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Jenkins v/s Bamboo: Comparing the Two Most Commonly Used CI/CD Tools

Posted by Aman Mishra

Bamboo and Jenkins are two of the most popular continuous integration (CI) tools, with a similar philosophy of agile development. They help transform the otherwise tedious, textbook task of building, testing and deploying software into a fast, automated process. Both the products work on the same strategy of building a plan that outlines a sequence of tasks and then applying the necessary changes to an application’s source code.

When comparing the two products, it is imperative to consider the finer details because they both perform identical functions and the users need to bear in mind some important differences like UI, configuration, features, etc.

The blog post focuses on all the aspects and compares the two products on several parameters, which helps us get a clear winner.

But before we begin the comparison, let’s first understand the functionalities they are based on.

Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD)

Continuous Integration (CI) is a development practice wherein common, isolated modifications are instantly tested and reported when they are added to the larger code base. After completing the task, the developers can share the code and unit tests by updating the modifications into the shared version control repository. Committing the code triggers an automated build system, which grabs the latest code from the shared repository and builds, tests, and validates the master branch.

Continuous Deployment (CD) on the other hand, is a practice to release new software updates. Every committing code passing the automation testing and build phase is released into the production environment, enabling other users to see the changes in real-time.

Comparing Jenkins & Bamboo

Jenkins is one of the most well-known open supply CI/CD tools. It enables developers to build, integrate, and test the code the moment it is committed to the source repository. Thus, they can report bugs quickly and deploy the code much faster.

Bamboo is a CI/CD server that permits developers to automatically build, integrate and then prepare the app for release. Bamboo works closely with other Atlassian’s tools such as Jira for project management and Hipchat for team communication.

Features and Capabilities

Source Repositories

Jenkins: Supports CVS and Subversion; offers built-in support for Git, and easily integrates with numerous version control systems via plugins.

Bamboo: Supports CVS, Git, Mercurial, Perforce and Subversion.

Plugins

Jenkins: Features a wide range of plugins, supporting a wide range of functionalities, starting from management and organization to build jobs and reporting.

Bamboo: Features a wide variety of plugins to support different activities.

Publish HTML

Jenkins: Leverages HTML Publisher plugin to publish HTML reports.

Bamboo: Enables users to create Shared Artifacts to publish HTML reports.

Unit Tests

Jenkins: Offers plugins to perform Unit Testing.

Bamboo: Enables Unit Testing via specific plugins.

Static Analyzers Reports

Jenkins: OCLint allows static analysis of the code and detects issues to enforce coding guidelines.

Bamboo: Doesn’t support any such feature at the moment and all that uses can do is publish HTML report via shared artifact.

Warnings

Jenkins: Features a Warnings plugin that scans the build logs and identifies the warnings & errors generated by the compiler.

Bamboo: Features a Warning plugin to identify warnings during the build.

Built-in Git Branching Workflows

Jenkins: Does not feature built-in Git branching workflows.

Bamboo: Features built-in Git branching workflows.

Built-in Deployment Projects

Jenkins: There is no option for built-in deployment projects.

Bamboo: There is a built-in deployment projects functionality.

Built-in Jira Software Integration

Jenkins: No support for built-in Jira software integration.

Bamboo: Supports built-in with Jira software integration.

Functional Tests

Both the CI servers have plugins to provide Cucumber test reports using Calabash framework.

Build Plan/Project Structure

Jenkins: Users begin by creating a build project. They get a basic freestyle project that includes

  • Description
  • Parameters
  • Build Triggers
  • Build Environment
  • Build Steps
  • Post-build Actions

Bamboo: Users start by creating a build plan, with each plan consisting of at least one build stage. These stages run in sequential order, therefore, if one stage fails, remaining stages are never executed. Users can configure the stages as manual to trigger them by hand. Each job in Bamboo is made of build tasks, which are as follows:

  • Check out Git repository
  • Build
  • Test
  • Deploy
  • Generate test report

Branch Management

Jenkins: No built-in functionality for branch management, but users can achieve branching with Multi-Branch Project, Feature Branch Notifier and other plugins.

Bamboo: Offers exceptional feature for branching – a single tick of a checkbox – to help create branches of a build plan.

Built-in Bitbucket Server Integration

Jenkins: There is no option for built-in bitbucket server integration.

Bamboo: Supports built-in bitbucket server integration.

REST APIs

Both the CI servers support REST APIs.

Test Automation

Jenkins: Supports test automation using plugins.

Bamboo: Has built-in test automation functionality.

Distributed Builds

Both Bamboo and Jenkins support distributed builds.

Jenkins: Supports distributed builds via Remote Nodes, often referred to as slave nodes or agents.

Bamboo: Supports distributed builds via Remote Agents.

Verdict: Bamboo the Clear Winner

Bamboo wins over Jenkins with the following advantages:

  • Deep Developer Tools Integrations: gives overall visibility of the implementation, quality, and status of the release with Jira Software and Bitbucket Server integration. Thus, the users get more time to write code and spend less time in connecting the dots.
  • Built-in Deployment Support: enables users to send a continuous flow of builds to test environments and automatically release the builds to customers as and when ready while maintaining links to issues and commits behind them.
  • Powerful Build Agent Management: users can augment their build capacity by connecting the servers on their network via Amazon EC2. The users are also able to visualize system requirements for each build – with Agent Matrix feature – so that the builds are assigned to the right agent.
  • Automated Merging: simple process of merging Git and Mercurial branches.
  • Built-in Git branching and Workflows: Automatically detect, build, test, and merge branches to deploy code continuously to production or staging servers based on the branch name.
  • Enterprise Support and Resources: for enterprise teams using Bamboo for its documentation, training, and premier support, helping hand is just a click away.

In the End

Although Bamboo is a far superior product than Jenkins, the choice for the automated tool comes down to budget, UI, access to plugins, built-in features, and last but not the least business requirement. Having a clear preference and budget can help you make an informed decision.

We hope the details provided in the blog are good enough to help you decide between the two products. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

That is it from us. Until next time!

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