Is Jenkins a freeware

The best continuous integration tools at a glance

With Continuous Integration (CI), software developers avoid the problem of having to cope with a time-consuming and problematic integration phase at the end of a project. Instead of bringing all the individual parts together at the end, is at CIevery innovation inserted directly into the code base. That demands discipline and efficient processes - otherwise CI inhibits more than it benefits. Software specially designed for this makes the entire process easier.

Sometimes completely independently, sometimes in combination with other well-known applications, CI tools offer support in setting up a Repositories, at Testing and Building as well as the Version control and of course with the continuous integration self.

8 popular CI tools

Many different continuous integration tools can now be found on the Internet. They are all supposed to support developers in the implementation of continuous integration and do this in different ways and with the help of individual features. The individual CI tools differ not only in terms of their functional scope, but also what the Price and licensing there are big differences. While many come from the open source area and are available free of charge, some manufacturers also offer commercial tools. We provide an overview of the most popular programs and highlight their features and functions.


Jenkins software is probably one of the most popular continuous integration tools out there. The software has been continuously developed since 2005 (at that time still under the name Hudson). In the meantime, the program programmed in Java comes up with many functions and interfaces that help not only with CI, but also with continuous delivery and continuous deployment.

  • programmed in Java
  • runs in an EJB container
  • 1000+ plug-ins
  • also supports continuous delivery and continuous deplyoment
  • can be combined with many different version managements
  • Control via GUI (web-based), REST-API or command line commands
  • Cloud hosting possible
  • free
  • Open Source (MIT license)

Travis CI

If you work with GitHub, you will probably love Travic CI, because this CI tool works seamlessly with the popular version management. The software can be configured using a simple YAML file that is placed in the root directory of the development project. GitHub notifies Travis CI of every change that has been made to the repository and keeps the project up to date.

  • programmed in Ruby
  • platform independent
  • works with GitHub
  • Configuration via YAML file
  • free for open source projects
  • Commercial projects cost between $ 69 and $ 489 per month
  • Open Source (MIT License)


Atlassian, which meanwhile also offers the file hosting service Bitbucket, has been selling the continuous integration tool Bamboo since 2007. Bamboo not only helps developers with integration, but also offers functions for deployment and release management. You work with this tool via a simple web interface.

  • programmed in Java
  • platform independent
  • easy integration with other Atlassian products
  • large amount of add-ons
  • several tests possible at the same time
  • Communication via web interface and REST API
  • free of charge for open source projects, non-profit organizations and school classes
  • otherwise one-time costs between $ 10 and $ 110,000, depending on the number of servers used

GitLab CI

GitLab CI is part of the well-known version management system GitLab. In addition to continuous integration, GitLab also offers continuous deployment and continuous delivery. Similar to Travis CI, with GitLab CI the configuration is done via a YAML file. Otherwise, working with the software is comparatively easy.

  • Part of GitLab
  • programmed in Ruby and Go
  • Configuration via YAML file
  • also supports continuous delivery and continuous deplyoment
  • Open core
  • Self hosting and cloud hosting available
  • free version has few features
  • Other versions cost between $ 4 and $ 99 per month per user

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The CircleCI continuous integration tool works with both GitHub and Bitbucket. Containers or a virtual machine are used for testing. CircleCI attaches great importance to smooth and seamless development processes, which is why error-free builds can be automatically provided for other environments.

  • Configuration via YAML file
  • also supports continuous deplyoment
  • Self hosting and cloud hosting available
  • runs in Docker containers, Linux VMs and MacOS VMs
  • free for one container
  • otherwise costs between $ 50 and $ 3150 per month


The CruiseControl tool is one of the oldest applications for continuous integration. The tool was launched on the market back in 2001 and has been continuously developed since then - including by Martin Fowler, a pioneer in the field of continuous integration. In addition to a clear dashboard, developers also have numerous plug-ins available to make their work easier.

  • programmed in Java
  • platform independent
  • web-based dashboard
  • Versions for Ruby (CruiseControl.rb) and .NET (CruiseControl.NET) are available
  • Open source (BSD license)
  • free


The CI tool Codeship is now part of CloudBee, which Jenkins also have in their portfolio. The program is available in two different versions: The basic version offers an easy-to-use web interface, while the professional version is configured with files in the repository. If you want to work with a Docker container, you have to use the Pro version.

  • Web interface in the basic version
  • Configuration files in the repository in the Pro version
  • Docker support in the Pro version
  • free for 100 builds a month with a test pipeline
  • Costs from $ 75 to $ 1,500 per month


The TeamCity software is particularly impressive because of the gated commits: TeamCity uses these to test the changes to the code before they are inserted into the mainline. Only when the source code is free of errors does it become part of the code base for the whole team. TeamCity carries out the tests independently in the background so that the developer can continue working in the meantime.

  • programmed in Java
  • platform independent
  • Gated commits
  • free for 100 builds with 3 build agents
  • One-off costs from € 299 to € 21,999
  • 50% discount for start-ups and free for open source projects

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Overview table: Continuous Integration Tools at a glance

All CI tools have different advantages and disadvantages. With the help of the overview table below, you can see at a glance which programs are suitable for you. For example, you can see directly whether the service also supports continuous delivery or whether it has cloud hosting on offer.

  Support for CD Cloud hosting License Price for a paid offer Free version Specialty  
Jenkins WITH - a lot of plug-ins  
Travis CI WITH $ 69-489 per month Direct connection to GitHub  
Bamboo proprietary $ 10-110,000 one-time    
GitLab CI MIT / EE $ 4-99 per month Direct link to other Atlassian products  
Circle CI proprietary $ 50-3,150 per month easy to use  
CruiseControl BSD - completely free  
Codeship proprietary $ 75-1,500 per month Pro & basic version  
TeamCity proprietary 299–21,999 € one-time Gated commits  

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