CI CD or Continuous integration and Continuous delivery processes are two integral parts of the software development lifecycle and DevOps testing. Developers get the required functions to deploy the project code easily. Additionally, CI CD helps in the early detection of errors and also removes integration problems in the source code.
Software developers have started adopting DevOps best practices, culture and Agile development methods to manage the software development process and testing. Moreover, DevOps teams depend on different CI/CD tools to provide reliability, rapid delivery, and workflow automation. Such tools allow the developers to make qualitative products and manage delivery speed.
However, there’s an ocean of CI CD tools available, so selecting the most suitable tool will be beneficial for you and your project. Here, we have made a list of CI/CD tools that are popularly used by developers. Let’s dive in and learn more about why to use these tools, their benefits, and some top tools.
Benefits of CI CD tools
Continuous integration and continuous delivery processes help in the easy organization of efficiently building, testing, & deploying the software. It means developers can build qualitative software faster.
Some benefits of using CI/CD tools are- minimizing spending time on manual tasks, speedier feedback, and many more reliable advantages.
Without the use of these tools, managing code updates is just a time-consuming process. The software can automate the code updates.
The main aim of using Continuous Integration tools is to check the consistency of developers and automatic modification of recent code versions. Additionally, the Continuous deployment tools verify that the changed code passes through the complete pipeline before getting released.
Here are some of the main benefits of CI CD tools:
- Improved scalability- CI/CD assists businesses in fulfilling the increasing software demand. This results in better scalability and improved capacity for accommodating an increased number of users.
- Enhanced Cycle Time- These tools help to crank the code often because of automated integration of the code in the repo. When the code is pushed into production smoothly, development teams and clients receive updates very smoothly.
- Software engineers can focus on creative tasks like building new features instead of performing repetitive work
- Speedy software delivery. It is possible to deliver the software faster by simplifying the development, testing, and deployment process of the software. It’s possible by using CI/CD tools.
- Better software quality. These tools help companies to find and solve bugs in the early development phase. So, it results in high-quality software.
- Cost-effective processes. CI CD helps in automating repetitive tasks; ultimately reducing the need for humans to perform such tasks leading to cost savings.
These are some of the benefits of CI CD tools. Now, let us have a look which tools are worth using while implementing continuous integration and continuous delivery.
Best CI/CD Tools for Developers
As the adoption of Agile practices and DevOps technology is increasing. Many CI CD tools are available in the hawk in the last few years, many CI CD tools are introduced in the market. Hence, it is quite difficult to choose the most preferable one for your project. To help you with selecting the best tool for your project, we have made a list of the top 12 CI CD tools that will be useful for your projects. Let’s learn each tool in detail:
Jenkins is a CI CD tool that is an open-source automation server. The continuous integration and central build process takes place here. It’s a Java-based self-contained program with packages suitable for Windows, Unix, and macOS operating systems.
There are a bunch of plugins available in Jenkins that help in deploying, building, and automating software development projects. Now, let’s see some of the key features of Jenkins.
Jenkins Key features:
- Jenkins is a user-friendly and simple-to-understand interface
- Easy to install and also easy to upgrade on different operating systems
- It’s extensible because of the huge plugin resource that the Jenkins community has developed
- The master-slave architecture of Jenkins helps in supporting distributed builds
- Jenkins provides seamless environment configuration in the UI
- You can make schedules based on expressions
- It also supports build status notifications
- Support for Windows and shells command execution in a pre-build structure
These are the main characteristics of Jenkins. Moreover, as Jenkins is one of the open source projects or you can say tools used for CI/CD, everyone can use it for free.
TeamCity also known as JetBrains TeamCity helps you develop code from different sources and on different infrastructures; hence catches speed in showing results quickly. As there are a lot of frameworks and platforms, test parallelization, in-build pipeline optimization, and easy integration of each part of the development tools, this CI/CD tool mixes up speed along with flexibility with a polished UI and complete support for configuration as code.
Builds can be executed on local servers, in public cloud infrastructure, or private cloud, and it’s possible with the use of TeamCity On-Premises. In-depth integrations with popular cloud providers help with on-demand scalability of the pipeline capacity along with keeping the expenses in control.
A rich ecosystem ensures that you can personalize the deployment of your project with minimum effort, and the REST API provides you with the freedom to join your CI tool in the existing toolchain.
Moreover, TeamCity Cloud gives all the strong functions of TeamCity as a managed solution. With no limits on how many concurrent build jobs are present, developers can add their build agents to get control of the build infrastructure.
TeamCity key features:
- It can run parallel builds together on multiple environments
- TeamCity has many ways of reusing configurations and settings of a parent system in the sub-system
- Easy customization, interactions, and extension of the server
- Helps in easy execution of history builds, viewing reports of test history, adding favorite builds, and tagging
- Helps in keeping the CI server stable and functional
- Easy user management, flexible assigning of user roles, sorting different users into different groups, multiple ways to authenticate users, and maintaining a log of all user activities for keeping transparency on the server
TeamCity isn’t open-source like Jenkins, but it does have both a proprietary licensed version and a free version.
As the name itself contains CI in it, this tool provides CI service for building and testing projects. Travis CI can automatically detect the latest commits in the GitHub version control system repository.
After every code commit, this tool builds the project and runs the tests as per the requirements. Additionally, this tool supports multiple build configs and languages such as PHP, Node, Java, Python, Perl, and many more.
Travis CI is billed as an original cloud-based solution and it offers unconventional continuous deployment for a huge range of platforms with varied in-built integrations. Moreover, if you have a huge enterprise, you also get a self-hosted version of Travis CI for your use.
Travis CI key features:
- Easy setup
- Supports pull request
- GitHub project monitoring is possible because of the live build views feature
- Deployment of different cloud services
- Primary database services are pre-installed
- You can enjoy the feature of auto deployments while passing builds
- Support of iOS, Linux, and macOS
- Clean VMs for each build
- Supports different languages like C, Android, C#, Java, C++, Node.js (JS), PHP, Perl, R, Python, Ruby, and many more
This tool provides hosted CI/CD services. If your project is private, it can be tested on travis-ci.com with charges to be paid. However open source projects can be tested on travis-ci.org for free.
GitLab CI is one of the best CI CD tools as it has various features like continuous deployment, code reviews, CI/CD, and much more in a single dashboard. It is a tool built in GitLab.
To use this tool, you have to host the code in one Git repository and mention the scripts for executing the build process, testing, and easy deployment in a YAML file called .gitlab-ci.yml. This file is a must part of the root directory for easy execution.
Furthermore, the scripts are grouped into jobs and are then referred to as one pipeline. With the GitLab runner tool, you can detect the script and run it.
GitLab key features:
- This tool provides one source of truth & scalability for collaborating on code and projects
- Manage, view, and create codes and software data using branching tools
- Develop, design, & maintain codes and project information using one distributed version control system; hence enabling quick iteration and delivery of business principles.
- Helps the teams to embrace CI fully and automate builds, integration, and easy verification of the source codebase
- Easy automation and faster releases and application delivery
- This tool provides SAST- Static App Security Testing, container scanning, DAST- Dynamic Application Security Testing, and dependency scanning. This helps in delivering secure apps with license compliance
GitLab CI is a free package and commercial tool. It also offers to host the SaaS on GitLab in the public cloud, and/or on your on-premises instance.
CircleCI is a CI/CD for DevOps and gives you the perfect required control. This platform is certified with FedRAMP and compliant with SOC 2 TYPE II. A noteworthy aspect of CircleCI is that it simplifies the way to connect with other favorite tools. This tool is built to give scalability and flexibility to the developers. It improves the performance using features like parallel execution of tasks to accelerate delivery speed along with building and testing apps.
Moreover, you can enjoy an intuitive interface with multiple specialized functions. CircleCI is based on CI/CD tools with other extra features like GitLab CI/CD and Azure DevOps.
CircleCI Key Features:
- This tool helps you to use the virtual machines in the on-premise or cloud using self-hosted runners
- Easy integration with GitHub, BitBucket, & GitHub Enterprise Runs using a virtual machine or a container
- Automated parallelization
- Quick debugging
- Highly customizable
- Easy testing
- Easy setup and unlimited builds
Semaphore is unique because it is the only CI/CD tool that offers robust out-of-the-box support for mono repo projects. In addition, it works well with GitHub, Travis CI, and CircleCI.
Faster testing & deployment of iOS apps are now possible with the help of Semaphore’s CI/CD pipelines. Just like the popular CI CD systems, this tool also has configured channels for parallel and sequential builds.
Semaphore is a hosted CI/CD service used for testing & deploying software projects. Semaphore key features:
- This tool can be integrated with GitHub
- Runs swiftly on the fastest CI/CD platform
- You can automate every CD pipeline
- Traditional docker support. Deploying and testing docker apps is easier with this tool
- Automated scaling up or down of your system is possible. It saves money and you have to only pay for services that you use
Buddy CI CD tool helps developers to create and manage huge CI CD pipelines with ease. Engineers get direct deployment access to public repositories like GitHub.
The core functions of this tool are file transfer, bug and error detection, project planning, change detection, notification and alerts, team workflow templates, collaboration, and communication.
Buddy Key Features:
- First-class integration and support for Git
- State-of-the-art caching, smart change detection, parallelism, & all-around optimizations
- Easy customization of Docker-based images for testing environment
- Make, customize, & test environments and reuse builds
- Encrypted and plain, fixed scopes- project, workspace, actions, pipelines, etc
- Easily attached services with MariaDB, Elastic, Mongo, Memcached, RabbitMQ, Firefox, Selenium Chrome, etc.
- Templates are available for workflow management so cloning, importing, and exporting pipelines become easiers
- One can monitor real-time logs and progress and unlimited history
- Excellent Git integration and support
Codefresh is a CI CD tool that is a Kubernetes-based system. It was made to provide excellent performance and greater scalability. Codefresh also has complete integration with GitOps. Codefresh’s Dashboard makes it simpler to keep clusters on the tabs when they deploy, engage, and run with different activities.
This tool has certain functions such as one release dashboard with one 1-click, and one integrated chart repository, which helps in managing the Helm release.
Here are the key takeaways of the Codefresh tool that make it a popular choice amongst developers.
Codefresh key features:
- In this tool, the in-built step libraries make it easier for developers to add or remove services as per the requirement of the system
- Every step functions like a box in Codefresh. Because of this, you may be rescued in many situations and pipelines where you will not have to switch any dependencies
- This tool easily communicates with Pulumi, Terraform, Puppet, and many others. It also has smooth integration with suspects like GitLab, Slack, GitHub, and Bitbucket
Azure Pipelines is a part of MS Azure and simplifies the making and testing of coding projects before making them accessible freely. It can be used practically with different types of projects or programming languages. This tool allows you to develop and test the code along with distributing it to different destinations.
Azure Pipeline Key Features:
- Users can make and push the images in container registries like Azure Container Registry and Docker Hub. Containers are deployable in Kubernetes Clusters or Individual hosts.
- Easy to install. It’s necessary to build, test, and deploy the apps that are made using Python, Node.js, PHP, Java, C/C++, Ruby, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, etc.
- Flexible integration. A huge collection of apps developed, tested, and deployed by the community has the support of Azure Pipeline. There are hundreds of extensions that range from SonarCloud to Slack.
- Collab support for DevOps. Users get advantages from strong and linked DevOps processes in the native container support.
Moreover, Azure Pipelines ensures that each open-source project is equipped with a strong CI/CD function. Additionally, users get ten free parallel tasks along with limitless build minutes for different open-source projects.
Harness is a CI CD tool that supports Cloud cost management. It’s the 1st software delivery platform to use AI. The harness tool also provides features like feature flags, DevOps processes, CI/CD, cloud cost management, etc.
You have the power to prioritize which runs, automate Cloud costs, automated canary verification, automated testing, and know the effect of updates. As Harness is a self-service CI solution and container-native, you get standardized extensions and isolated builds. Additionally, Cloud cost management provides Cloud cost visibility of the apps, clusters, and microservices.
Harness Key Features:
- It provides a developer-first experience
- AI and ML-driven workflows
- The harness uses one pipeline for almost all functions
- Support for cloud cost management
- Harness CD is a CD and self-service model
- It also provides flexible pricing for each team
The codeship tool is a hosted platform that supports automatic and early software releases. It also helps software development companies to make better products quickly by learning the release and testing processes.
Codeship key features:
- Easy to use tool and provides thorough and smooth developer support
- Integrates easily with tools, cloud environments, and services of any choice
- Get the deployment and build work simpler with its simple UI and turnkey environment
- It has different options to pick CPU, AWS instance size, and memory
- Smooth third-party integrations, project dashboards, and smart notification management for providing a qualitative overview of the projects and their health.
- Step up the permissions and teams for both team members and companies having a notification center.
These are some of the main features of the Codeship tool. Let’s now see the final tool of this article that will help you make
With a continuous integration server feature, Bamboo is a famous tool used for easy CI/CD functioning. It is a CI server that automates the software app release management and hence creates a CD pipeline. The bamboo tool covers assigning versions, functional testing, deploying, assigning versions, activating, and deploying the latest versions.
Bamboo Key Features:
- Run the tests in groups in parallel and get reviews easily
- It supports 100 remote build agents
- Make images and push them easily into the registry
- Finds the latest branches in Mercurial, Git, & SVN Repos, and applies the primary line’s CI scheme automatically
- With pre-environment permissions, developers and testing professionals deploy the environments on-run, and the production remains locked.
- It triggers a build that depends on updates detected in the repository. Pushes notifications in the Bitbucket, a decided schedule, the completion of another build, or any combination.
How to Choose the Right CI/CD Tool?
If knowing the need for the CI CD tool is necessary, finding the right tool is also crucial. Picking up the most accurate tool can be a smart task as you’ll have to evaluate different factors like scalability, code, flexibility, ease of use, etc. It’s necessary to consider the company’s particular needs when picking a CI CD tool.
Moreover, you have to keep in mind the types of projects that you are developing while choosing the best CI CD tool. Here are some factors to consider while selecting a suitable tool:
- Cost and how much is the ease of use
- Functionality and scalability
- Collaboration and customization
- Monitoring and reporting
- Platform and language support
- Self-hosted or cloud infrastructure
CI CD tools are an important part of the current software development era. As developers embrace DevOps to support market demand for easy fixes, high-quality software code, and smaller release cycles, these tools help the team work smoothly together and deliver the software at pace.
What is CI Tool?
CI tools are apps that automate code updates making, testing, and deployment. They are used to make sure that the code updates are not creating issues or disrupting current functions—popular examples of CI tools are Travis CI, GitLab, Jenkins, etc.
Is CircleCI better than Jenkins?
CircleCI and Jenkins both are famous CI CD tools, and each has benefits and cons. The final call of whether to use Jenkins or CircleCI depends on the project’s requirements.\
How to enable CI/CD tools?
Enabling CI CD tools requires you to pick a suitable tool first. Based on that, you can set up the required infrastructure as code, configure the pipelines, and integrate the tools in the development workflow.
What Problem Does CI/CD Solve?
CI CD gives solutions to problems while integrating new code and causes troubles for the developers. From testing and integration to deployment and delivery, CI CD enhances efficiency with continuous monitoring and automation.