClearDB add-on.

Deploying API Platform applications on Heroku is straightforward and you will learn how to do it in this tutorial.

Note: this tutorial works perfectly well with API Platform but also with any Symfony application based on the Symfony Standard Edition.

If you don’t already have one, create an account on Heroku. Then install the Heroku toolbelt. We guess you already have a working install of Composer, perfect, we will need it.

Create a new API Platform project as usual:

composer create-project api-platform/api-platform

Go to the created directory. Then install the API Heroku integration library created by the API Platform team. It we will ease the deployment. Install it:

composer require dunglas/api-platform-heroku

Heroku relies on environment variables for its configuration. Regardless of what provider you choose for hosting your application, using environment variables to configure your production environment is a best practice. So we will configure the library we just installed and remove the Incenteev Parameter Handler library that was bundled with API Platform. Parameter Handler generated the app/config/parameters.yml file during the installation process.

Open the composer.json file and remove the following line from the require section:

"incenteev/composer-parameter-handler": "~2.0",

Then remove the following script call from the post-install-cmd and post-update-cmd sections:


Then we must register the Composer script provided by the library we installed in the scripts section of the composer.json file:

    "scripts": {
        "pre-install-cmd": [
        "_": "..."

Delete app/config/parameters.yml and app/config/parameters.yml.dist as they will not be used anymore. Then remove the following line from the imports section of app/config/config.yml:

    - { resource: parameters.yml }

We will now create the Heroku app.json file at the root of the application directory to set the parameters of our application using the external parameters feature of the Symfony container:

  "success_url": "/",
  "env": {
    "SYMFONY_ENV": "prod",
    "SYMFONY__DATABASE_DRIVER": "pdo_pgsql",
    "SYMFONY__MAILER_HOST": "your-mailer.com",
    "SYMFONY__MAILER_USER": "your-mailer-username",
    "SYMFONY__MAILER_PASSWORD": "your-mailer-password",
    "SYMFONY__CORS_ALLOW_ORIGIN": "https://your-client-url.com",
    "SYMFONY__LOCALE": "en",
      "generator": "secret"
  "addons": [
  "buildpacks": [
      "url": "https://github.com/heroku/heroku-buildpack-php"

The file also tells the Heroku deployment system to build a PHP container and to add the Postgres add-on.

If you also want to run your app locally or on another hosting provider, don’t forget to set those environment variables and another one called DATABASE_URL containing your database DSN. A convenient way to manage environment variables is the PHP dotenv library.

We are almost done, but API Platform (and Symfony) has a particular directory structure which requires further configuration. We must tell Heroku that the document root is web/, and that all other directories must be private.

Create a new file named Procfile at the root of the application directory with the following content:

web: bin/heroku-php-apache2 web/

Our application is ready to be deployed, but Heroku dynos are not persistent and file stored directly on the filesystem will be lost. It’s problematic for our logs.

Note: if you want to store files permanently, use a persistent file storage service such as Amazon S3.

Heroku provides another free service, Logplex, which allows us to centralize and persist applications logs. To use it we need to configure Monolog to output logs to STDERR instead of to a file.

Open app/config/config_prod.yml and find the following block:

    # ...

        type: stream
        path: '%kernel.logs_dir%/%kernel.environment%.log'
        level: debug

And replace it with:

    # ...

        type: stream
        path: 'php://stderr'
        level: debug

We are now ready to deploy our app!

Initialize a git repository:

git init

Add all existing files:

git add --all


git commit -a -m "My first API Platform app running on Heroku!"

Create the Heroku application:

heroku create

And deploy for the first time:

git push heroku master

Your browser should open automatically and display the entrypoint of the API. It’s time to create the database:

heroku run "app/console doctrine:schema:create"

We’re done. You can play with the demo bookstore API provided with API Platform. It is ready for production and you can scale it in one click from the Heroku interface.

To see your logs, run heroku logs --tail.

You can also help us improve the documentation of this page.

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