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Jenkins And Other Continuous Integration Tools

CI Tools

In this article I am providing an overview of popular Continuous Integration tools in the market like Jenkins. I will talk about their features, pros, and cons. This can lead you to be able to compare different tools against one another.

Let’s start by understanding what Continuous Integration is . It is a software development practice based on a frequent integration of codes into a shared repository. It supports automatic build verification for each check-in. The primary objective of CI is to identify problems. That may arise during the development process quickly and earlier. The resultant factor is less time is spent on debugging. And, more time on creating additional features.

Read our article, Introduction to Continuous Integration & Delivery (CI/CD), for an overview.

1. JENKINS

Jenkins is a continuous integration Java-based server. It is an open source platform. Also, is by far the most widely used tool for managing CI builds and delivery pipelines. It assists developers in building and testing software continuously. Within the DevOps circles, it is gaining wide popularity. Main reason being that it increases the scale of automation. Some of the common uses include:

– Running tests

– Building projects

– Bug detection

– Project deployment and

– Code analysis


Features of Jenkins:

– Jenkins is a Java-based program. It can run out of the box. Also, it has a pre-built package for Windows, Unix, Mac OS X, etc. that ensures easy installation process.

– With over hundreds of plugins present in the update center, Jenkins can easily integrate with almost any tool in the CI/CD tool chain.

– Rest API- The platform provides developers with leverage to access and control the amount of data you fetch, delete a job, update/fetch config.xml, fetch/update job description as well as disable/enable a job.

– It has a web user interface and you can use it to configure your server quickly.

– You can use it to deploy on multiple machines across a network, thus improves the performance of builds and test.

Pros of Jenkins:

– It’s free as it is open source.

– It is user-friendly and does not require additional installation materials.

– Jenkins is easily configurable, modifiable, and extendable.

– Jenkins is platform independent which means that it is available for all operating systems and all platforms.

– It contains abundant plugin ecosystem. Thus, it is flexible and allow building and deploying across all platforms.

– There is easy support.

Cons of Jenkins:

– Jenkins requires a dedicated server. Hence, it results in additional expenses.

– It requires time for customization and configuration.

2. CIRCLECI

Circle CI has a state-of-the-art integration and delivery. It helps most developers across the globe to release their codes through automated builds.

Features of CircleCI:

– It is a cloud-based system.

– Deploys the use of Rest API.

– You can access the containers through triggering SSH mode.

– It is a complete out-of-box solution.

Merits of CircleCI:

– The platform supports both web based and android, thus giving it a competitive advantage over other tools.

– The process of setting it up is smooth and easy.

Demerits of CircleCI:

– The platform is tied to GitHub, hence all your workings revolve around your GitHub account.

– With a high demand of containers, the amount one can use on this platform when pushing codes to the circle can be costly.

3. TRAVIS CI

Travis CI is a platform that integrates with your GitHub projects. It enables you to test your codes on the fly. With clients like Twitter and Facebook, it is one of the leading CI tools in the market.

Features of Travis CI:

– It is an open source on GitHub.

– Bilingual support. Hence, you can run your code across all versions.

– Extended CMD and API tools for custom management.

– It offers automated pull request verification.

Merits of Travis CI:

– Easy setup. Hooking up the repository for Travis CI is straightforward. Besides, the initial configuration only takes a few minutes.

– It comes with a support for Docker. It also, supports multiple languages.

– Since it allows hosting in the cloud, projects can be tested from any environment.

Demerits of Travis CI:

– Despite being an open source, the enterprise plan for private comes with a hefty cost.

4. CODESHIP

Codeship favors speed, simplicity, and efficiency. Development teams can use Codeship to build, test and deploy directly from GitHub project. It also supports Bitbucket.

Features of Codeship:

– Easily scalable to meet your requirements.

– Contains simple config file management.

Merits of Codeship:

– Supports unlimited open source functionality.

– It supports integration for both Bitbucket and GitHub.

– It supports up to 100 builds under the 5 private free plan.

Demerits of Codeship:

– It does not support encryption.

– Contains basic configuration options via the SSH and admin interface.

5. CRUISECONTROL

CruiseControl is one of the most mature CI servers. Probably, it is one of the oldest CI tools in use till date. The platform is Java based. Hence, it is cross platform by design. As well, you can support implementation of projects in .NET framework and Ruby on Rails.

Features of CruiseControl:

– CruiseControl supports remote management.

– Easily integrates with other external tools such as NUnit, Visual studio, and NAnt.

– It supports multiple Source Control Systems like Csv, Git, and Vss.

– Developers are able to build multiple projects on the same server.

Pros of CruiseControl:

– It is an open source tool.

– Custom build process can be created.

– Capability to send email notifications and instant messaging.

– Well organized reporting ability.

– Supports various languages.

Cons of CruiseControl:

– It is not part of the Team Foundation Server (TFS).

– It uses its own XML Schema for builds management.


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