Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD Tools) are combined DevOps best practices for automating different application development stages. At its core, a CI/CD pipeline enforces automation by removing team-level silos and incorporating tools that enable efficiency.
During pre-DevOps days, software development and deployment involved manual identification of bugs and then rolling out the fixes. Unfortunately, this model made different teams treat their tasks as discreet projects without relating to other components, ignoring effective collaboration.
What is continuous integration?
The concept of Continuous Integration first hit the headlines in 1994, leading to the introduction of CruiseControl, the first CI tool. Years later, the concept of Continuous Delivery emerged to improve on the demerits of Continuous Integration. Since then, CI/CD practices have further enhanced with broader adoption within the industry to the extent that today, most of the DevOps operations are driven by CI/CD entails automation and team collaboration in phases, including development, deployment, integration, testing, and monitoring.
Best CI/CD tools
When choosing a CI/CD tool, it is essential to consider ease of setup, interoperability, integration with IDE, cloud services, and price per pull/push requests. We have researched and tested many of these tools and created a list to find all the relevant information you need when choosing a CI/CD tool. So, We hope it will be helpful for your final decision.
Let us go through the best CI/CD tools List while exploring their features.
As one of the most used DevOps tools, CircleCI offers a platform that efficiently blends CI/CD with a DevSecOps model. The platform can be configured to run complex pipelines with sophisticated docker layer caching, resource classes for faster workflows, and performance pricing. In addition, CircleCI offers a flexible and scalable way of identifying bugs and fixing them, improving applications’ quality. For beginners, it also provides a free trial to evaluate its functionalities and usefulness to your organization.
Image Source: https://circleci.com/
Key CircleCI Features
- Bitbucket, GitHub, and GitHub Enterprise integration
- Easy to set personalized notifications straight into the mailbox
- It can be readily customized to suit specific needs.
- Faster code testing
- Web-based and cloud deployment
- Merging and uploading of predefined commands are automated.
- Easy to debug codes to identify bugs and fix them
Crashtest Security integrates with CircleCI.
Jenkins is a widely adopted open-source CI/CD tool that enables automation across all SDLC phases, including build, test, deploy, and deliver. One prominent reason for Jenkins’ popularity is that it allows integration with hundreds of plugins, plus the feature of enabling custom configuration based on your requirement. In addition, with its real-time error testing and reporting functionality, developers fix bugs and add features to a project module in progress without introducing bugs or compromising the overall project.
Image Source: jenkins.io
Key Jenkins features
- Errors can be checked on the go.
- It comes pre-built with Unix, Windows, and OS X operating system packages.
- Offers both server and platform functionalities for all projects
- Allows parallel builds
- An open-source tool that is available to all organizations free of charge
- Bundled with over 1500 plugins that extend its functionality
- Easy to set up and configure
- Web-based, iOS, Android, and Desktop support
- Suitable for both large and small-scale projects
- Integration with popular platforms including Mac Cloud, JFrog, PagerDuty, Datadog, Atlassian, Contegix, Jet Brains, etc.
- Easy integration with cloud platforms such as Digital Ocean, Google Cloud, Amazon EC2, etc.
- Automatic code testing and application deployment
Crashtest Security integrates with Jenkins.
TeamCity offers a build-management and CI server that lets software developers automate DevOps workflows much faster, and at the same time, avoid code redundancies and other oversights. As one of its essential features, TeamCity CI makes a backup of all code changes that can be restored in failures or any version rollbacks.
Image Source: https://blog.jetbrains.com/
Key TeamCity features
- Easy to install and configure
- Support parallel or simultaneous builds
- Easy to control application versions making it suitable for large projects
- Easy integration with cloud services such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon EC2, VMware vSphere, and Kubernetes
- Offers Visual Studio support
- Easily to customize the interface
- Provides detailed reports on application development and errors
- Easy to manage users and assign roles and privileges
- Code quality tracking
- Interactive and highly customizable
- Easy change testing without VCS commitments
- Regularly reports disk usage, server health, and build time.
- Parent settings and configurations are reusable throughout the project.
Crashtest Security integrates with TeamCity.
GitLab is a self-hosted Git repo provider with features supporting SDLC and project management through version control and issue tracking. As an extension to that, GitLab also offers a feature-rich CI/CD tool that enables Continuous Integration, Delivery, and Deployment of your software workflow without needing any additional third-party application or integration. In essence, this makes GitLab CI stand apart from other platforms with its comprehensive list of features ranging from project planning and source code management to CI/CD and monitoring, thus making it an end-to-end DevOps platform with an easy to use web interface.
Image Source: https://docs.gitlab.com/
Key GitLab features
- Branching makes code creation and management in a project easy.
- Rapid integration and faster delivery
- Supports interoperability – can be built on different machines.
- Efficient and highly scalable
- Automated software build, integration, and code verification
- Deliver secure applications, thus enabling a DevSecOps model
- It comes with a Free version free can be commercialized for enterprise-grade requirements.
- Instant identification of script failures
- Easy analysis of Docker containers and dependencies for known vulnerabilities
- Dependencies caching
- Easy integration with the cloud services
- Different pricing plans for different needs, including the Free basic plan
- WebIDE makes it possible for easier code editing and testing.
Crashtest Security integrates with GitLab.
Travis CI is another popular open-source CI/CD tool that integrates with GitHub and Bitbucket and is usually more user-friendly than its peers. Instead of using the build-agent approach, Travis CI uses a clean room approach for builds. This essentially enables every build to run in a new and consistent environment. While the Free version is entirely cloud-based, the Enterprise version can also be hosted on-premise or private cloud.
The following representation shows a typical CI Pipeline through Travis CI while integrating the workflow into a Docker container. Where Ansible is considered to help automate provisioning, setup, and configuration of the underlying infrastructure.
Image Source: https://blog.travis-ci.com/
Key Travis CI features
- Supports Mac, Linux, and iOS
- Integration with GitHub, Bitbucket, etc. for version control
- Free SaaS version for open-source code development
- It comes with pre-installed database services and message queues.
- Functional notification systems for push notifications to the mailbox, Slack, etc.
- Integration with Cloud services
- Free plan for open-source projects
- Supports parallel builds
- Easy installation and configuration
Crashtest Security integrates with Travis CI.
With all the tools and their respective features in mind, it is essential to note your specific requirements before choosing one. At the end of it, you need to implement an automated workflow to the maximum possible level that ensures faster builds, efficient error handling, and superior team-level collaboration.
Crashtest Security makes integrating vulnerability scanning into any of the CI Tools mentioned here easy. By integrating vulnerability scanning directly into your CI, you can ensure your builds are secure before deployment. You can read more about how Crashtest integrates into your tech stack here.