Top 6 Jenkins Alternatives for Developer Teams
By Sakshi Pandey, Community Contributor - June 8, 2023
Jenkins is an open-source automation server that has been around for more than a decade. At the time of its release, it was a tool that completely revolutionized the software development world.
This highly efficient tool has been top-rated for developing software applications, testing projects, and making continuous integration pipelines possible. Jenkins automates the build, test, and deploy processes to make streamlined continuous integration and continuous delivery pipelines.
Additionally, Jenkins supports several plugins with highly versatile uses, enabling teams to use it with languages other than Java. However, Jenkins isn’t perfect, and after over a decade in the industry, it’s inevitable that Jenkins has accumulated several competitors. This guide explores the top 6 Jenkins alternatives.
Jenkins’ Advantages and Disadvantages
Jenkins is the oldest open-source automation server with one of the largest user bases. Additionally, Jenkins has over 1800 user-contributed plugins that cover nearly all CI/CD needs. However, its user interface has become antiquated and unfriendly; regrettably, Jenkins setup can also be complicated and time-consuming.
Unfortunately, for all the positives, Jenkins possesses several disadvantages that deter new users; hence they look out for Jenkins competitors and alternatives.
- Jenkins is open-source, providing a more economical solution to teams on a tight budget.
- It has 1800+ plugins making Jenkins more diverse, supporting more languages, and also aiding Jenkins users in designing more variegated pipelines.
- It can be used with several popular OS such as Windows, macOS, and Linux.
- It is the oldest open-source automation server and thus has extensive documentation and community resources. This makes it easier to use since guides are available for all functions of Jenkins.
- It is self-hosted, giving the user greater control over the CI/CD pipeline. This allows for more customized and tailor-made workflows to be developed.
- It is over a decade old and has gained a reputation for being highly reliable.
- Jenkins is based on Java, making it a very robust framework.
- Jenkins requires a dedicated team/person who is highly specialized and has extensive experience in using it.
- It is notorious for being difficult to set up and requiring a highly hands-on, manual approach to building pipelines.
- Although Jenkins has a plethora of plug-ins available, there is often little upkeep performed for these plugins. Additionally, there is no way to confirm that the plug-in that a team needs to use will be maintained.
- The user interface is not very easily understandable and requires some time to get used to.
- It relies on antiquated Java technologies and is relatively brittle.
- Errors are difficult to resolve.
- If multiple teams use Jenkins simultaneously for a particular project, these servers can become difficult to track and manage.
- It is a hassle to update.
Top 6 Jenkins Alternatives for Developer Teams
This CI server was first released in 2006 and is known to be one of the most popular alternatives to Jenkins. TeamCity is available as a cloud service and as an on-site installation.
In addition, TeamCity offers stable plugins, in contrast to Jenkins’ plugins which are dubiously maintained, and fantastic customer support.
Some of the capabilities that make TeamCity popular are:
- It provides a low-maintenance solution to developers.
- It doesn’t require a specialized team/person to manage it.
- TeamCity is highly compatible with .NET integration.
- It can be used to monitor multiple projects and branches.
- The UI is straightforward to use and aesthetically pleasing.
- It can be integrated with version control systems such as GitLab and GitHub.
2. AWS CodePipeline
This is a CI/CD service that efficiently automates release pipelines. It doesn’t require a multiple-stage setup involving servers and other provisions; This makes it very easy to set up, manage, and use.
It is a continuous delivery service that developers can use to model, visualize, and automate the steps required to release the software application. You can use AWS CodePipeline to quickly model and configure the different stages of a software release process.
Some of the capabilities that make AWS CodePipeline popular are:
- AWS CodePipeline can be integrated with AWS CodeCommit, GitHub, Amazon ECR, and Amazon S3.
- This CI/CD service also allows integration with custom or built-in plugins as the project needs.
- This service offers parallel execution to increase the speed of the workflow.
- Status notifications can be sent to team members via Amazon SNS.
Bamboo is a product under Atlassian and is a very powerful CI tool that has the added capability of being able to integrate efficiently with JIRA for better project management. Integration with JIRA allows the team to communicate easily, fix, and keep track of issues that arise.
Some of the capabilities which make Bamboo popular are:
- Bamboo is highly scalable.
- A relatively easy setup process.
- Bamboo can be integrated with Atlassian’s suite of tools.
- It can be used to run parallel batch tests.
Also Read: TeamCity vs Jenkins vs Bamboo: A Breakdown
CircleCI is highly customizable and scalable, making it a very well-liked CI/CD tool in the industry. In addition to this, CircleCI can be used in almost any environment. To top it all off, CircleCI automation is easy to set up, run, and maintain.
CircleCI reduces the overhead of having a dedicated server as it is cloud-based. The enterprise version is also low on maintenance. The cloud-based platform offers scalable credit-based plans that help deploy applications faster.
Some of the capabilities which make CircleCI popular are:
- This CI/CD tool has an “Orb” system that allows users to set up third-party integrations or plugins easily.
- CircleCI can easily be integrated with GitHub and BitBucket.
- It can use parallelism to expedite jobs.
- CircleCI can be run on Docker, macOS, Windows, Linux VM, GPU, and Arm environments.
- This tool is also very easy to maintain compared to Jenkins since it allows automatic updates.
Read More: CircleCI vs Jenkins: A Detailed Comparison
5. Gitlab CI
Every GitLab user has access to the built-in CI/CD tool GitLab CI. GitLab CI offers an excellent UI, making it easy to implement CI/CD without employing another third-party tool like Jenkins. This tool is cloud-based and highly scalable.
Some of the capabilities that make GitLab popular are:
- It offers several APIs which can be used to implement more features in the CI/CD pipeline as required.
- It’s easy to use, primarily if GitLab hosts the project code.
- There’s no need to worry about set-up, configuration, and all the other headaches that come with using a third-party tool.
- GitLab offers security through full control over access and the code storage location.
- No plugins are required with GitLab.
Also Read: Difference between Jenkins vs Gitlab CI
6. Travis CI
Travis CI is an open-source project which is simple to set up and use. Additionally, Travis CI offers easy integration with version control systems. Travis CI supports the build matrix, which allows tests to run with different versions of languages and packages.
It was the first CI as a Service tool. It was introduced to build code in the cloud, where users can link their repository and build and test their apps. It is a tool created for open-source projects and focused on CI. It uses automated testing and an elaborate alert system to optimize the build process.
Some of the capabilities that make Travis CI popular are:
- It can integrate with version control systems like GitLab, Assembla, and BitBucket.
- Travis CI has extensive guides, community support, and docs available.
- Travis CI makes it easy to customize build environments per project requirements.
- The Travis CI portal displays the history and console logs very intuitively. We are making it easy to understand and use.
- Travis CI can be integrated with Slack to provide the developer team regular updates regarding the build status.
Read More: Jenkins vs Travis: The War of CI Tools
Cross browser testing is a vital component of any software project.
- BrowserStack Automate can integrate with several popular automation frameworks such as Selenium, Cypress, WebdriverIO, Playwright, and more to test 3000+ desktop browsers and real devices.
- BrowserStack integrations include all the continuous integration tools and Jenkins alternatives mentioned in this guide; TeamCity, Jenkins, Bamboo, TravisCI, CircleCI, AWS CodePipeline, and many other CI/CD tools.
- The latest inclusions are Bitbucket pipelines, GitHub Actions, GoCD, and Google Cloud Build.
So it boils down to this question – What is the best alternative to Jenkins?
- There are many CI/CD tools available on the market. With all of them having such excellent features, it eventually comes down to simply finding the tool best suited to the project and the other software tools or systems already in use.
- So when picking the best CI/CD tool, be sure to identify the right ones; which offer flexibility, are customizable, time-efficient, and compatible with all the necessary software environments and other devices incorporated in the project’s software development process.