Bazel vs fastlane: What are the differences?
Developers describe Bazel as "Correct, reproducible, fast builds for everyone". Bazel is a build tool that builds code quickly and reliably. It is used to build the majority of Google's software, and thus it has been designed to handle build problems present in Google's development environment. On the other hand, fastlane is detailed as "Connect all iOS deployment tools into one streamlined workflow". fastlane lets you define and run your deployment pipelines for different environments. It helps you unify your app’s release process and automate the whole process. fastlane connects all fastlane tools and third party tools, like CocoaPods.
Bazel and fastlane are primarily classified as "Java Build" and "Mobile Continuous Integration" tools respectively.
Some of the features offered by Bazel are:
- Multi-language support: Bazel supports Java, Objective-C and C++ out of the box, and can be extended to support arbitrary programming languages.
- High-level build language: Projects are described in the BUILD language, a concise text format that describes a project as sets of small interconnected libraries, binaries and tests. By contrast, with tools like Make you have to describe individual files and compiler invocations.
- Multi-platform support: The same tool and the same BUILD files can be used to build software for different architectures, and even different platforms. At Google, we use Bazel to build both server applications running on systems in our data centers and client apps running on mobile phones.
On the other hand, fastlane provides the following key features:
- Connect all build tools together
- Define multiple lanes for different needs
- Jenkins Integration
"Fast" is the primary reason why developers consider Bazel over the competitors, whereas "Easy to use" was stated as the key factor in picking fastlane.
Bazel and fastlane are both open source tools. It seems that fastlane with 25.7K GitHub stars and 3.93K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Bazel with 12.2K GitHub stars and 2K GitHub forks.
Intuit, Deltecs Infotech, and fastlane are some of the popular companies that use fastlane, whereas Bazel is used by Google, Asana, and Square. fastlane has a broader approval, being mentioned in 91 company stacks & 22 developers stacks; compared to Bazel, which is listed in 11 company stacks and 7 developer stacks.
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Fastlane is a perfect tool for the build distributions. Its pretty simple settings allow composing the app builds just with one command. For Flutter it is set up for distributing Crashlytics and Test Flight builds.