Continuous integration is a development practice that requires developers to frequently merge their code changes into a central repository. With the help of advanced technologies like continuous integration tools, this practice ensures that the codebase is always in a shippable state and that any potential issues are identified and resolved quickly.
Continuous Integration tools automate processes related to building, merging, testing and deploying codes in sync with the development lifecycle of the software.
There are several continuous integration tools available, each with its own set of features and capabilities. In this blog post, we’ll look at seven of the best CI tools for DevOps.
7 Best Continuous Integration Tools for DevOps in 2022
Here are some of the best CI/CD tools based on features, user reviews, and compatibility.
Jenkins: Best for Automating, Building, and Deploying Cross-Platform Projects
Jenkins is an open-source CI/CD tool with a large community of users and contributors. Jenkins is quite extensible and has more than 1800 community-contributed plugins that allow integration with a wide variety of DevOps systems. With extendable automation, it can be used both as a Continuous server or a delivery hub.
Jenkins supports on-premises installation across multiple platforms for deployment, testing, and drive build.
Compatibility: On premise deployment for Windows, MacOS and Linux
Jenkins Pros and Cons
|Open-source and free||No dedicated support|
|Extensive plugin library||Difficult to track previous executions and build history|
|Good for multi-platform projects|
Suggested Read: Best Software Configuration Management Tools in DevOps
Bamboo: Best for Continuous Deployment of Multiple Projects Simultaneously in Large Teams
Bamboo is a premium releases management tool from Atlassian. It allows the developers team to build a scalable development workflow automation and delivery pipeline for continuous delivery. It also has a built-in disaster recovery and incident investigation feature for better accountability and response.
Bamboo’s integration with other Atlassian products, including JIRA, Confluence, Bitbucket, and others, provides additional value. Besides, it has an extremely user-friendly interface and provides premium support for developers.
Compatibility: On premise deployment for Windows, MacOS and UNIX based OS
Bamboo Pros & Cons
|Built-in disaster recovery and investigation feature||Expensive compared to other CI CD tools|
|Intuitive UI||Isn’t the best for non-java projects|
GitLab: Best for Managing Entire Software Development and Deployment Life Cycle
GitLab is a premium, open source DevOps lifecycle tool that provides a complete toolchain for developers to plan, code, test, build, deploy, monitor, and measure their application. It offers users a self-hosted and SaaS platform for managing their CI CD process.
GitLab provides an easy-to-use interface for creating and managing repositories, branches, commits, and merge requests. It also offers a powerful issue tracking system, wiki, and discussion forums. This continuous integration tool integrates with popular CI/CD solutions such as Jenkins and Travis CI and offers a built-in CI/CD pipeline.
It also provides vulnerability management tools to scan the CI pipeline, powerful analytics, and integrated administration dashboard.
Compatibility: Cloud, on premise and hybrid deployment. Available for Windows, MacOS, BSD and Linux.
GitLab Pros & Cons
|Browser and load performance||Expensive paid plans|
|Connect External repositories from GitHub and BigBucket||Not an ideal fit for small projects|
|ChatOps and Auto DevOps||User interface could be improved|
|Docket image builder|
|container and dependency scanning|
|Security test reporting|
Buddy: Best for Freelances and Small Development Team with Low Resources
Buddy is a fast, simple, reliable, and cloud-hosted CI/CD tool that automates the processes of code creation, testing, and deployment. It integrates with over 150 services, including most popular ones such as AWS, Azure, Slack, Docker, and GitHub.
The visual pipeline designer of Buddy makes it extremely easy to create and setup pipelines with drag and drop even for novice developers. Buddy also provides first class docker supporter, powerful build environment, and allows DevOps team to create unlimited concurrent pipeline runs.
Compatibility: SaaS deployed
Buddy Pros & Cons
|Cloud based deployment||Doesn’t have advanced web-hooks|
|Integrates with 150+ popular services||Documentation is difficult to understand|
|1 Month Free trial||Should offer better management of user and storage resources|
|Docket layer, artifacts, and repository caching|
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Semaphore CI: Best for Building and Deploying Large Projects with High Velocity
Semaphore CI is a cloud-based CI/CD tool that offers great performance and speed for both simple and complex projects. It provides parallelism out of the box, allowing developers to build faster and ship their code sooner. This continuous integration tool integrates well with GitHub and Bitbucket and supports multiple languages and platforms.
Semaphore has an ISO 27001 certified solution, allowing programmers to stay compliant with security standards. It also provides expert support for CI/CD training and an exhaustive knowledge base that helps DevOps team to upskill themselves in a continuous learning environment.
Semaphore CI Pros & Cons
|Fast and scalable||Limited integrations|
|Large resources repository, training programmers and premium support||No support for multi-repos in single build|
|Customizable DevOps workflow||No role-based permission access|
|Zero maintenance infrastructure|
CruiseControl: Best for Small to Medium Sized Projects with a Limited Number of Developers
Cruise Control is an open source, extensible framework and CI tool that allows users to create custom and continuous build processes. It is a java-based tool that can be easily extended and customized as per the requirements of your team and project. CruiseControl supports multiple languages and platforms and has a large developer community support.
There are dozens of community-contributed plugins that allow product teams to integrate the toll with all popular frameworks and other 3rd party tools. It also features a catch-all exec builder which could be used with any script or command-line tool.
Best for Small to medium sized projects with a limited number of developers.
Compatibility: On-premises deployment for Windows only
CruiseControl Pros & Cons
|Free and open- source||Outdated interface|
|Multiple source control system integration (vperforce, svn, git, hg, clearcase, ss, csv, etc.)||Challenging setup|
|Remote management support||Build plans are not managed on source code|
TeamCity: Best for Those Who Require a Scalable and Powerful CI/CD Solution
TeamCity is a general use CI/CD solution from JetBrains. It is an all-in-one solution for developers, DevOps team, managers and admins. The software allows programmers to remotely run, manage and automate tests, build progress reports, and conduct automated test investigations.
TeamCity provides both on premise and web-based interface for configuring and managing build, test, integration and deployment pipelines. It integrates with popular development tools such as JIRA, Slack, Maven, MSBuild, npm, Gradle, and HipChat and offers a built-in repository for storing build artifacts. With TeamCity, developers can easily automate complex pipelines, build chains, perform parallel testing, and much more.
Compatibility: On premise deployment for Windows, Linux, MacOS, and cloud-based deployment.
TeamCity Pros & Cons
|100+ build configurations||Cumbersome version upgrade process|
|Pipeline optimization||Report and pipeline visualization is average|
|Build configuration template||No specific configuration for small projects|
|Multilanguage and multiplatform support|
|Fast feedback loop|
Suggested Read: 12 Best Free and Open-Source Knowledge Management Systems
How to Choose the Best CI/CD Tool for Your Project
There are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing continuous integration tools:
- Consider your requirements: Size and kind of project, deployment type, and size of your team are some of the important factors to consider when choosing a CI/CD tool.
- Compatibility with your development environment and tools: Make sure that the continuous integration tool you choose is compatible with your development environment, tools, and programming language.
- Compare the features: Check out the various features offered by the tool and see if they fit your requirements. Some of the important features to look for are automatic build, code quality analysis, defect tracking, reporting, and notifications.
- Check Integration capabilities: The DevOps tool should be able to integrate seamlessly with development tools, repository and framework used in your organization.
- Evaluate the Cost: Different tools offer different pricing plans. Some are open source and free to use while some are paid. It is important to evaluate the cost of the tool before deciding.
Once you have considered these factors, you will be in a better position to choose the best CI/CD Pipeline tool for your project
- Which tool is used for CI?
There are several tools available for continuous integration with their own specialization. Some of the popular ones are Jenkins, Buddy, and Bamboo.
- What are CI and CD tools?
CI and CD tools are used for automating the process of software development and delivery. They help save time and resources by automating various stages of the software development cycle.
- What is the best CI tool?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as the best tool depends on the specific requirements of your project. Some of the popular CI tools are Jenkins, Bamboo, and TeamCity.
- What is the difference between CI and CD?
Continuous Integration (CI) is the process of merging the code changes into a central repository frequently and automating the build and test process. Continuous Delivery (CD) is the process of automating the software delivery process. CI is a part of the build and testing phase while CD is a part of deployment phase.
- What is an example of continuous integration?
An example of continuous integration would be a developer making a change to the code and then committing that change to the central repository. Once the change is committed, the build process is automatically triggered, and a new build is generated. This build is then deployed to a testing environment where it undergoes further testing.
- What is the most popular CI CD tool?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as the best tool depends on the specific requirements of your project. Some of the popular CI tools are GitLab CruiseControl, and TeamCity.