We are comparing two of the most popular CI/CD tools for powering DevOps initiatives.
But before we delve deeper into the features of these two tools, let us understand what is a CI/CD pipeline and why is it important.
What is a CI/CD pipeline?
According to Red Hat, a CI/CD pipeline is a series of steps that must be performed to deliver a new version of the software. CI/CD stands for Continuous Integration/ Continuous Delivery. It is a practice that is focused on improving software delivery using either a DevOps or a Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) approach. So,
why is a CI/CD pipeline important?
A CI/CD pipeline brings in the scope to monitor and automate the improvement of the application development processes, especially during the integration and testing phases as well as during the delivery and deployment phases. Each of these steps can be manually executed, but CI/CD pipeline enables automation in the process, helping the tasks to be completed quicker and more efficiently.
The CI/CD pipeline can be established using specific CI/CD tools. Two of the best CI/CD tools in the market currently are Bamboo and Jenkins. Of these, Jenkins has long been the gold standard in DevOps. Compared to this, Bamboo is a relatively newer tool but has become quite popular in a short time. Let us dig deeper into these two tools now.
What is Bamboo?
Bamboo is a continuous integration server. It is built by Atlassian and it allows one to automate the release management process of software applications. In this way, it builds continuous delivery in the process. Atlassian is a very renowned Australian software company that develops software products for developers, project managers, etc. Other renowned software from Atlassian includes Jira, Confluence, BitBucket, Sourcetree, etc.
This is a basic introduction to Bamboo, now let us find out what is Jenkins
What is Jenkins?
Jenkins is an open-source tool for creating a continuous delivery and continuous integration environment. Jenkins has been around for over a decade during which time it has become the de-facto standard when working with CI/CD pipelines. However, newer tools like Bamboo are now challenging the traditional approach and interface of Jenkins.
When comparing Jenkins and Bamboo today, we will look at the five most important features that are the most important when choosing a CI/CD tool for your work.
These five features are: Open-source, Branch management, Automated deployment, Parallel execution support, Rest APIs.
Let us begin with the first feature – open-source. Bamboo is not open-source software, while Jenkins is open-source. Open-source gives developers the freedom to innovate through collaboration. Open-source technology is the major driving factor that has helped technology develop and grow the way it has. Open-source software is considered to be more secure and stable than proprietary software. At the end of the day, it is not just about cost savings, it is also about the security and stability a tool offers, and the support one can get from the active community of users the tool will have. Jenkins is an open-source tool offering these advantages to users. In comparison, Bamboo is a proprietary tool so it does offer the freedom and customizability that Jenkins can offer. Jenkins – 1, Bamboo – 0.
Next on the list, we have branch management. A branch helps software teams work collaboratively while keeping their work-in-progress products separate from the code that has been tested and is ready to go. Branch builds can help teams prevent accidentally publishing code that is not tested or ready to go. This feature is a very recent addition to Jenkins whereas it has been a significant feature offered by Bamboo from its initial days. With Jenkins, branch management being a newly added feature, users often find the feature to be tacked on to the existing functionality of the tool, rather than offering a seamless user experience. Bamboo has been offering the branch management feature for much longer than Jenkins has, and it is much easier to use on Bamboo than on Jenkins. If branch management is an important process for your DevOps team, Bamboo would offer a significant advantage for you compared to Jenkins.
Score update: Jenkins – 1, Bamboo – 1.
Third on the list, we have automated deployment. Jenkins does not offer built-in automated deployment. However, we know how critically important deployment is in DevOps. Compared to this, Bamboo offers automated deployment as a standard feature in its package. If you wish to use Jenkins and still need automated deployment, you can install one of the many plug-ins available in the market to perform these tasks for you. Or you can choose to use Bamboo which already offers the feature as a standard offering in its package.
Score update: Jenkins – 1, Bamboo – 2.
Parallel Execution Support
Parallel execution enables users to run multiple tests parallelly or conduct cross-browser testing at the same time on different browsers or maybe even both. Both Jenkins and Bamboo offer parallel execution support to users, so on this front, both these CI/CD tools score the same.
With this the scoreboard reads, Jenkins – 1, Bamboo – 2.
Rest APIs are application programming interfaces that conform to the REST architectural style. REST APIs enable interaction with RESTful web services. Both Jenkins and Bamboo offer REST APIs to users, so both these CI/CD tools score the same on this front. And with this, the final score is Jenkins – 1, Bamboo – 2.
In this way, we see that Bamboo ends up scoring slightly higher compared to Jenkins if we get down to comparing these two top CI/CD tools on the five factors we mentioned. Both the tools offer useful features and benefits for users, but Bamboo, though relatively new in the market, gives you a slight advantage over Jenkins. However, before making the choice for which CI/CD tool you want to use, carefully analyze your requirements against the features offered by both the tools and then make your choice.
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