Creating a simple Sinatra app on Heroku / by Paulo Fierro

I am a big fan of Sinatra and have been writing a few apps using this lightweight Ruby framework. Deploying them on Heroku is a breeze and painless but I always seem to forget a step so this is more of a note for future me.

I wrote a template that sets up a very basic Sinatra app that outputs JSON — perfect for when I need to set up a basic API for an iOS app. There's no database, so DataMapper is nowhere to be found and there's no tests either, just extreme simplicity.


  1. you already have a Heroku account and have the Heroku Toolbelt installed
  2. you are on a Mac, though I'm sure its not too dissimilar for Windows folk
  3. You have the Bundler and Shotgun gems already installed

So with that out of the way,

  1. Download the template, and unzip it into your new apps' folder
  2. Navigate to the folder in Terminal and then run bundle install
  3. Check that everything is working by running shotgun. Then fire up a browser and navigate to
  4. Next we need to create the local git repository: git init
  5. Now we add all of the files: git add .
  6. Then we commit them: `git commit -m 'first commit'

Now we're ready to create the app on Heroku. For this example lets call it "myapp".

  1. In the Terminal create the app (the default stack nowadays is Cedar which is what we want): heroku apps:create myapp
  2. Because the git repository already exists, the Heroku toolbelt should have set up a remote for us, but lets double check: git remote -v
  3. Double check that the remotes look like heroku [email protected]:myapp.git for both fetch and push
  4. Deploy! git push heroku master

Now if you navigate to you should see some successful JSON output.

Now go build your app!