Nejc Zupan: Turbo-boost your Python development with these cloud services

published Oct 29, 2014, last modified Nov 16, 2014

Talk by Nejc Zupan at the Plone Conference 2014 in Bristol.

Development time is a very limited resource. I think that time should be dedicated to coding, and not do things that can be outsourced.

Why should you listen to me? I like to be on the water, surfing, diving, and I do that a lot of days, much more than previously. So I have less time to do actual coding. I really need to get stuff done quickly, no distractions.

You don't want to tinker with your mail server if you can outsource that to someone else who is probably better at it than you.

Continuous delivery: deliver value for the customer all the time. When something is pushed to master, it is automatically rolled out on production. It makes the developers really attentive to details: it really has to work, not just roughly.

There is a problem: a bug, feature request, anything. You code it, push it to a branch, do a pull request. Another developer looks at it. Travis (continuous integration server) runs the tests. If all is fine, it is pushed to Heroku. This usually happens several times a day.

When you have code running in production, errors will happen. So we use Sentry for errors and Papertrail for logs.

Why is not everybody using Travis? Free for public code on github. Run a test script when changes get pushed. Private repos are supported too; not the cheapest service, but worth it.

Sign in to with your github account, enable travis on your repo, add a .travis.yml file and you are good to go.

Heroku: cloud application platform. I am using it for Pyramid and Plone deployments. They take care of configuring Apache/nginx, firewall, etcetera. You just focus on your code. See

In .travis.yml you can tell Travis to deploy to Heroku when all is fine. BTW, you can do the same with releasing to PyPI.

Last year I had a slide on using Fabric to release a Plone project. But now you can do that on Heroku with buildpacks. In a nutshell: bin/detect and bin/compile. It is out there and it is being used. See It is using RelStorage. Our company website is hosted on Heroku since a few months.

They handle the database, which stays online. When you deploy, the buildout is run (the compile step) and once it is up and answering requests, the old Heroku instance is brought down. So no downtime.

Heroku is free for basic uses. But with Plone you hit the free database row limit after about 100 content items. After that, it costs about 9 dollars until the next limit that is a lot higher. On the free plan, when you have no traffic for an hour, your app is shut down, and then for Plone it will take about a minute for the next request.

We are missing a Plone 5 button on I am working on it.

Heroku forces you into good practices. If a requests takes longer than a minute, it is killed. So you don't keep that page that is taking longer.

Sentry: cloud error reporting. I used to use mailinglogger in Plone, but not anymore. Benefit of Sentry: it is smarter about sending only one email when there are lots of errors. And you see the stacktrace. Easy to set up in a buildout. See

Papertrail: cloud log aggregation. Everything in one interface. See

For most of these, you can choose to run it yourself, instead of depending on third parties.

Watch the video of this talk.