Heroku is a cloud platform as a service (PaaS) that enables developers to build, run, and operate applications entirely in the cloud. Founded in 2007, it supports several programming languages, including Java, Node.js, Scala, Python, PHP, and Ruby, making it a versatile platform for a wide range of web applications. Heroku abstracts away from the underlying infrastructure, allowing developers to focus on writing code without worrying about the hardware or network setup. It manages hardware and servers, provides integrated tools, services, and workflows to help deploy and scale applications. The platform's ease of use, simplicity in deployment, and managed services make it a popular choice for startups and established companies alike.

The benefits of Heroku are centered around its user-friendly approach and robust ecosystem. Developers can deploy applications with simple git-based deployment methods, and the platform automatically handles the provisioning, configuration, and scaling of servers. This enables a smooth and efficient workflow, especially beneficial for small teams or individual developers who may not have extensive sysadmin skills. Additionally, Heroku offers a range of add-ons for database services, monitoring, analytics, and more, allowing easy integration of these services into applications. Another significant advantage is the platform's scalability - it can easily scale resources up or down with a single command or automatically, based on the application's needs. This scalability, combined with the convenience of a managed environment, makes Heroku an appealing solution for developers looking to streamline their deployment process and efficiently manage their web applications.