AWS CodeBuild vs Solano CI: What are the differences?
What is AWS CodeBuild? Build and test code with continuous scaling. AWS CodeBuild is a fully managed build service that compiles source code, runs tests, and produces software packages that are ready to deploy. With CodeBuild, you don’t need to provision, manage, and scale your own build servers.
What is Solano CI? Massively Scalable Continuous Integration and Deployment. Faster Continuous Integration and Deployment with patented auto-parallelization. See results 10 to 80x faster. 14-day free trial. No credit card required.
AWS CodeBuild and Solano CI belong to "Continuous Integration" category of the tech stack.
Some of the features offered by AWS CodeBuild are:
- Fully Managed Build Service
- Continuous Scaling
- Enables Continuous Integration
On the other hand, Solano CI provides the following key features:
- Parallel performance: safe parallel execution and dynamic task distribution finish builds up to 80x faster, automatically
- Painless, revision-controlled setup: fast self-service setup for new projects and branches, compact YAML configuration file that lives in the code repository
"Pay per minute" is the top reason why over 4 developers like AWS CodeBuild, while over 9 developers mention "Uber-fast highly customizable parallel builds" as the leading cause for choosing Solano CI.
What is AWS CodeBuild?
What is Solano CI?
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What are the cons of using AWS CodeBuild?
What are the cons of using Solano CI?
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The open-source Convox Platform-as-a-Service is built entirely on AWS cloud services.
Through this lens, it's been obvious that AWS has been missing a managed build service. For the past year we've had to work around this by building our own build service on ECS and ECR. You can read more on my AWS Missing Parts: Build Service blog post.
So I'm excited to finally have this service. After a quick weekend prototype, the service works as expected and will unlock Cheaper, Faster and Safer Builds for our systems.
This is a classic AWS service. It's tricky to figure out all the options. I recommend jumping straight to the Docker example docs:
You'll need to figure IAM, Build Project JSON, and Build Spec YAML to get it all working.
But once you do, you've unlocked managed builds on small, medium or large compute types. No instances required!
Some of the stuff I've enjoyed the most about Solano:
- turnkey parallelism out of the box, with very little setup required (ie, it's fasstttt with almost no work)
- in all, when I set it up 2 years ago, I found it much easier to set up than the competitor service we were using at the time (and I've set up a couple competing services since then -- this is is still the easiest)
- sane defaults, project auto-detection, extensive configuration available (versions of everything)
- useful parsed results that are sortable & filterable (ie, you can filter just to show failed specs)
- github integration (commit hooks + badges on PRs)
- cached dependencies (for ruby, it's the bundle by default but you can add custom stuff like assets)
- infinitely customizable (I set up a project to run specs for a mobile app I'm building. maybe not impressive to some of you but as a rails developer, I thought it was cool)
Solano is a great CI tool, and it has become an essential part of our build process. The suite builds in parallel, which makes test runs fast. The support team is super responsive and helpful.
"There are a ton of excellent strategies for speeding up Rails test suites—aggressive use of stubbing/test doubles, decoupling logic from models, avoiding loading Rails entirely—but given the size of our codebase and the velocity with which we’re moving, most of these weren’t immediately feasible. We needed a build system that would allow us to parallelize our test suite so that the real time taken to run the suite was manageable.
Our SRE team went through several different continuous integration solutions in the last year before settling on Solano.
Each of the previous systems had some issue: instability, memory consumption, poor DB management, poor parallelization, painful web UI, you name it. What Solano gives us is an on-premise solution with excellent native support for fanning out tests to multiple threads, running them in parallel, and then assembling the results. It has a great web UI, CLI support, and impressive performance. Since we started using it, our deploy workflow has grown noticeably faster, and the number of wails and anguished GIFs from frustrated engineers is at an all-time low."