Bazel vs TeamCity

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Bazel
Bazel

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TeamCity

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Bazel vs TeamCity: 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, TeamCity is detailed as "TeamCity is an ultimate Continuous Integration tool for professionals". TeamCity is a user-friendly continuous integration (CI) server for professional developers, build engineers, and DevOps. It is trivial to setup and absolutely free for small teams and open source projects.

Bazel can be classified as a tool in the "Java Build Tools" category, while TeamCity is grouped under "Continuous Integration".

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, TeamCity provides the following key features:

  • Automate code analyzing, compiling, and testing processes, with having instant feedback on build progress, problems, and test failures, all in a simple, intuitive web-interface
  • Simplified setup: create projects from just a VCS repository URL
  • Run multiple builds and tests under different configurations and platforms simultaneously

"Fast" is the top reason why over 18 developers like Bazel, while over 52 developers mention "Easy to configure" as the leading cause for choosing TeamCity.

Bazel is an open source tool with 12.4K GitHub stars and 2.02K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Bazel's open source repository on GitHub.

According to the StackShare community, TeamCity has a broader approval, being mentioned in 171 company stacks & 51 developers stacks; compared to Bazel, which is listed in 11 company stacks and 7 developer stacks.

- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Bazel?

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.

What is TeamCity?

TeamCity is a user-friendly continuous integration (CI) server for professional developers, build engineers, and DevOps. It is trivial to setup and absolutely free for small teams and open source projects.
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What are some alternatives to Bazel and TeamCity?
Pants
Pants is a build system for Java, Scala and Python. It works particularly well for a source code repository that contains many distinct projects.
Webpack
A bundler for javascript and friends. Packs many modules into a few bundled assets. Code Splitting allows to load parts for the application on demand. Through "loaders" modules can be CommonJs, AMD, ES6 modules, CSS, Images, JSON, Coffeescript, LESS, ... and your custom stuff.
Buck
Buck encourages the creation of small, reusable modules consisting of code and resources, and supports a variety of languages on many platforms.
Ansible
Ansible is an IT automation tool. It can configure systems, deploy software, and orchestrate more advanced IT tasks such as continuous deployments or zero downtime rolling updates. Ansible’s goals are foremost those of simplicity and maximum ease of use.
CMake
It is used to control the software compilation process using simple platform and compiler independent configuration files, and generate native makefiles and workspaces that can be used in the compiler environment of the user's choice.
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Decisions about Bazel and TeamCity
Tymoteusz Paul
Tymoteusz Paul
Devops guy at X20X Development LTD · | 12 upvotes · 195.2K views
Amazon EC2
Amazon EC2
LXC
LXC
CircleCI
CircleCI
Docker
Docker
Git
Git
Vault
Vault
Apache Maven
Apache Maven
Slack
Slack
Jenkins
Jenkins
TeamCity
TeamCity
Logstash
Logstash
Kibana
Kibana
Elasticsearch
Elasticsearch
Ansible
Ansible
VirtualBox
VirtualBox
Vagrant
Vagrant

Often enough I have to explain my way of going about setting up a CI/CD pipeline with multiple deployment platforms. Since I am a bit tired of yapping the same every single time, I've decided to write it up and share with the world this way, and send people to read it instead ;). I will explain it on "live-example" of how the Rome got built, basing that current methodology exists only of readme.md and wishes of good luck (as it usually is ;)).

It always starts with an app, whatever it may be and reading the readmes available while Vagrant and VirtualBox is installing and updating. Following that is the first hurdle to go over - convert all the instruction/scripts into Ansible playbook(s), and only stopping when doing a clear vagrant up or vagrant reload we will have a fully working environment. As our Vagrant environment is now functional, it's time to break it! This is the moment to look for how things can be done better (too rigid/too lose versioning? Sloppy environment setup?) and replace them with the right way to do stuff, one that won't bite us in the backside. This is the point, and the best opportunity, to upcycle the existing way of doing dev environment to produce a proper, production-grade product.

I should probably digress here for a moment and explain why. I firmly believe that the way you deploy production is the same way you should deploy develop, shy of few debugging-friendly setting. This way you avoid the discrepancy between how production work vs how development works, which almost always causes major pains in the back of the neck, and with use of proper tools should mean no more work for the developers. That's why we start with Vagrant as developer boxes should be as easy as vagrant up, but the meat of our product lies in Ansible which will do meat of the work and can be applied to almost anything: AWS, bare metal, docker, LXC, in open net, behind vpn - you name it.

We must also give proper consideration to monitoring and logging hoovering at this point. My generic answer here is to grab Elasticsearch, Kibana, and Logstash. While for different use cases there may be better solutions, this one is well battle-tested, performs reasonably and is very easy to scale both vertically (within some limits) and horizontally. Logstash rules are easy to write and are well supported in maintenance through Ansible, which as I've mentioned earlier, are at the very core of things, and creating triggers/reports and alerts based on Elastic and Kibana is generally a breeze, including some quite complex aggregations.

If we are happy with the state of the Ansible it's time to move on and put all those roles and playbooks to work. Namely, we need something to manage our CI/CD pipelines. For me, the choice is obvious: TeamCity. It's modern, robust and unlike most of the light-weight alternatives, it's transparent. What I mean by that is that it doesn't tell you how to do things, doesn't limit your ways to deploy, or test, or package for that matter. Instead, it provides a developer-friendly and rich playground for your pipelines. You can do most the same with Jenkins, but it has a quite dated look and feel to it, while also missing some key functionality that must be brought in via plugins (like quality REST API which comes built-in with TeamCity). It also comes with all the common-handy plugins like Slack or Apache Maven integration.

The exact flow between CI and CD varies too greatly from one application to another to describe, so I will outline a few rules that guide me in it: 1. Make build steps as small as possible. This way when something breaks, we know exactly where, without needing to dig and root around. 2. All security credentials besides development environment must be sources from individual Vault instances. Keys to those containers should exist only on the CI/CD box and accessible by a few people (the less the better). This is pretty self-explanatory, as anything besides dev may contain sensitive data and, at times, be public-facing. Because of that appropriate security must be present. TeamCity shines in this department with excellent secrets-management. 3. Every part of the build chain shall consume and produce artifacts. If it creates nothing, it likely shouldn't be its own build. This way if any issue shows up with any environment or version, all developer has to do it is grab appropriate artifacts to reproduce the issue locally. 4. Deployment builds should be directly tied to specific Git branches/tags. This enables much easier tracking of what caused an issue, including automated identifying and tagging the author (nothing like automated regression testing!).

Speaking of deployments, I generally try to keep it simple but also with a close eye on the wallet. Because of that, I am more than happy with AWS or another cloud provider, but also constantly peeking at the loads and do we get the value of what we are paying for. Often enough the pattern of use is not constantly erratic, but rather has a firm baseline which could be migrated away from the cloud and into bare metal boxes. That is another part where this approach strongly triumphs over the common Docker and CircleCI setup, where you are very much tied in to use cloud providers and getting out is expensive. Here to embrace bare-metal hosting all you need is a help of some container-based self-hosting software, my personal preference is with Proxmox and LXC. Following that all you must write are ansible scripts to manage hardware of Proxmox, similar way as you do for Amazon EC2 (ansible supports both greatly) and you are good to go. One does not exclude another, quite the opposite, as they can live in great synergy and cut your costs dramatically (the heavier your base load, the bigger the savings) while providing production-grade resiliency.

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How developers use Bazel and TeamCity
Avatar of DigitalPermits
DigitalPermits uses TeamCityTeamCity

TeamCity is our main continuous integration server. It starts creating builds and running tests based on commits that we make in our hosted bitbucket repositories. From there, we have a set of configuraitons that can deploy the built and tested artifacts (web app, batches, db, etc...) to a stage or production server. We still release manually, but we release often, and TeamCity has nice features to help us roll back when things don't work out as planned.

Avatar of Stack Exchange
Stack Exchange uses TeamCityTeamCity

TeamCity builds then copies to each web tier via a powershell script. The steps for each server are:

  • Tell HAProxy to take the server out of rotation via a POST
  • Delay to let IIS finish current requests (~5 sec)
  • Stop the website (via the same PSSession for all the following)
  • Robocopy files
  • Start the website
  • Re-enable in HAProxy via another POST
Avatar of Sascha Manns
Sascha Manns uses TeamCityTeamCity

I'm using a selfhosted TC as Referenceplatform, and use travis with another configuration.

Avatar of Andrew King
Andrew King uses TeamCityTeamCity

Continuous integration for iOS apps.

Avatar of One Legal
One Legal uses TeamCityTeamCity

Build system.

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