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Daniel Diaz for Developer Road

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🐘 Set up A PostgreSql Database in Django

Quick advice:

If you want a post that covers the deploy of a Django app, entirely go to this one

Creating an app on heroku

Before you create a free app on heroku you must create an account, here.

Once you have created your account, you will have a dashboard like this one.


To create an app click in New, and you will see a dropdown, with the option of Create new app.

Choose that, select a name and click on create app.

Now that you've created a new app, click in "Overview", and select configure addons.image

Now search for heroku postgres and select it.

Modifying your settings file

Now you are almost ready to deploy to heroku, but first let's modify your settings, to be ready to be deployed.

Install django_heroku and python decouple

pip install gunicorn django-heroku python-decouple
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I'll be only explaining the database set up, for other instructions, just read this tutorial

Using dj_database_url

dj_database_url is a package that comes bundled, with django_heroku.

It's function dj_database_url.config(), receives as a parameter the url config of a database, and transform that in the needed keys to get access to it.


# Import this packages previously dowloaded

import django_heroku
import dj_database_url
from decouple import config

# Go down until you find database stuff

# Database

# Commment out the sqlite database setup

#     'default': {
#         'ENGINE': 'django.db.backends.sqlite3',
#         'NAME': BASE_DIR / 'db.sqlite3',
#     }
# }

# These lines make all the magic
    'default': dj_database_url.config(

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Create a Procfile

Run this in the root directory of the app

touch Procfile
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Open the file and copy the following line:

web: gunicorn (Your app).wsgi
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This tells Heroku, that it must run a web process, with gunicorn as HTTP server and with a wsgi file located in (Your app). Remember to change (Your app) with the name of your project.

Freezing requirements.txt

To freeze a file with the requirements of your application, just run

pip freeze > requirements.txt
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Heroku will search for that file, so don't forget to run that command.

Managing the deploy with Github

Deploys with Github are way easier than with the Heroku CLI tool, so don't forget to create a repository on Github with the app you are trying to deploy.

Push the changes you've made with

git add -A
git commit -m "Database Settings ready"
git push origin
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Now in the heroku website, go to the Deploy tab and click in Connect with github.


You will be redirected, to Github in order to authorize access to your repos.

Now connect the repo you want to deploy


And finally in Manual deploy, click on Deploy branch.

Wait for it, if you get errors ....

Well just read the Heroku docs , or comment below your problems.

Thanks for your time hopefully this tutorial will be useful for you πŸ€—.

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Top comments (3)

hnsmchl profile image

Hello there, I receive this error message when trying to migrate the

decouple.UndefinedValueError: DATABASE_URL not found. Declare it as envvar or define a default value.

any solutions?

danidiaztech profile image
Daniel Diaz

Any question, or trouble? Let me know!

hnsmchl profile image

hello there, I've posted a comment regarding a problem I have.