Top 10 BEST Build Automation Tools To Speed Up Deployment Process

A Comprehensive List and Comparison of the Best Build Automation Tools to Speed Up Your Automated Deployment Process:

Automated Build Tool is a software that compiles the source code to machine code.

Automation tools are used to automate the whole process of software build creation and the other related processes like packaging binary code and running the automated tests.

These automation tools can be categorized into two types i.e. Build-Automation Utility and Build-Automation servers.

Top Build Automation Tools

Build automation utilities perform the task of generating build artifacts. Maven and Gradle come under this category of build automation tools. There are three types of Build Automation servers i.e. On-demand automation, Scheduled automation, and Triggered automation.

Fact Check: Build Automation Software reduce manual labor and validate the build consistency. It offers several benefits as well. However, there are some challenges for these tools i.e. long builds, a large volume of builds, and complex builds.

Build Deployment and Continuous Integration Process

If you want to implement Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment then adopting the Build tool will be the first step of it.

Build Tools provide the features of an extensive library of plugins, build & source code management functionalities, dependency management, parallel testing & build execution, and compatibility with IDE.

The complete process of Build Automation, Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment is shown in the below image.

Process of Build Automation, Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment

[image source]

Challenges for Build Automation:

#1) Longer builds: Longer builds take more time to run, it will increase the developer’s wait time and thereby reduces productivity.

#2) Large volumes of builds: If a large volume of builds is running, then you will get limited access to the build servers for that specific period.

#3) Complex builds: Complex builds may require extensive manual efforts and may reduce flexibility.

Benefits of Automation Build Tools

Using the build automation software has several benefits as mentioned below:

  • Saving time and money.
  • Keeping a history of builds and releases. It will help in investigating the issue.
  • Dependencies on key personnel will be eliminated through these tools.
  • It will accelerate the process.
  • It will perform redundant tasks.

The complete automation of the software development process is explained in the below image. Here it is explained through the Jenkins tool as it is our top-rated build automation Software.

Automation of Software Development Process

Pro Tip: While selecting a build automation software the points to be considered include support for programming languages, support for multi-repo or mono-repo, and dependency management features.

Based on your requirements you can look for features like integrations, pre-installed database services, or support for working on multiple projects.

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List of the Top Build Automation Tools

Enlisted below are the most popular Build Software products that are used worldwide.

Comparison of the Best Automated Build Deployment Software

Automation ToolsBest ForOne Line DescriptionFree TrialPrice
Jenkins

Jenkins_Logo
Small to Large BusinessesAutomation server used to Build, Deploy, and Automate any project.NoFree
Maven

Maven_Logo
Small to Large BusinessesProject management and comprehension tool.NoFree
Gradle

Gradle_Logo
Small to Large BusinessesBuild Tool30 daysGet a quote
Travis CI

TravisCI_Logo
Small to Large BusinessesSync GitHub projects and test.For 100 buildsFree for open source projects.
Bootstrap: $69/month
Startup: $129/month
Small Business: $249/month
Premium: $489/month
Bamboo

Bamboo_Logo
Small to Large BusinessesContinuous Integration & Deployment Build Server30 daysSmall Teams: $10 for 10 jobs.
Growing Teams: $1100 for unlimited jobs.

Let’s explore each of them in detail!!

#1) Jenkins

Best for small to large businesses.
Price: Free

Jenkins

Jenkins is an open-source tool. It can perform the task of building, testing, and deploying software. The platform is easy to install. For any project, Jenkins will work as a CI server and as a continuous delivery hub. It has features of extensibility and easy configuration.

Features:

  • Testing of isolated changes in a larger codebase.
  • Automation of testing of builds.
  • Work Distribution.
  • Automation of software deployment.

Verdict: You will get good community support for Jenkins. It supports all major platforms. It can test and deploy on multiple platforms at a fast rate. It can distribute the work across multiple machines.

Website: Jenkins

Suggested Read => Most Popular Automation Testing Tools


#2) Maven

Best for small to large businesses
Price: Free

Apache Maven

Maven is an application that provides functionalities for project management. It has functionalities for project building, reporting, and documentation. You will be able to access the new features instantly. It is extensible through plugins. There will be no limitation on building the number of projects into a JAR, WAR, etc.

Features:

  • It supports working on multiple projects simultaneously.
  • There will be consistent usage for all projects.
  • It has features for dependency management.
  • It provides a large and growing repository of libraries and metadata.
  • It provides functionality for release management: It can distribute individual outputs.
  • For managing the releases and distributing the publications, Maven will get integrated with your system. No additional configuration will be required for this.

Verdict: As per the customer reviews, the tool is good for build automation and dependency management. For dependency management, it provides support to the central repository of JARs.

Website: Maven


#3) Gradle

Best for small to large businesses.

Price: Gradle offers a free trial of 30 days for Gradle Enterprise. You can contact the company for the pricing of Enterprise subscriptions.

Gradle

Gradle can be used for multiple project types i.e. mobile apps to microservices. It has functionalities for building, automating, and delivering software. It is an open-source platform. For dependency management, it provides the functionalities like transitive dependencies, custom dependency scopes, file-based dependencies, etc.

Features:

  • For software development, it will allow you to use any programming language.
  • It can deploy on any platform.
  • It supports monorepos as well as multi-repo strategy.
  • It will help you to deliver continuously.
  • It has various execution options like Continuous build, Composite Builds, Task Exclusion, Dry Run, etc.

Verdict: As per the customer reviews it has good integration capabilities. Gradle has features of web-based build visualization, collaborative debugging, parallel execution, incremental builds, task time outs, etc.

Website: Gradle


#4) Travis CI

Best for small to large businesses.

Price: It is free to test open-source projects. It provides the first 100 builds for free. There are four pricing plans i.e. Bootstrap ($69 per month), Startup ($129 per month), Small Business ($249 per month), and Premium ($489 per month).

Travis CI

GitHub projects can be synced with Travis CI. It can perform auto deployments on passing the builds. It will be able to deploy on multiple cloud services. The tool can be used by signing up and linking the repository. It will allow you to build the apps and test them.

Features:

  • GitHub integration.
  • It has pre-installed database services.
  • It supports pull requests.
  • It will provide a clean VM for every build.

Verdict: Travis CI is easy to install and configure. It has a clean interface. This tool will be the best option if you are creating an open-source project as it provides free services for open-source projects.

Website: Travis CI

Also Read => Best Automation Tools for Testing Android Applications


#5) Bamboo

Best for small to large businesses.

Price: The price of Bamboo will be based on the number of agents. An increase in the number of agents will increase the number of processes that can run concurrently. It provides a free trial of 30 days. Bamboo offers two pricing plan i.e. for small teams and growing teams.

The plan for small teams will cost you $10 (No remote agent) for a maximum of 10 jobs. The plan for growing teams will cost you $1100 (One remote agent) with unlimited jobs.

Bamboo

Bamboo is a continuous delivery tool that can be used from coding to deployment. It has functionalities to build, test, and deploy projects. It can be integrated with Jira, Bitbucket, and Fisheye. It has a clean user interface and is intuitive.

Features:

  • It will allow you to create multi-stage build plans.
  • You can assign agents to critical builds and deployments.
  • The tool can run parallel automated tests.
  • It can release in each environment.
  • While releasing, the flow can be controlled through pre-environment settings.

Verdict: With this tool, all tasks like automated builds, tests, and releases can be done in one workflow. It has various built-in capabilities and doesn’t require plugins.

Website: Bamboo


#6) CircleCI

Best for small to large businesses.
Price: CircleCI has the following pricing plans. It also offers a free trial for the product.

Build on LinuxFree for one concurrent job with one container.
The price will be decided based on the number of concurrent jobs and containers.
2 Concurrent Jobs & 2 Containers: $50 per month.
Build on Mac OSSeed: $39 per month
Startup: $129 per month.
Growth: $249 per month
Performance: Get a quote.
Self-hosted$35 per user per month
Get a quote for the requirement of more than 100 users.

CircleCI

CircleCI is the tool for continuous integration and delivery. It will create the build on every commit. It can be integrated with GitHub, GitHub Enterprise, and Bitbucket. It provides features like expanded caching options, running jobs in a local environment, and security options like user management and audit logging.

Features:

  • Automatic running of code in clean VM.
  • Notification on the failure of build.
  • Automated deployments in various builds.
  • It gives you the freedom to use any toolchain or framework.
  • The interactive dashboard will provide insights for all the builds at a glance.

Verdict: Docker support will give you the flexibility to configure the environment as per your requirement. It can be deployed in the cloud or self-hosted. It supports all languages that run on Linux.

Website: CircleCI


#7) TeamCity

Best for small to large businesses.

Price: TeamCity Professional Server License is Free. Build Agent License is available for $299. The price of the Enterprise Server License starts at $1999 for 3 agents.

TeamCity

TeamCity is a CI and CD server provided by JetBrains. It provides various ways of reusing the settings. TeamCity provides functions for managing users including user roles and sorting of users into groups, etc.

Features:

  • For Java and .NET code, you will be able to perform code quality tracking.
  • It provides cloud integrations like Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure, and VMware vSphere.
  • It has multiple build agents and agents pool.
  • It will allow you to install tools on agents.
  • It will provide statistics on build agents and the utilization of build machines.

Verdict: TeamCity can store the history of builds, changes, and failures. It provides features like cloud integration, continuous integration, Build History, Extensibility & Customization, and User Management.

Website: TeamCity

Recommended Read => Best Continuous Integration Tools


#8) Apache Ant

Best for individuals and businesses.
Price: Free

ApacheAnt

Apache Ant is used to compile, assemble, test, and run Java applications. It has features for combining builds and dependency management. It will allow you to develop your antlibs. Antlibs will include Ant tasks and types.

Features:

  • It has various built-in tasks for compiling, assembling, testing, or running java application.
  • No forcing of coding conventions.
  • It provides a lot of ready-made commercial and open-source antlibs.
  • It is a flexible platform.

Verdict: Apache Ant is an open-source command-line tool. The tool is written in Java and gives its users the freedom to create their antlibs.

Website: Apache Ant


#9) BuildMaster

Best for small to larger businesses.

Price: BuildMaster Enterprise pricing plans start at $2995 per year for a maximum of 10 users. It also provides a free version i.e. BuildMaster Free. The free version also comes with unlimited users, applications, and servers.

BuildMaster

BuildMaster is a Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment Tool. It performs continuous integration with the features of automated unit testing. It can be integrated with static analysis tools.

Features:

  • You can create the package for any deployment target in the cloud.
  • It will allow you to deploy software on containers, cloud, mobile, Kubernetes clusters, Windows or Linux servers, or VMs.
  • It can be used to build applications in Java, .NET, Node.js, PHP, etc.

Verdict: BuildMaster will help you to release on time by providing features like management of target dates, release notes, hotfixes, and rollbacks.

Website: BuildMaster


#10) Codeship

Best for small to large businesses and individuals.

Price: You can use Codeship for free for 100 builds per month. It includes unlimited projects and unlimited team members. You can choose any plan from Codeship Pro or Codeship Basic.

There are three plans for Codeship Basic i.e. Starter ($49 per month), Essential ($99 per month), and Power ($399 per month). Codeship Pro pricing starts at $75 per month.

Codeship

Codeship provides services for continuous integration and deployment. Configuration can be done through set up files in a repository or through a web interface. The basic plan will work for common technologies and workflows. Pro plan will allow you to define a container for your build environment.

Features:

  • With the Pro plan, there will be flexible workflows.
  • You will get native Docker support with the Pro plan.
  • Codeship Basic will come with features like running builds on pre-configured machines, setting up through web-interface, supporting common technologies and workflows, etc.

Verdict: As per the customer reviews, the tool is good for continuous delivery. It has a clean interface. It doesn’t provide Docker support with the Basic plan.

Website: Codeship

Worth Reading => Top Continuous Delivery Tools


Additional Build Automation Tools

#11) Microsoft Team Foundation Server

Team Foundation Server (TFS) is now known as Azure DevOps Server. It can perform the task of sharing code, tracking work, and shipping software with the help of integrated software delivery tools. It can be deployed on-premise.

This platform can be used by any team, for any project. It provides the facilities of code repositories, continuous integration, and bug & task tracking.

It provides collaborative software development tools for the entire team. It has the features of version control, Kanban, Scrum, & dashboards, continuous integration, and Java support.

Azure DevOps Server is free to start with 5 team members. Visual Studio Professional is available at $45 per month. Visual Studio Enterprise is available at $250 per month. Azure DevOps user price starts at $6 per month.

Website: Team Foundation Server

#12) Ansible

Ansible is for automating infrastructure, networks, applications, containers, security, and cloud. This platform has the features of automating the deployment, accelerating the process, and collaborating and integrating with the tool that you are already using.

It supports multi-tier deployments. It doesn’t have an additional custom security infrastructure. This platform will work by connecting to your nodes and will push the Ansible modules (small programs) to these nodes.

For Ansible Tower pricing there are two plans, i.e. standard ($10000 per year) & premium ($14000 per year). Pricing details for both the plans are for 100 nodes.

Website: Ansible

#13) AWS CodeBuild

It is a completely managed Build Service. It has functionalities for compiling the source code, running tests, and creating software packages. It supports pre-configured as well as customized build environments.

The tool will allow you to configure the settings like specifying build commands, selecting the compute type, and choosing source integrations. It also has the features for security & permissions, monitoring, and CI & delivery workflows.

AWS CodeBuild offers a free tier that will include 100 builds of build.general1.small per month. The below image will show you the pricing details of AWS CodeBuild.

AWS CodeBuild Pricing

Website: AWS CodeBuild

#14) Chef

The chef can be used for consistently configuring and applying patches in any environment. It has features for security and compliance. It has two software suites i.e. Enterprise Automation Stack and Effortless Infrastructure.

Chef offers two pricing plans for Effortless Infrastructure i.e. Essentials ($16,500 per year) and Enterprise ($75,000 per year). Two plans for Enterprise Automation Stack i.e. Essentials ($35,000 per year) and Enterprise ($150,000 per year)

Website: Chef

Conclusion

As we have seen, some of the build automation tools are open source and some are commercial.

If we compare the top tools i.e. Jenkins and Maven then Maven is a build tool and Jenkins is a CI tool. Maven can be used by Jenkins as a build tool. If Gradle and Maven are compared then Gradle is faster than Maven as it provides the features of Incrementality, Build Cache, and Cradle Daemon.

Gradle, Travis CI, Bamboo, CircleCI, TeamCity, BuildMaster, and Codeship are the commercial tools and Jenkins, Maven and Apache Ant are free tools. Travis CI is free only for open source projects.

Hope this article helped you in selecting the right Build Automation Software!!

=>> Contact us to suggest a listing here.