Heroku gives your app a place to live on the Internet, regardless of its size or scale. In the past, that’s meant an easy way for a small developer to look big. On Thursday, the Salesforce-owned company is flipped that around: Heroku Enterprise, a new version of its service, will target large corporations that want the nimbleness of startups.

The way Heroku grew to prominence was with a freemium model: Developers could launch apps for free on a small scale, and then upgrade to paid support if and when those apps become popular. However, the eight-year-old company has acquired an increasing number of corporate clients like Macy’s, Asics, and Lyft. Popularity is not a problem for these well-known brands.

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“We’ve seen a growing number of larger enterprises who want to build apps the way startups do,” said Paul Kopacki, CMO of Heroku. “They come to Heroku because of the developer experience, but have begun asking for additional features large organizations require.”

What’s different, Kopacki said, is that enterprise customers need support for large app development teams with varying levels of access and permissions. They may need a hierarchical system for managing the development of multiple apps. And they want a different type of payment system than Heroku’s usual monthly bill.

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“As an enterprise client, you want to buy hosting on an annual basis to budget and plan for it,” said Kopacki. “You need your resources in a package that allow you to scale as high as you need to on your highest traffic day. Macy’s needs Heroku hosting to scale up wildly in the period around the holidays, and shift resources around in other periods. Enterprises will buy an annual package and allocate the resources.”

There isn’t a set fee for Heroku Enterprise. Kopacki said that these annual packages will be negotiated individually with each enterprise client.

Even before Heroku Enterprise existed, Heroku has always advertised many of its features as “enterprise grade,” including two-factor authentication for security and responsive, transparent status updates about downtime.  Now that it has filled in the missing piece of the puzzle for corporate app makers, this could be Salesforce Heroku’s coming of age. 

Image courtesy of Heroku