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Jenkins is one of the most popular open source CI/CD tools in the Java community, but it's by no means the only option. If Jenkins isn't the right fit for CI in a development environment, there are other tools that could fit the bill.
Let's explore how these five Jenkins alternatives meet development pipeline needs: Atlassian Bamboo, GitLab, Spinnaker, TeamCity and CloudBees.
Bamboo for those who use Atlassian Jira
Atlassian provides a complete suite of DevOps-related collaboration and pipeline tools, such as Jira for ticket tracking, Bitbucket for version control and the Fisheye revision-control browser. If an organization already uses one or some of these technologies, Atlassian Bamboo is a pretty sensible alternative to Jenkins.
GitLab for those who ported off GitHub
Don't let the first three letters of the name fool you. GitLab is more than just a cloud-based, distributed version control service based on Git. It also provides a full suite of tools that makes it a comparable offering to Jenkins.
For those organizations that moved to GitLab after Microsoft purchased GitHub, it makes sense to adopt the GitLab suite of CI tools as a Jenkins alternative.
Spinnaker for the cloud-native crowd
Netflix is often used as the reference case on how to correctly perform CD. Why not use the same CI tool that Netflix uses? That tool is called Spinnaker.
Netflix is heavily vested in the cloud-native approach to application development and delivery. It's no surprise that Spinnaker integrates with cloud and container hosting technologies such as Docker, Kubernetes, VMware and Amazon EC2.
Spinnaker is a proven cloud-native Jenkins alternative and might be the CI/CD tool to support a cloud-focused approach.
TeamCity for developer-focused Agile teams
The foundation of any CI pipeline is the code software developers write, which is why TeamCity is a great choice for organizations that put developers first.
JetBrains, the vendor behind the popular IntelliJ Java IDE, also offers TeamCity. JetBrains has expertise on how to keep developers productive, and TeamCity extends that knowledge into the CI field.
If an organization uses open source Jenkins, perhaps it doesn't need a Jenkins alternative so much as it needs an extended version of the tool with professional support.
To take CI efforts to the next level but not abandon Jenkins, consider CloudBees Core. This self-service CD server provides both on-premises and cloud-based offerings, supports rapid onboarding and can scale across many development teams.
If an organization wants to use Jenkins, but with professional support, CloudBees Core might be the right choice.