Before we explore the most notable CI/CD products, it’s important to understand why CI/CD pipeline tools are present in software development environments.
It’s common knowledge that the software industry now adheres to the principle of achieving “Quality at Speed”.
In order to meet the growing demand for faster delivery and better product quality, businesses are adopting DevOps methodologies and Agile culture. Essentially, DevOps is a software development methodology that embodies agile principles to streamline software development and deployment. It emphasises the importance of cooperation between the operations team and software developers, continuous integration and delivery, and automating routine processes. Through these principles, organisations can accelerate their delivery speed while enhancing the quality of their products.
DevOps teams utilise pipelines to automate and standardise their processes. These pipelines incorporate technologies like Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) automation tools, which are used by teams to achieve enhanced transparency along the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and automate tedious tasks.
To optimise the benefits of the DevOps methodology throughout development and deployment processes, integrating CI/CD DevOps technologies into existing systems is paramount. By harnessing the automation functionality of a dependable CI/CD platform, teams can unlock the full potential of their current processes and establish a robust CI/CD pipeline.
Here are the top seven continuous integration and continuous delivery tools that are a must-have.
Given the multitude of CI/CD solutions available, it can be challenging for developers and businesses to identify the most appropriate option for their projects. To simplify this process and enable teams to make an informed decision, below is a summary of some of the most commonly utilised CI/CD tools along with their potent capabilities.
Jenkins is regarded as one of the foremost continuous integration/continuous delivery solutions available today, thanks to its open-source nature, cross-platform compatibility, and its Java-based development. Its flexibility and simplicity make it the perfect option for organisations seeking to streamline their software deployment process.
Jenkins is an adaptable and user-friendly automation platform that is compatible with all significant cloud providers, including Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Amazon Web Services (AWS), and DigitalOcean. It empowers developers with advanced tools to construct and execute continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) pipelines in a domain-specific language, enabling them to model and implement project alterations with precision, efficiency and accuracy.
Jenkins is a potent, free and open-source automation platform with a thriving community and an ever-growing plugin ecosystem comprising of more than 1500 plugins. Its cross-platform compatibility means it can be used on macOS, Windows, and Linux systems, rendering it a viable choice for established organisations as well as startups. Its celebrated versatility and capability have made it a preferred choice for many.
Jenkins stands out with these features:
- Support for an extensive array of operating systems
- Simple and rapid utilisation
- Readily adaptable with a vast selection of publicly accessible add-ons.
- The user interface enables easy configuration of the environment.
- Enables distributed builds utilising a master-slave architecture
- Synchronization of schedules through expressions
- Execution of shells and Windows commands are supported in pre-build processes.
Licence: Jenkins is an open-source project, which means it is free of charge.
GitLab CI is one of the top-rated tools for continuous integration and continuous delivery and is accessible on all major operating systems.
GitLab CI has skillfully incorporated Continuous Integration (CI), Continuous Delivery (CD), Code Reviews (CR), and Continuous Deployment (CD) into a single, straightforward interface (UI). With this highly efficient UI, project managers can manage their projects and ensure the attainment of quality standards before implementing their code in production. Using GitLab CI, users can keep themselves updated on their CI/CD pipelines, code reviews, and deployments while also benefiting from a multitude of other tools and integrations.
The widely-employed CI/CD pipeline tool features an efficient caching function, which saves time by allowing the sharing of the same branch within the cache. Disabling the cache is also possible when the need arises for a specific operation.
With GitLab CI’s Shell Executor, developers can execute builds in the same manner as they would in a terminal, allowing for a seamless transition from any existing CI/CD solutions. This feature provides developers with the flexibility to create tailor-made pipelines based on their specific requirements.
Here are some of the most noteworthy characteristics of GitLab:
- With the use of branching tools, codes and project data can be viewed, created, and managed.
- A centralised version control system enables real-time access and editing of all project files and code.
- Collaboratively working on projects and code ensures the existence of a single, definitive version of the truth, and allows the project to expand as required.
- The automated building, integration, and verification of source code makes it easier for delivery teams to adopt Continuous Integration (CI).
- By incorporating container scanning, Static Application Security Testing, Dynamic Application Security Testing, and Dependency Scanning, organisations can ensure secure and license-compliant software delivery. These security measures effectively collaborate to provide an additional layer of protection, allowing organisations to establish a well-rounded approach to software security.
Licencing: GitLab offers both free and premium services.
CircleCI is an all-inclusive automation solution aimed at streamlining the entire software development process. It facilitates seamless continuous integration and continuous delivery, allowing developers to code, test, and deploy their projects with ease. This comprehensive toolset cuts down on manual effort and time input, establishing a fluid and efficient workflow for software development teams.
CircleCI is an automation tool used for build processes that can be triggered by new code added to repositories like GitHub, GitHub Enterprise, or Bitbucket. It can be deployed in a managed cloud environment or installed on a private network secured by a firewall for continuous integration. Whichever environment is chosen, CircleCI offers a reliable method for automating build processes.
Unique characteristics of CircleCI:
- Collaborates with GitHub, Bitbucket, and GitHub Enterprise
- CircleCI permits the utilisation of containers and virtual machines in executing the build process.
- Quick testing for simple bugs
- Personalised email and instant message notifications
- Supports both continuous and targeted rollouts
- Exceptional speed achieved through the use of highly customisable settings for caching and parallel processing
- Automated package uploading and merging, with support for user-defined instructions.
License: CircleCI is a free, open-source CI/CD platform.
JetBrains’ TeamCity is among the most commonly used Continuous Integration and Delivery (CI/CD) solutions obtainable. It is open source, free of cost, and seamlessly integrates with popular services like Jira Software, Azure DevOps, NuGet, Maven, Docker, and Visual Studio Team Services.
TeamCity is recognised as one of the top Java-based server CI/CD pipeline solutions available. Supporting both Linux and Windows operating systems, users can concurrently run builds on either.
TeamCity’s on-premises edition is compatible with several cloud environments and has thus become the premier CI/CD solution available. Setup of build agents through Kubernetes and pipeline design via Kotlin-based Domain-Specific Language (DSL) are supported, which make it a valuable tool for businesses that deploy their applications using cloud platforms.
Distinctive features of TeamCity:
- Offers multiple options to include parent project configurations and settings in child projects.
- Builds can be executed simultaneously in diverse scenarios.
- Enables execution of previous builds, access to reports on previous tests, and labelling, tagging and marking previous builds as favourite.
- Simplifies communication and modification with the server.
- Guarantees persistent suitability and efficiency of the CI server.
- Management of users is facilitated by a choice of methods, with roles allocated and groups established as required. Additionally, several authentication methods are provided.
Licensing: The commercial application is available in both open-source and paid versions.
Dependency on Travis CI
Travis CI platform is a reliable, Continuous Integration (CI) solution designed for software development and testing purposes. With each new code modification or addition made on GitHub, Travis CI immediately retrieves the updated version, constructs the project and performs tests automatically.
It supports several programming languages such as Java, C, C#, C++, Perl, Python, Ruby, PHP, and Node.js.
Distinguishing Features of Travis CI
- Quick Deployable Framework
- Real-time project monitoring using visualisation of ongoing builds linked with GitHub
- Widespread usage across multiple cloud providers
- In-built database management features
- Approved builds will trigger automatic deployment.
- Each build operates on a fresh virtual machine environment.
- Can operate on any Operating System (OS)
Travis CI is an example of a hosted CI/CD service. Access to the Travis-private ci.com project testing service involves payment.
Buddy is an all-inclusive automation platform for continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD). It empowers developers to release mobile and web applications after testing them from GitHub, Bitbucket, and GitLab repositories. The platform runs on Docker containers that come with pre-installed languages, frameworks, and DevOps functionalities, complemented by monitoring and alerting features.
Distinctive Features of Buddy are:
- Advanced caching, parallel processing and performance optimization for enhanced user experience
- Capability to customize, create and reuse test environments
- Elastic, PostgreSQL, RabbitMQ, Redis, MariaDB, Memcached, Mongo, Selenium, Chrome, and Firefox are some of the services that can be linked.
- View unlimited real-time updates and logs.
- Process management for workflow, encompassing export, cloning, and importing of templates for pipelines
License: Buddy is a paid software, but a demo version is available for a free trial.
Buddy presents an efficient solution for streamlining your DevOps procedures. This online automation tool has an uncomplicated user interface and workflow organization, making it an easy-to-use tool. The Buddy development team is dedicatedly enhancing the application’s features through frequent updates. Plus, the platform is built to be fast, with caching, smart change detection, and parallelism boosting the overall CI process speed. Click here to hire remote GUI developers for your project.
Distinctive Qualities of Bamboo are:
- Utilize up to a hundred remote build agents.
- Bamboo is parallel-execution proficient, enabling it to perform various tests concurrently and deliver prompt results.
- Bamboo provides environment-specific access rights to developers and testers, allowing them to make modifications to their development and staging environments with complete confidence and security, without affecting the production environment.
- Bamboo automatically implements the mainline Continuous Integration (CI) tactics to newly created branches in Git, Mercurial, and SVN Repositories.
- Modifications done in the repository are used to create triggers that will disseminate notifications through Bitbucket based on certain conditions. For instance, the triggers can be set for the completion of a previous build or the initiation of a new one.
License: This software is intended for business usage.
Our comprehensive research of available DevOps tools has led us to curate a list of the top seven CI/CD solutions, complete with the latest technologies, to assist you with your projects. Ultimately, selecting the appropriate solution depends on your project-specific demands, existing configuration, and capacity for future growth and enhancement. This list, however, will serve as an excellent starting point in your quest to find the right software.