Continuous Integration (CI), a cornerstone technique of DevOps, continuously merges software code updates from developers in a team into a shared central mainline. This eliminates the problems associated with long and tense manual software system integration. DevOps has been helping various organisations achieve success; and now, CI is enabling the automation of the software build process thereby providing anytime current builds for testing, demonstration or release purposes. Through its approach, CI allows teams to spend less time debugging and more time developing new features. Moreover, CI pushes developers to create modular and less complex code.
While there are many DevOps tools for Continuous Integration, there are some that are more widely used. Selecting a best appropriate CI tool can be a bit challenging, more so if one is going to use it for the first time.
10 Best DevOps tools for Continuous Integration
1. Apache Gump
Apache Gump is written in Python. It builds and compiles software code against the latest versions of projects. This allows Gump to detect incompatible modifications to that code within a short span of time (few hours) after such changes are uploaded onto the version control systems.
Buildbot is an open source CI tool which automates software integration, build and testing processes. It is written in Python over twisted libraries. Buildbot allows the running of the builds on a variety of operating systems like Windows, Linux, BSD, and OSX. Buildbot was constituted as a lightweight substitute to Mozilla’s Tinderbox project. It supports software configuration management (SCM) integration with software like SVN, CVS, Mercurial, Git, Monotone, and BitKeeper.
Bamboo is a CI tool developed by Atlassian. Bamboo is available in two versions, cloud and server. For the cloud version, Atlassian offers hosting service with the help of Amazon EC2 account. For the server version, self-hosting needs to be done. Bamboo supports well known Atlassian products, JIRA and BitBucket.
CircleCI is a CI tool hosted only on GitHub. It supports several languages, including Java, Python, Ruby/Rails, Node.js, PHP, Skala and Haskell. It offers services based on containers. CircleCI offers one container free, and any number of projects can be built on it. It offers up to five levels of parallelization (1x, 4x, 8x, 12x and 16x). Therefore, maximum parallelization of 16x can be achieved in one build. CircleCI also supports Docker platform.
Draco.NET is a Windows service application created to enable Continuous Integration for DevOps. Draco.NET monitors the source code repository automatically rebuilds the project if changes happen and then emails the build result along with a list of changes since the last build. Draco.NET can check source control repositories like CVS, Visual SourceSafe, PVCS and SubVersion.
6. GitLab CI
GitLab CI is hosted on the free hosting service GitLab.com, and it offers Git repository management function with features such as, access control, bug tracking, and code reviewing. GitLab CI is completely unified with GitLab and it can easily be used to link projects using the GitLab API. GitLab CI process builds are coded in the Go language and can execute on several operating systems such as, Windows, Linux, Docker, OSX, and FreeBSD.
7. Go CD
Go CD is a CI developed by the company ThoughtWorks. It is available for Windows, OSX, and Linux operating systems. Go CD implements the concept of pipelines which helps in making complex build workflows simple. It is designed from scratch, and hence, it supports pipelines and thereby removes build process blockages by enabling parallel execution of tasks.
Jenkins is a cross-platform open source CI tool written in Java. It offers configuration through both the GUI interface and the console commands. Jenkins is a very flexible tool to use because it offers an extension of features through plugins. Its plugin list is very broad, and one can easily add their own plugins to that list. Furthermore, Jenkins can distribute software builds and test loads on several machines.
9. Travis CI
Travis CI is an open source CI service free for all open source projects hosted on GitHub. Since Travis CI is hosted, it is platform independent. It is configured using Travis.Yml files which contain actionable data. Travis CI supports a variety of software languages, and the build configuration for each of those languages is complete. Travis CI uses virtual machines to create applications.
TeamCity is a Java-based sophisticated CI tool offered by JetBrains. It supports Java,Net and Ruby platforms. TeamCity has a range of free plugins available developed both by JetBrains and third parties. It also offers integration with several IDEs including, Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA and Visual Studio. Moreover, TeamCity allows simultaneous running of multiple builds and tests in different platforms and environments.
We have all been accustomed with the essential tools required to implement DevOps; one of them is Continuous Integration. Now, the DevOps tools for Continuous Integration have advanced a lot since they were initially developed. The new trend of cloud migration has resulted in many companies offering cloud-hosted solutions that are more user-friendly and economical than traditional self-hosted tools.