Best Continuous Delivery Tools Shortlist
I’ve looked at all the best CD tools in DevOps, and these are my favorites:
- GoCD - Best pipeline modeling feature
- Spinnaker - Best for multi-cloud support
- CodeShip - Best for fast deployments
- Bamboo - Best for ease of use
- Buddy - Best for integrations flexibility
- CircleCI - Best for scalability
- GitLab - Best all-in-one tool
- DeployBot - Best for simplified workflows
- Datadog - Best for full-stack visibility
- PagerDuty - Best for centralization
- IBM Continuous Delivery - Best for enterprise-grade scale
- JBoss - Best open-source CD - switch with codeship
Customers today want to see more features in the applications they use. Meeting these expectations is key to retaining and growing your customer base. But how do you efficiently test and deploy new code changes to production environments? The right CD tool can help.
CD tools help automate and streamline the software delivery process. They enable developers to push code updates to production with less manual work. In this article, I’ll review the top CD tools to help you find out which ones are worth the effort.
What Are Continuous Delivery Tools?
Continuous delivery (CD) is a software development automation that reduces the time and effort required to maintain software. There are a variety of continuous delivery tools on the market that facilitate different automations in the development process, generally aimed toward streamlining the traditional software development pipeline into a cyclical, ongoing process.
Some tools like Jenkins are open-source servers that provide developers with the flexibility to customize how they utilize these tools. Others, like GitLab or Bamboo, offer a selection of integrations with compatible programs and platforms.
Overviews of the 12 Best Continuous Delivery Tools
Here are a few of my favorite continuous delivery tools to save time and streamline the development process:
1. GoCD - Best pipeline modeling feature
GoCD is a popular CD tool known for its pipeline-based approach to software release automation. It offers a range of features and benefits that make it a reliable choice for organizations seeking efficient CD processes.
Why I picked GoCD: GoCD is an open-source continuous delivery tool designed to automate and streamline the software release process. I chose GoCD because of its extensive features, flexibility, and strong industry reputation. It provides a powerful and flexible platform for automating the software delivery process. The pipeline-based approach allows teams to define and manage the entire software delivery workflow, promoting collaboration, faster feedback cycles, and reliable deployments.
GoCD Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that I like about GoCD is that it enables the creation of complex deployment pipelines with multiple stages and parallel executions. It also includes advanced traceability, which I’ve used to troubleshoot broken pipelines
Integrations are available natively with various tools and services, including Apache Maven, Grade, and Rake.
- Flexible configuration
- Advanced visualization
- Extensive plugin ecosystem
- Complexity of configuration
- Limited open-source community support
2. Spinnaker - Best for multi-cloud support
Spinnaker is a unique CD tool that provides native support for multiple cloud providers. It offers an intuitive interface and an extensive set of features to facilitate end-to-end control of software delivery.
Why I picked Spinnaker: Spinnaker is known for its exceptional performance and the value it brings to the CD process. I appreciate its intuitive pipeline management system and integration of multi-cloud support. The ability to define complex deployment pipelines and utilize advanced strategies streamlines the process and reduces downtime during deployments.
Spinnaker Standout Features and Integrations:
A key feature of Spinnaker is its native support for multiple cloud providers. It allows organizations to deploy applications seamlessly across different platforms, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. I liked that it has advanced deployment strategies such as rolling updates, blue-green deployments, canary releases, and red/black deployments, making processes smooth.
Spinnaker has native integrations with tools like Jenkins, Argo, AWS, Azure, Docker, Jira, Maven, and OpenStack.
Free Trial: Free
- Multi-cloud support
- Advanced deployment strategies
- Robust pipeline management
- Learning curve for configuration
- Infrastructure and maintenance requirements
3. CodeShip - Best for fast deployments
CodeShip is a cloud-based solution that enables teams to build CI/CD environments in the cloud and automate the software development process.
Why I chose CodeShip: I picked CodeShip because it offers turnkey environments for quickly setting up CI/CD pipelines for cloud applications. With pre-configured deployments, all I had to do was select a host provider and log in to my account. This helped significantly speed up builds and improved my overall workflow.
CodeShip’s Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that differentiate CodeShip from other CD tools, in my opinion, are its performance. With CodeShip, your builds run on a dedicated single AWS instance. Not only does this lead to faster build speeds, it also ensures greater security as you’re not sharing instances with other users.
Integrations are pre-built for 25+ platforms, including Anchore, Coveralls, Gosec, Honeycomb, OpsGenie, Runscope, and Testable. Pre-built integrations are also available for Git repositories like GitHub and GitLab.
Pricing: From $49/month
Trial:7-day free trial
- Offers integrated deployments that can be set up in one click
- Provides an intuitive interface for creating pipelines
- Basic plan offers unlimited builds
- Can get pricey for concurrent builds
- Free plan no longer available
4. Bamboo - Best for ease of use
Bamboo is a CI/CD tool that streamlines the software delivery process. Integration with the Atlassian ecosystem, including Jira and Bitbucket, provides end-to-end visibility.
Why I picked Bamboo: Bamboo is one of the easiest continuous delivery tools to implement. I like Bamboo’s intuitive interface and visual pipeline editor, both features that make it effortless to configure and monitor CI/CD pipelines. Its integration with the Atlassian ecosystem, including Jira and Bitbucket, creates a cohesive workflow.
Bamboo’s Standout Features and Integrations:
Bamboo’s best features, in my opinion, include its visual pipeline editor that enables effortless configuration. I also liked that Bamboo includes additional features like release management capabilities and collaboration tools.
Bamboo offers native integrations with a range of build and test plugins, including Apache Maven, Gradle, JUnit, and SonarQube. Bamboo also supports custom integrations using its REST API.
Pricing: From $1,200/agent/month
Free Trials: 30-day free trial
- Intuitive interface
- Integration with Atlassian products
- Extensive plugin ecosystem
- Limited language support
5. Buddy - Best for integrations flexibility
Buddy is a popular CI/CD platform that helps developers automate their software development and deployment workflows.
Why I picked Buddy: Buddy’s user-friendly interface, particularly the intuitive drag-and-drop editor, makes it easy to configure and manage pipelines. But what I really like most is its extensive integration ecosystem. Buddy is one of the most flexible options in terms of integrations — it offers native integrations with many popular tools.
Standout features and integrations:
Buddy offers native integrations with popular tools like GitHub, GitLab, AWS, Docker, Slack, JUnit, TestNG, and Cucumber.
Pricing: From $29/month
Demo available: Free plan available
- Intuitive drag-and-drop interface
- Extensive integration ecosystem
- Advanced automation capabilities
- Higher pricing for larger teams
- Overwhelming for beginners
6. CircleCI - Best for scalability
CircleCI is considered one of the best CD tools for scalability, allowing parallel execution of jobs and an elastic infrastructure that dynamically scales based on the needs of the build and test processes.
Why I picked CircleCI: I chose CircleCI for its scalability. Thanks to its native elasticity, you can significantly speed up the building and testing processes with CircleCI, and the same program can run hundreds of concurrent jobs across multiple containers or machines, making it a solid choice for projects of all sizes.
CircleCI’s Standout Features and Integrations:
Standout features for CircleCI include its workflow and pipeline capabilities, which teams can use to define complex CI/CD processes and ensure efficient use of resources for large projects. Another feature I like is CircleCI’s caching and artifact management functionality, which further optimizes build times by minimizing repetitive downloads and builds, enabling scalability for projects with extensive dependencies.
CircleCI has pre-built integrations with various platforms, including AWS, Google, and Azure, Jira, Kubernetes, Slack, GitHub, GitLab, and Snyk.
Pricing: From $15/month
Free trial offers: Free plan available
- Scalability for larger projects
- Extensive tools and integrations
- Consistent and reliable builds
- Higher pricing plans
- Steep learning curve
7. GitLab - Best all-in-one tool
GitLab offers an integrated, single-application platform enabling container registry and Kubernetes integration powered by an active open-source community. These features combine to deliver an all-in-one CD experience for developers.
Why I picked GitLab: I chose GitLab because it does CI/CD and so much more. It’s more like a full-service DevOps platform as it provides a wide array of features like source code management, CI/CD pipelines, and issue tracking. If you’re already familiar with GitLab for agile development or source code management, you can use it for CI/CD as well.
GitLab’s Standout Features and Integrations:
Features I like about GitLab are its integrated CI/CD pipelines allow teams to automate the build, test, and deployment processes with the same platform. GitLab’s code review functionality ensures thorough and collaborative code examination, enhancing code quality to ensure user-friendly apps roll out without error.
GitLab offers native integrations with popular collaboration tools like Jira and Slack, facilitating a streamlined communication and project management process.
Pricing: From $29/month
Trial:30-day free trial + Free demo
- All-in-one platform
- Extensive CI/CD capabilities
- Collaboration and visibility
- Steep learning curve
- Heavy resource requirements
8. DeployBot - Best for simplified workflows
DeployBot offers a straightforward approach to deploying web applications. It provides automation and management features that help teams efficiently deploy code to servers or hosting platforms.
Why I picked DeployBot: I chose DeployBot for its user-friendly interface, intuitive setup process, and streamlined configuration. With DeployBot, teams can easily connect their repositories, define deployment rules, and manage multiple environments with ease.
DeployBot’s Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that make DeployBot stand apart are its collaboration tools, which keep team members informed about deployment statuses and changes. I also like that I could define specific rules for development, staging, and production for multiple environments.
DeployBot offers native integrations with Git repositories like GitHub, Bitbucket, and GitLab. You can also deploy code changes to cloud services like AWS, DigitalOcean, and Heroku.
Pricing: From $25/month
Trial:14-day free trial + Free demo
- Easy-to-use navigation
- Automatically detects code change
- Manage multiple environments
- Pricing depends on user count
- Limited advanced automation
9. Datadog - Best for full-stack visibility
Datadog is a monitoring and analytics platform focused on observability, providing monitoring, logging, and analytics solutions for cloud infrastructure and applications.
Why I picked Datadog: Datadog is an end-to-end solution that provides full-stack visibility with real-time monitoring. I chose this tool because it includes several notable features like log management and application performance monitoring (APM) to capture and analyze data.
Datadog’s Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that impressed me the most about Datadog include the ability to visualize key performance metrics across different CI providers. The platform also enables you to dive into individual pipelines and get more context around issues like crashes or errors.
Datadog has pre-built integrations with tools like CircleCI, Jenkins, Splunk, Jenkins, and GitLab.
Pricing: From $8/month
Trial:14-day free trial
- Comprehensive monitoring capabilities
- Extensive integration options
- Highly scalable and adaptable
- Not a dedicated CD tool
- Complex setup process
10. PagerDuty - Best for centralization
PagerDuty is an incident management tool that helps teams respond to critical events. It has more than 700 available integrations to help with the CD process but it’s not a dedicated CD tool.
Why I picked PagerDuty: I chose PagerDuty because it serves as a centralized hub for consolidating alerts and managing incidents across various platforms. It has an exhaustive list of integrations for monitoring, ticketing, and collaboration efforts, allowing for a unified view of incidents and a streamlined process for response.
PagerDuty’s standout features and integrations:
Features I like about PagerDuty include its on-call scheduling and escalation policies that ensure personnel are immediately notified if there’s an incident. You can even set up workflows to automatically create Slack channels or Zoom meetings for critical services, allowing you to quickly address any pipeline issues.
PagerDuty offers native integrations with platforms like Okta, Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, BambooHR, Datadog, and Zendesk.
Pricing: From $21/user/monthly (billed annually)
Trial:14-day free trial + Free plan available
- Centralized incident management
- Unmatched integrations capability
- Advanced automation and escalation
- Complicated pricing structure
- Optimized setup is complex
11. IBM Continuous Delivery - Best for enterprise-grade scale
IBM Continuous Delivery is a cloud-based service focused on automating and optimizing software delivery processes in cloud environments. IBM Continuous Delivery helps enterprises streamline the deployment of applications and updates with continuous integration.
Why I chose IBM Continuous Delivery: IBM Continuous Delivery is my top recommendation for large enterprises due to its scalability, flexible deployment options, and strong security and compliance features. I like it because it meets the needs of larger organizations with its integration of enterprise systems and comprehensive support to ensure a seamless implementation.
IBM Continuous Delivery’s Standout Features and Integrations:
IBM Continuous Delivery offers a range of standout features and integrations that cater to enterprise-scale requirements. Its scalable architecture enables dynamic provisioning and resource management for high-volume workloads.
IBM’s CD tool supports native integrations with many popular enterprise systems. The platform integrates with popular source code repositories such as Git and supports various testing frameworks like JUnit and SElenium for quality assurance.
Additional integrations with container orchestration platforms facilitate smooth deployment in containerized environments. The ability to integrate with leading cloud providers like IBM Cloud and AWS enables flexible deployment options to streamline the software delivery process.
Pricing: From $36.60/user
Trial:Free plan available
- Accommodates high-volume workloads
- Comprehensive toolchain integrations
- Strong security and compliance assurance
- Complex navigation may be difficult
- Cost is determined by users
12. JBoss - Best open-source CD
JBoss is a modular and scalable open-source application server that provides a robust runtime environment for Java-based enterprise applications. It’s important to note JBoss is primarily an application service rather than a dedicated CD tool.
Why I picked JBoss: I chose JBoss because it offers open-source flexibility with top-notch performance. I also find its modular architecture handy and can appreciate the software’s extensive integration capabilities. JBoss is a good fit for scalability, providing developer-friendly tools and microservices that support continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD).
JBoss Standout Features and Integrations:
JBoss offers several unique features that set it apart from other application services. My favorite feature is its modular architecture enables lightweight deployments, better resource utilization, and faster startup times. JBoss also embraces a microservices architecture, providing features for easy development, hot deployment, and easy management.
JBoss has pre-built integrations with databases, web servers, frameworks, and other tools like MySQL, Oracle, MariaDB, Apache Web Server, Spring, and Spring Security. Note that these integrations are for the JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) from Red Hat.
Pricing: From $1,650/year
Demo available: 90-day free EAP trial
- Modular architecture
- Robust clustering
- Microservices support
- Not a dedicated CD tool
- Additional cost for enterprise features
Other CD Software Options
While these are my top picks, there are many options for tools that serve different purposes and work with different platforms to automate testing and deployment with CI/CD. Here are a few more continuous delivery tools to explore:
- Jenkins - Best for integration flexibility
- TravisCI - Best for easy setup
- Argo CD - Best for Kubernetes deployments
- Drone - Best for a container-native approach to continuous delivery
- Octopus Deploy - Best for API integrations
- Wercker - Best for speed
- AppVeyor - Best for Windows-based development
- JFrog - Best for platform-agnostic development
Selection Criteria For the Best Continuous Delivery Tools
Here is a look at how I evaluated these continuous delivery tools and picked my favorites.
In selecting the best continuous delivery tools, I had to ensure they had certain core functionalities, like:
- Pipeline modeling and visualization
- Scalability and parallel execution
- Automation and orchestration
- Monitoring and analytics
- Container support
- Flexibility and customization
- Security and compliance
- Ease of use and intuitive interface
In addition to these core functionalities, here are some of the key features that I feel are important when choosing the right continuous delivery tools:
- Version control support: The reason that you need continuous delivery tools in the first place is to automate the labor-intensive tasks of deploying new features, and that means dozens (or hundreds) of different versions. I looked at how each tool handled version control and chose CD tools that include visualization dashboards first.
- Quality hosting: Many enterprise solutions still rely on on-premise CD tools, and that is often appropriate in those circumstances. But cloud-based tools are essentially the standard for scalable infrastructure and ease of setup and ongoing management, so I verified that the on-premise solutions offered enhanced control and security and that cloud-based solutions included features for simplicity and scalability.
- Container support: Container support refers to the ability of the tool to handle and manage containerized applications. Containers are lightweight, isolated environments that encapsulate an application and its dependencies. The support enables streamlined deployment, consistent environments, efficient resource utilization, and easier management of complex application architectures.
- Plugins and third-party integrations: I looked for compatibility through native and third-party integrations with popular cloud environments and software tools. The most useful CD tools are those that work well with your existing tech stack, enabling seamless workflows for more productivity.
The development process is time-consuming and difficult enough in so many ways that the CD tool you pick shouldn’t add to it. That’s why I looked for tools that were easy to use with user-friendly interfaces and simplified workflows, like CodeShip and DeployBot. For tools that were strong but had learning curves, I tried to pick open-source tools with strong communities and documentation.
Where do continuous delivery tools fit in?
What is the difference between CI and CD?
How to choose the right CI/CD Tool?
To deliver best-in-class software, you need the support of robust continuous delivery tools that can add time-saving automation to the development process. This list of top 12 tools for continuous delivery provides necessary automation with simplicity and scalability for small companies all the way up to enterprise solutions.
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