I've been using Heroku for years and it is a great service with great support. Our company, AtomicJolt uses it for all new projects since we an quickly bring up a new site on a free account and show it to our customers.
One problem we frequently run into is the database row limit when using the development plan. Once you hit 10,000 rows your database write permissions are turned off and you will start to see this error:
PG::Error: ERROR: permission denied for relation [table name here]
At that point you have a couple of options:
I've been a big fan of Elastic Search for a very long time. It's a great piece of software that can be used as an object database as well as a search index. I realize that's not the intention of the software but it works so I'm happy. Elastic Search doesn't have security built in so if you want to lock down your index (which is a good idea) then you'll need to run it behind a proxy. I briefly considered writing something in Go. There's a node.js proxy for Elastic Search but it hasn't been maintained in quite some time.
I want fewer moving pieces. Nginx provides basic authentication. I'm happy with that.
Mix all the above and you get a nice bit of software that you can be happy with after you figure out the mixing part. It goes something like this:
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