CI/CD tools are an essential part of DevOps and agile practices. These tools help save time and money by automating tasks, preventing bugs, and encouraging collaboration.
However, choosing the right CI/CD software is not easy. Different tools come with different functionalities, so you need to know what every option has to offer.
This article introduces the best 22 CI/CD tools available for use. Read on to simplify your selection process and find the right fit for your DevOps team.
What is CI/CD?
CI/CD is the acronym for Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery:
- Continuous integration (CI): Continuous integration is the practice of introducing code changes from several contributors to a single project. The CI process also typically includes code testing.
- Continuous delivery (CD): Continuous delivery gets code changes of all types into production safely and quickly. The main idea in CD is to turn updates into routine tasks a team can perform on-demand.
CI/CD enables organizations to respond to market and customer demands quickly. These practices grant teams the agility to develop software efficiently without compromising quality.
CI/CD tools orchestrate CI/CD practices. Once set up, the tool acts as the central hub for all CI/CD activity. Automation saves time and ensures quality with frequent tests.
Learn more about the differences between continuous delivery, integration, and deployment.
Top CI/CD Tools Comparison
The table below is an overall comparison of the best currently available CI/CD tools: Jenkins, TeamCity, CircleCI, Bamboo, GitLab, and Buddy.
Note: The table is scrollable horizontally.
|Supported operating systems||Windows, Linux, macOS, any Unix-like OS||Windows, Linux, macOS, Solaris, FreeBSD||Linux distributions (Ubuntu, Oracle Linux, Debian, CentOS)||Windows, Linux, macOS, Solaris||Linux, macOS||Linux, Windows, macOS|
|Ease of setup||Very easy (has pre-built packages)||Very easy (has pre-built packages)||Very easy (has pre-built packages)||Easy||Easy||Very easy (15-minute setup with a range of predefined actions)|
|Main feature||Hundreds of plugins||Gated commits||High levels of customization||Very user-friendly||Quick setup and easy to use||Extremely easy to create, adjust, and manage pipelines|
22 Best CI/CD Tools
Jenkins is a free, open-source automation server written in Java. This tool automates all building and deployment tasks. Jenkins excels in large projects that require lots of customization.
- Easy installation with pre-built packages (a simple WAR file you drop in the JEE container).
- Jenkins supports multiple operating systems (Windows, Linux, macOS, and other Unix-based operating systems).
- A simple, user-friendly interface.
- Real-time testing and reporting.
- Simple environment configurations.
- Allows distributed builds with master-slave architectures.
- Supports several version control tools (Subversion, Git, Mercurial, Maven).
- Hundreds of plugins for code management, administration, and UI.
- Excellent and widely available documentation.
- A large, active community of users.
- Easy setup with pre-built installers.
- Reusable settings and configurations remove the need to duplicate code.
- Gated commits test code changes before they become a part of the codebase.
- Can run parallel builds simultaneously in different environments.
- Comprehensive version control ideal for big projects.
- The server is easy to customize, interact with, and extend.
- Detailed history reports for builds, errors, and changes.
- User management features (user roles, user groups, several user authentication methods, and a log of all activity on the server).
- Support for Visual Studio.
GitLab is a Git repository manager that comes with a CI tool. This tool automates processes and shortens the delivery lifecycle. GitLab allows you to manage issues, view code, develop a DevOps pipeline, and run CI/CD, all from a single dashboard.
- Pre-built packages for popular Linux distributions.
- An intuitive, user-friendly UI.
- CMD build scripts allow developers to program in any language.
- Custom version tests enable users to check branches individually.
- Quick iterations and rollbacks.
- Provides APIs for most features, enabling deeper integrations with the product.
- Automatic builds, integrations, and verifications of source codes.
- Very secure (container scanning, static and dynamic application security testing (SAST and DAST), and dependency scanning).
- Detailed documentation on every feature.
- Supports several top stacks (Docker, AWS, Amazon S3, Git, CodeDeply, Mercurial).
- Detailed outlines of code history.
- Bamboo supports up to a hundred remote build agents.
- Parallel batch tests.
- An easy-to-use web interface.
- A rich selection of add-ons.
- Per-environment permissions that enable teams to deploy to separate environments.
- Bamboo can trigger builds based on changes detected in the repository.
- Mobile developers can deploy their apps to the Apple Store or Google Play automatically.
- Bamboo works seamlessly with JIRA, HipChat, and Bitbucket.
CircleCI is a cloud-based CI/CD tool that automates processes across the DevOps pipeline. This flexible tool is ideal for small projects that need to get off the ground quickly.
- Easily readable YAML configurations.
- Fast setup.
- Supports Ruby on Rails, Sinatra, Node, Python, PHP, Java, and Clojure.
- Continuous, branch-specific deployments.
- Automatically cancels queued and running builds after a newer build is triggered.
- Reduces build time by splitting and balancing tests across multiple containers.
- Precise and straightforward debugging processes.
- Docker support allows for a high level of environment customization.
- Integrates with GitHub, GitHub Enterprise, and Bitbucket.
- Supports several build tools (Maven and Gradle, for example).
Buddy is a free web-based and self-hosted CI/CD tool for building, testing, and deploying software. This tool uses Docker containers with pre-installed languages and frameworks you can build on.
Buddy does not require users to script the CI/CD process. Lack of scripting lowers the entry barrier to the DevOps world both in practical and financial terms.
- Create delivery pipelines from over 120 predefined actions.
- Supports all popular languages and frameworks.
- A GUI-driven approach that makes the tool remarkably easy to use.
- Use drag and drop to arrange pipeline steps in a clear and telling GUI.
- An intuitive UI/UX that allows non-tech users to create and manage pipelines.
- Lightning-fast deployments based on changesets.
- Users can easily create, adjust, and reuse builds and test environments.
- Real-time monitoring of progress and logs.
- Git support and integrations.
- Many attachable services (Elastic, MariaDB, Memcached, Mongo, PostgreSQL, RabbitMQ, Redis, Selenium Chrome, etc.).
Codeship is a hosted CI/CD platform that integrates with GitHub and BitBucket.
- Easy to use.
- A simple project dashboard.
- An efficient infrastructure that monitors and scales per requirements.
- Native support for Docker instances.
- A smart notification system.
- Allows encrypted external caching of Docker images.
- Simple configuration file management for setting up workflows.
- Up to 100 free builds per month for one test pipeline.
- Fast and thorough developer support.
GoCD is a free, open-source tool that automates the continuous delivery of software.
- Tracks changes during commits and deployments.
- Enables users to visualize workflows in real-time with Value Stream Map.
- Supports parallel and sequential executions.
- Easy dependency configuration.
- A custom template feature that allows developers to reuse pipeline configurations.
- Extensive test reporting.
- A wide array of plugins that enhance functionality.
- Many out-of-the-box features (value stream mapping, cloud-native deployments, complex workflow modeling, advanced traceability, custom triggers).
- An active community.
Oracle’s Wercker is a Docker-based CI/CD platform that helps developers create containerized applications. Wercker is ideal for complex microservices architectures.
- Easy configuration management with YAML.
- Allows users to replicate SaaS environments locally.
- Enables you to execute automated pipelines through the command-line interface.
- Great pipeline debugging.
- Parallel testing.
- Allows you to build minimal containers and keep the size manageable.
- Walterbot (a chatbot that interacts with notifications to update the build status).
- Several security features (source-code protection, turned off test logs, environment variables, and customizable permissions for users and projects).
- Git integrations (GitHub, Bitbucket, GitLab, and version control).
10. Travis CI
Travis CI is an open-source platform used to build and test GitHub projects. With customers like Facebook and Twitter, this Ruby-based tool is one of the leading options on the market.
- Quick and easy setup.
- Allows configurations with simple YAML files.
- A build matrix that enables users to run tests with different versions of languages and packages.
- Automatically detects new commits pushed to a GitHub repository.
- Extended API and CMD tools.
- Pre-installed database services.
- A clean virtual machine for each build.
- Support for macOS, Linux, and iOS.
- A notification system that supports email, Slack, HipChat, and similar services.
Semaphore is a hosted CI/CD service for automatic tests and deployments. Semaphore is a free, open-source project.
- One of the fastest CI/CD platforms on the market.
- Built-in Git branching and workflows.
- Enables you to test multiple projects and branches simultaneously.
- Custom tests for units, code style, dependencies, and security measures.
- Native Docker support.
- Automatically scales projects, so there is no unnecessary price overhead.
- Environment variables.
- Boosters (a feature for Ruby projects that reduces the test suite run time through automatic parallelization).
- Custom reviews for pull requests (GitHub or Bitbucket).
QuickBuild is a CI/CD platform that uses a fast, performance-oriented core system.
- Use drag and drop to design complex build workflows.
- Many useful variables for deployment workflows.
- Build-proofing that checks for bugs before production.
- Custom build reports are created in real-time.
- Parallel agents for queueing steps.
- Quick and easy imports/exports of configuration files.
- One-click cloning for all projects and builds.
Nevercode is a cloud-based CI/CD server for developing mobile applications. This delivery server builds, tests, and distributes apps without the need for human interaction.
- Easy setup and configuration.
- Automatically builds the project for every commit.
- A variety of automatic tests (unit tests, UI tests, code analysis, real device testing, test parallelization).
- Automated publishing to iTunes Connect, Google Play, Crashlytics, TestFairy, and HockeyApp.
- Detailed overviews of build and test statuses.
- Integrations with common app development tools.
- Good documentation.
Spinnaker is an open-source multi-cloud continuous delivery platform. Netflix developed this tool for in-house purposes.
- Allows you to release and deploy software changes across different cloud providers (AWS EC2, Kubernetes, Google Compute Engine, Google Kubernetes Engine, Google App Engine).
- Deployment pipelines that run integration tests, spin up and down server groups, and monitor rollouts.
- Spinnaker’s CLI administration tool, Halyard, simplifies instance installs, configurations, and updates.
- Pipelines that trigger via Git events.
- Immutable images enable fast rollouts and easy rollbacks.
- Eliminates hard-to-debug drift issues.
- Users can tie releases to a monitoring service (Datadog, Prometheus, Stackdriver, or SignalFx).
- Supports event notifications for email, Slack, HipChat, and SMS.
AppVeyor is a cloud-based service for testing, building, and deploying applications. AppVeyor is available only for Windows.
- Simple installation process.
- An all-in-one continuous delivery solution that requires no additional tools.
- AppVeyer provides all the infrastructure.
- Isolated environments for builds.
- SSD drives with dedicated hardware enable fast speeds.
- Custom team environments using granular methodologies.
16. IBM UrbanCode
IBM UrbanCode is a tool for automating application deployments. This tool is a good fit for enterprises with complicated, multi-channel builds low-level tools cannot handle.
- Automated, repeatable deployment processes.
- Concise project templates for a range of configurations.
- Reduces deployment failures.
- Rapid feedback ideal for agile development.
- Pluggable environments that work well with both external and custom-built internal tools.
- Manage dependencies based on custom changes to the project outline.
- Full visibility, traceability, and auditing features.
- Enterprise-level security and scalability.
- Hybrid cloud environment modeling.
Read our Agile vs DevOps head-to-head comparison article to learn more about both practices.
Buildbot is an open-source Python-based CI framework. Buildbot enables CI testing, automation of build systems, application deployment, and management of release processes.
- Supports distributed, parallel executions across multiple platforms.
- Supports multiple testing hosts with various architectures.
- Quickly identifies build-issues.
- Flexible integration with version-control systems.
- Comprehensive status reporting.
- Maintains a single-source repository.
- Runs builds on various slave platforms.
- Custom build status notifications.
- Custom history records.
PHPCI is a free and open-source CI tool specifically designed for PHP.
While it may not offer the features of comprehensive tools, PHPCI is fast and easy to use.
- Ideal for PHP developers.
- Simple to use.
- Custom plugin support for several frameworks and tools (Lint, Composer, MySQL).
- Test databases that enable users to create demo environments quickly.
- Supports individual directory-based plugins.
- Allows you to run builds using workers, daemons, or cron jobs.
Vsoft’s FinalBuilder is a Windows software for automating build processes. While FinalBuilder is efficient by itself, you can integrate the tool with any of your favorite CI servers.
- Flexible graphics interface with visual outlines of build processes.
- A library of predefined build automation actions.
- Developers can plan builds with Windows Task Scheduler.
- Action outputs are directed to the build log.
- Conditional statements handle local errors.
- Custom build reports.
- Support for all popular version control systems.
CruiseControl is one of the oldest CI tools on the market. The Java-based tool was launched in 2001 and has been continuously developed ever since.
- A rich framework for creating custom build processes.
- Simple setup.
- A straightforward web-based dashboard.
- Numerous plugins that make work easier.
- Comes in Ruby (CruiseControl.rb) and .NET (CruiseControl.NET) versions.
- Open-source and free to use.
21. Strider CD
Strider CD is an open-source tool written in Node. Strider uses MongoDB as a backing store.
- Adds hooks to build actions.
- Allows you to publish and subscribe to socket events.
- Features a customizable interface.
- Many plugins to enhance default settings and features.
- Supports Docker.
- Integrates with GitHub and Bitbucket.
Buildkite is a cross-platform build runner for fast and scalable CI pipelines.
- All source code and secret keys stay private.
- Runs on various OSs and architectures (Ubuntu, Debian, Mac, Windows, Docker, etc.).
- You can run as many build agents as you need.
- Excellent user interface for triggering build pipelines.
- Supports all major version control systems.
- Integrations with Slack, HipChat, Flowdock, Campfire, and more.
Save Time and Money with the Right CI/CD Tool
All CI/CD tools mentioned in this list can streamline your development, boost quality, and enhance accuracy. But, above all, a useful CI/CD tool will save your developers’ valuable time and keep your expenses in check.
Consider all the options and go with the tool that fits your needs the best.