Top 14 CI CD Tools for your DevOps project
By Kitakabee, Community Contributor - August 2, 2022
Continuous Integration (CI) is a practice used by development teams to merge the code to the central repository regularly. It allows many developers to contribute quickly and work on a single code base.
Continuous Delivery (CD) is an approach used by teams to release features in short cycles. It aims to accelerate the phase at which the software is built, released, and tested. Continuous delivery tools or continuous deployment tools are related concepts that are sometimes used interchangeably.
What are CI CD tools?
CI and CD are both concerned with automating subsequent stages of the pipeline, but they are used separately to demonstrate how much automation is taking place.
A continuous and automated delivery cycle ensures reliable and fast delivery. CI CD tools help you achieve this.
Benefits of using CI CD tools
Without CI CD tools, organizing code updates is a time-consuming manual procedure. Software projects can automate code updates with the use of CI CD tools.
The primary purpose of using a Continuous Integration tool is for automation and checking the consistency of the developer’s modification with the recent code version. And all changes and dependencies added by the other team members as well. A Continuous Deployment tool ensures that the code change passes through the whole pipeline before being released.
Some benefits of CI CD tools are:
- Smaller Code Modifications
- Isolation of Faults
- A shorter time to resolution
- Increased Test Reliability
- Increased Release Rate
- Reduced Backlog
- Customer Contentment
- Improve Team Accountability and Transparency
- Reduce expenses
- Updates and maintenance are easy
Also Read: How to setup a CI/CD Pipeline?
How to choose the right CI CD Tool?
Development teams employ CI CD tools to automate aspects of the application build and create a paper trail of the software development process.
The selection of CI CD tools might be challenging due to the multiple options present in the market. Therefore before making any choices, it’s crucial to think about your requirements and each CI CD tool’s capabilities before finalizing.
One must consider the below parameters while selecting the CI CD tool:
- The tool’s extensibility
- Programming languages and platforms supported
- Your budget
- Convenience and ease of use
Best CI CD Tools
The workflows or standard steps of the CI-CD process are Plan, Code, Build, and Test. This series of operations is known as a pipeline. Each tool process uses these stages or a few additional steps.
Listed below are the top CI CD Tools that one must consider:
Buddy is a creative CI/CD solution for web developers that helps in transitioning to DevOps easier. It develops, tests, and deploys software using delivery pipelines. It supports all widely used languages, frameworks, and task management tools.
The benefits of Buddy are:
- 15-minute configuration with simple and informative UI/UX
- Deployments that are made in a flash depending on changesets
- Builds operate in isolated containers with cached dependencies
- All widely used languages, frameworks, and task management are supported
- Dedicated Docker/Kubernetes action roster
- Supports YAML configuration and parallelism
Jenkins is a cross-platform, continuous integration tool used to continually build and test software applications. Java programming languages are used to develop Jenkins. They offer real-time testing and reporting. It can be used to perform continuous builds, run tests or perform repetitive tasks.
Developers can deploy Jenkins in a servlet container. Thanks to its simple installation and configuration, it is one of the best CI CD tools. Moreover, Jenkins can be extended via plugins that provide infinite possibilities for continuous deployments.
The benefits of Jenkins are:
- It is an open-source tool with a strong sense of community.
- It’s easy to set up.
- It is completely free.
- As it is created using Java, it can run on all the major platforms.
Also Read: TeamCity vs Jenkins vs Bamboo: A Breakdown
One of the top CI CD tools – Buildbot, was created in Python and worked with the Twisted framework. Buildbot is an open-source platform that automates complex testing and application deployment processes. This tool’s popularity is because it facilitates the parallel and distributed execution of strategies across several platforms.
The benefits of Buildbot are:
- Execute builds on several slave platforms
- Unrestricted build process: supports projects written in C, Python, etc
- Quickly finds the build issue and tests every time something has changed
4. IBM UrbanCode
IBM produces a multi-tier application paradigm or solution called UrbanCode. It offers continuous delivery, self-service, quick feedback, incremental updates, and consistently automates application deployments. The applications can also be rolled back, and modifications can be distributed throughout servers, tiers, and components. It also offers versioning, audit trails, and other features.
Benefits of using UrbanCode:
- Ensures continual delivery
- Can deploy multichannel applications easily
- Can manage thousands of endpoints to clouds, data centers, or mainframes
5. Perforce Helix
All documented APIs are supported by the consistent, open, and adaptable CI platform Perforce Helix. The tool includes many features such as application management, agile planning and management, dev collaboration, and open source management. This robust versioning engine manages and secures any kind and size of file. It also provides replication for high-performance developments and builds.
Helix Perforce can be customized for specific development teams for workflows, extended server functionality, and batch or merge patterns. It also maintains a history for every change that’s made.
Benefits of Perforce Helix are:
- Massive codebase
- Supports Graphical or binary materials that do not code
- Allows dependencies within and between components of code
Bitbucket Pipelines is a built-in DevOps CI CD tool. Based on the configuration file in the repository, it enables you to build, test, and even deploy your code automatically. For every activity on Bitbucket, cloud containers are generated. These containers can be used to run commands with all the benefits of brand-new system configurations, suited as per requirements.
Benefits of Bitbucket are:
- Intelligent semantic search
- Beneficial wiki features
- Provides a robust Jira and Trello integration
TeamCity is one of the best CI CD tools available in the market with numerous capabilities. Code coverage, code analysis, code duplication avoidance, and many other tasks are carried out automatically by the tool’s architecture and settings. TeamCity archives or backs up all modifications, errors, and builds for future use.
Benefits of TeamCity are:
- Offers a number of ways to reuse a parent project’s settings in a child project
- Uses two separate version control systems’ (VCS’) source codes for a single build
- Can identify unresponsive builds
- Gives techniques to draw attention to specific builds for later use
8. Circle CI
Another adaptable CI CD tool is Circle CI, which can be in a Docker cluster, Python API server, or cross-platform mobile app environment. This tool helps to reduce the overhead of having a dedicated server as its cloud base.
Circle CI uses the best build, test, debug, and deploy processes for the continuous integration process. In the end, it generates notifications.
Benefits of Circle CI:
- Incorporates SSH into any task to investigate build problems
- Accelerates task execution by enabling parallelism in your config.yml file
- Allows reuse of data from earlier operations by configuring caching with just two easy keys
- Set up self-hosted runners to support a specific platform.
Also Read: How to run parallel tests with Circle CI
Codeship is software that helps to implement and optimize CI and CD in the cloud. Seamless third-party integration, project dashboards, and smart notifications are some of its best features. Any tool, service, or cloud can be integrated with Codeship for a perfect workflow. Moreover, it delivers builds and deployments in less than 5 minutes.
Benefits of Codeship:
- Releases software quickly and automatically
- Allows to customize web apps
- Easily integrates with Github, and Bitbucket
- Frequent notifications for deployment failures
10. AWS Pipeline
To reduce the development & delivery time of the product, AWS offers a full suite of DevOps CI CD tools. Whenever there is a code change, AWS CodePipeline automates the build, test, and deploy portions of the release process based on the established release model. This makes it possible to offer features and upgrades quickly and effectively.
Pipelines for code can connect to other services. These can be third-party goods like GitHub or AWS services like Amazon Simple Storage Service. AWS CodePipeline can address different development and operational use cases.
Benefits of AWS Pipeline:
- Supports code building, testing, and compilation using AWS CodeBuild
- Container-based apps are sent to the cloud continuously
- Increased developer output
ThoughtWorks is the manufacturer of GoCD or Go. GoCD is an open platform for continuous development that automates testing. The tool’s new features include fixing the Object-Oriented Modeling (OOM) on agents while parsing huge XML test artefacts and fixing the file-handle leak fault that prevents Windows agents from cleaning up properly.
Benefits of GoCD:
- Enables flexible and simple deployment Pipeline configuration
- Adaptable to different needs
- Works with Windows and Linux platforms
- Supports common CD scenarios without any plugin installation.
Also Read: GoCD vs Jenkins
12. Travis CI
Travis CI is a popular open-source testing platform. Numerous platforms, including Linux, Mac, and iOS, are supported. The iOS will be useful if you already use a build matrix to test various versions. In contrast, the matrix system on Linux and Mac is case-sensitive and returns directory entries in the internal order they exist. Moreover, Travis CI can be synchronized with GitHub to carry out the testing.
Benefits of Travis CI:
- Creates artefacts and evaluates the code’s quality
- Simple cloud service deployment
- Both minor and substantial code modifications can be detected
Read More: CircleCI vs Travis CI: Core Differences
13. Azure CI CD Pipelines
Azure CI CD pipeline combines CI (continuous integration) and CD (continuous delivery) to test and build the code and transfer it to the target location.
Azure CI CD is used to build and release pipelines for specified projects along with Azure Repos which can be used to maintain a central repository. The developed project can be deployed to multiple target environments, including virtual machines, containers, or any cloud platform.
Benefits of Azure CI CD pipelines:
- Accepts any repository for package management
- Free for public projects
Read More: Automated testing with Azure DevOps
GitLab is a collection of tools for controlling various phases of the software development lifecycle. The primary offering is a Git repository manager for the web with tools for issue tracking, analytics, and a wiki.
With each commit or push in GitLab, you have the option to start builds, launch tests, and deploy code. Jobs can be created on another server, in a virtual machine, or using Docker containers.
Benefits of GitLab:
- Configuration simplicity
- Source code safety
- Automation of pipelines
- Deployment planning
Which CI CD Tools should you choose?
Listed below is a compilation of the CI CD tools. Each of these tools is better in its own way. You can pick the tool that best suits your requirements based on your requirements.
- Buddy is useful for configuring notifications to notify you of failed builds or deployments. It also integrates with Shopify, WordPress, Google, Digital Ocean, AWS, and more.
- In Jenkins, every source code change is built and tested before being committed. Therefore, developers just need to concentrate on a specific commit rather than reviewing the complete source code. As a result, new software is released frequently.
- Buildbot is based on the task scheduling system, which executes the work and produces the test report if any resources are available. Furthermore, it has a master-slave system, where the master keeps track of changes and information to the user or developer.
- With the use of UrbanCode, developers and users may see what is deployed, where it is done, and who is doing it with the support of a clear visibility feature. UrbanCode offers server virtualization and connects with middleware projects with ease.
- Perforce Helix quickly recognizes any threat, foresees risk, and ascertains the effects of that risk or danger.
- Bitbucket is completely free for a maximum of five users. It’s hardly unexpected that there are several substantial open-source projects on the platform considering that you can have an unlimited number of private and public repositories.
- CircleCI has advanced caching, docker layer caching, and resource classes for running on faster servers that can be set to run very complex pipelines quickly.
- Codeship platform, which is intended for small to large organizations, enables users to personalize web applications and manage serverless systems.
- AWS pipeline increases productivity by relieving developers of manual activities and encouraging habits that assist decrease the number of errors and bugs sent to consumers.
- GoCD’s manual triggers can deploy any application version and improve production dependability. Additionally, it generates the test report and runs it in various languages.
- Travis CI gives complete visibility during testing to the users. Utilizing its excellent command-line tools and APIs, it also executes parallel test runs. Pull requests and branch build flow are supported.
- With Azure DevOps, these pipelines are used to create build-deploy-test workflows that are primarily utilized for continuous testing, in addition to continuous integration and continuous deployment. This evaluates the modifications in a quick and scalable process.
- GitLab is very popular among folks who work on Docker-based containers and microservices. If you fall into this category, GitLab is a definite recommendation. GitLab provides excellent pipeline control overall and fantastic integrations.
Must-Read: Jenkins vs Travis: The War of CI Tools
Testing platforms like BrowserStack Automate seamlessly integrate into developers’ CI CD pipelines, enabling agile team’s scale-up, and getting the most out of a CI CD strategy. BrowserStack directly integrates with some of the best CI CD tools and helps you launch, manage and debug your tests.
At this point, implementing a CI CD pipeline is a requirement. CI CD tools and procedures help developers in applying discipline, efficiency, and high-quality control standards in software development. CI CD is crucial for the DevOps engineers and development teams and is a critical component of the software development and project management process. Implementing CI CD improves business outcomes in addition to the advantages of process automation. Organizations that efficiently use continuous integration tools maximize their human resources, save money, and have more time and resources available for strategy development and employee training.