11 Continuous Integration Tools to Use for Developers

July 9, 2021
Continuous integration tools

In a bid to deliver products at a faster pace, developers are transitioning toward Agile culture and DevOps methodologies. In line with the recent trends, CI/CD has become one essential component of software development.

In this article, we aim to answer the burning question in everyone’s mind: which continuous integration tools are the most reliable to realize the desired result? We have highlighted the top CI/CD tools for you as well as their salient features.

What is CI/CD Tools?

CI/CD (Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment) tools are indispensable solutions for DevOps. Continuous integration tools help developers to identify bugs and problems at the early stages. Hence, they are able to quickly fix any issues, carry out automation tasks, facilitate collaborative efforts within the team, and so on.

What Are the Best Continuous Integration Tools?

  1. Jenkins

    This is an open-source CI/CD software. It offers seamless installation. You are required to download the executable of the tool in the .war format and begin the same from the terminal. It uses the DSL to implement the pipeline and features a handful of tools targeted at the delivery of pipelines “as codes”.

    Key features of Jenkins

    • Operates on macOS, Linux, and Windows
    • Extremely extensible
    • Boasts an expanding ecosystem of over 1,500 plugins
    • Integration with Digital Ocean, Google Cloud, AWS, Azure, and other cloud tools.
    • Jenkins can be used for the completion of work in parallel and to achieve sophisticated CD requirements.
  1. TeamCity

    TeamCity is a java-based CI/CD platform prepared for installation on Linux and Windows servers. It is very extensible. You have the choice of tool customization and reusing the formats of your present task for sub-tasks. It costs nothing to utilize the tool for open-source jobs.

    Key features of TeamCity

    • Parallel builds can be run in different environments
    • Kotlin-based Domain Specific Language is used to define pipelines in TeamCity
    • Seamless integration with NuGet, Maven, Visual Studio Team Services, and Docker.
    • The on-premise version of TeamCity integrates with vSphere, VMWare, Google Cloud, etc.
  1. Bamboo

    This is a very popular CI tool. Bamboo is known for its seamless integration into other commonly used SCM tools. It can be deployed on macOS, Linux, and Windows. Moreover, it equally supports numerous technologies and programming languages including Git, SVN, AWS, etc.

    Key features of Bamboo

    • Seamless integration from open-source CI/CD solutions to its infrastructure
    • Integration with Bitbucket Server and Jira Software
    • Supports as many as 100 build agents remotely positioned
    • Availability of cloud-based and self-hosted variants
  1. Buddy

    Unlike some other continuous integration tools on this list, developers utilize Buddy as a web-based tool for building, testing, and deploying apps and websites. All commands and builds are carried out in isolated Docker containers.

    Key features of Buddy

    • Integration with top cloud providers such as Rackspace, Microsoft Azure, Digital Ocean, AWS, etc.
    • Offers actions to launch triggers and activities that can be used to automate and integrate apps by developers.
    • Offers notification actions and actions for cloud service providers
    • It is easy to set up the pipeline in Buddy since the configuration can be carried out through the GUI
    • The YAML and GUI files can be used to finish the configuration
  1. GitLab CI

    GitLab CI is one of the most reliable continuous integration tools out there. It comes with a bunch of useful functionalities within its dashboard, some of which include: the CI/CD itself, continuous deployment, and code reviews. To begin utilizing the GitLab CI/CD tool, it is required that the codebase is hosted in a Git repository.

    Key features of GitLab

    • It is easy to move to GitLab CI from other platforms such as Circle CI or Jenkins to Gitlab CI.
    • Run tasks in GitLab CI in a parallel sequence
    • GitLab creates parallel builds by dividing one build into several machines, so as to reduce the build time
    • The interface is user-friendly
    • Available for macOS, Linux, and Windows
    • Provides developer APIs
  1. CircleCI

    As a CI/CD tool, CircleCI aims to realize CI/CD for large-scale and open-source projects. Setting up the tool is easy. For its pipeline, CircleCI utilizes a principal YAML syntax. It is compatible with languages built on macOS, Linux, and Windows.

    Key features of CircleCI

    • Compatibility with Bitbucket, GitHub, etc.
    • Offers CI/CD pipelines in the form of ‘Workflows’.
    • Parallel-run tests can be carried out across various executors.
    • Timing data can be used to separate tests
    • Integration with Coveralls, Lambda Test, GitHub Enterprise, etc.

  1. TravisCI

    Initially, Travis CI was built for open-source projects. Travis CI software is the ideal solution if your business-level projects are in Bitbucket or GitHub. The Ruby programming language has been used to write the Travis CI, making it one of the top CI/CD software for enterprise-level and open-source projects. It has different provisions for enterprises and the open-source community.

    Key features of Travis CI

    • Compatible with as many as 30 programming languages
    • Integration with GitHub Enterprise solutions
    • A Cloud version of the software is best suited for businesses with small team capacities and open-source projects.
    • Runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
    • The build matrix feature allows you to carry out parallel builds in various runtimes, languages, and environments.
    • Integrates Azure, Kubernetes, Google Cloud, AWS, and other cloud infrastructures.
  1. Codeship
    CodeShip is going to be the best option for you if your version controlling systems run on GitHub. The biggest pro of the tool lies in its ability to test, develop, and launch directly from GitHub projects. Thanks to its simple user interface, it is extremely easy to realize build and deployments within a couple of minutes.Key features of CodeShip

    • The tool comes in two versions: CodeShip Pro and CodeShip Basic
    • The two versions are compatible with parallel test pipelines and allow the implementation to operate in codeship.yml
    • Setting up teams and assigning permissions to team members is easy
    • Multi-stage builds are supported, providing for smooth creation builder workflows.
  1. Cruise Control

    Hosted on SourceForge, this is a java-based CI tool that is primarily used for managing a custom build process. Using the user-friendly interface of a plugin, you can view all information related to the previous and current builds.

    Key features of CruiseControl

    • Using CruiseControl, developers can create numerous projects on a single server
    • Offers compatibility with Xcode, Rake, Ant, NAnt, and Phing.
    • Seamless integration with other SCM platforms such as Perforce, ClearCase, SVN, Git, etc.
  1. BuildBot

    Based on Python, this is a great CI testing framework. It is one of the top tools used for continuous integration. It can be used as a handy solution for job scheduling. It operates by compiling and processing tasks and generating reports. Additionally, it provides parallel job execution across compatible platforms.

    Key features of Buildbot

    • Compatible with macOS, Linux, Windows.
    • Offers automation of software release management, application deployment, and sophisticated build systems
    • You can choose to utilize it with Docker images
    • The availability of commands-line tools makes it easy to use Buildbot worker and Buildbot master
  1. GoCD

    GoCD is yet another of the wonderful open-source CI/CD tools for continuous integration, that allows for the implementation of ‘pipeline as code’ in JSON and YAML formats. GoCD offers the feature of Value Stream Map. This feature provides complete end-to-end workflow execution.

    Key features of GoCD

    • It supports the parallel implementation
    • Runs on Docker, macOS, and Windows
    • Performs user authorization and user authentication
    • Boasts an evolving plugin ecosystem
    • Configuration of dependencies in GoCD is easy

Final Thoughts

This article has discussed some of the best continuous integration tools and continuous deployment tools that operate on the most common platforms. All of these amazing CI/CD tools above offer integration with various cloud providers. Before you make a choice, confirm that your preferred tool offers cloud-based and on-premises options. Most of the selected tools function as open-source platforms. At the end of the day, you have to decide on whether an open-source solution is an ideal option for you, or a commercial license would be better.

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