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Bower vs BrowserStack: What are the differences?

What is Bower? A package manager for the web. Bower is a package manager for the web. It offers a generic, unopinionated solution to the problem of front-end package management, while exposing the package dependency model via an API that can be consumed by a more opinionated build stack. There are no system wide dependencies, no dependencies are shared between different apps, and the dependency tree is flat.

What is BrowserStack? Instant access to a lab of 1000+ real mobile and desktop browsers for testing. Live, Web-Based Browser Testing Instant access to all real mobile and desktop browsers. Say goodbye to your lab of devices and virtual machines.

Bower belongs to "Front End Package Manager" category of the tech stack, while BrowserStack can be primarily classified under "Browser Testing".

Some of the features offered by Bower are:

  • Bower operates at a lower level than previous attempts at client-side package management – such as Jam, Volo, or Ender. These managers could consume Bower as a dependency.
  • Bower's aim is simply to install packages, resolve dependencies from a bower.json, check versions, and then provide an API which reports on these things. Nothing more. This is a major diversion from past attempts at browser package management.
  • Bower offers a generic, unopinionated solution to the problem of package management, while exposing an API that can be consumed by a more opinionated build stack.

On the other hand, BrowserStack provides the following key features:

  • Real Device Cloud. Test on a range of physical Android and iOS mobile devices and tablets for the most accurate results
  • 1100+ desktop browsers. Latest versions of IE, Edge, Safari, Chrome, Firefox and more on a range of Windows and OS X platforms on a robust cloud infrastructure
  • Test dev environments. Our Local Testing feature allows you to test development and internal websites seamlessly, without setup or configuration

"Package management", "Open source" and "Simple" are the key factors why developers consider Bower; whereas "Multiple browsers", "Ease of use" and "Real browsers" are the primary reasons why BrowserStack is favored.

Bower is an open source tool with 15.2K GitHub stars and 1.97K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Bower's open source repository on GitHub.

Twitter, MIT, and Typeform are some of the popular companies that use Bower, whereas BrowserStack is used by ebay, Typeform, and Wikipedia. Bower has a broader approval, being mentioned in 803 company stacks & 395 developers stacks; compared to BrowserStack, which is listed in 577 company stacks and 238 developer stacks.

- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Bower?

Bower is a package manager for the web. It offers a generic, unopinionated solution to the problem of front-end package management, while exposing the package dependency model via an API that can be consumed by a more opinionated build stack. There are no system wide dependencies, no dependencies are shared between different apps, and the dependency tree is flat.

What is BrowserStack?

Live, Web-Based Browser Testing Instant access to all real mobile and desktop browsers. Say goodbye to your lab of devices and virtual machines.
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    What are some alternatives to Bower and BrowserStack?
    npm
    npm is the command-line interface to the npm ecosystem. It is battle-tested, surprisingly flexible, and used by hundreds of thousands of JavaScript developers every day.
    Yarn
    Yarn caches every package it downloads so it never needs to again. It also parallelizes operations to maximize resource utilization so install times are faster than ever.
    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.
    gulp
    Build system automating tasks: minification and copying of all JavaScript files, static images. More capable of watching files to automatically rerun the task when a file changes.
    NuGet
    A free and open-source package manager designed for the Microsoft development platform. It is also distributed as a Visual Studio extension.
    See all alternatives
    Decisions about Bower and BrowserStack
    Zarema Khalilova
    Zarema Khalilova
    Frontend Team Lead at Uploadcare · | 5 upvotes · 48.4K views
    atUploadcareUploadcare
    BrowserStack
    BrowserStack
    Sauce Labs
    Sauce Labs
    #OpenSource

    I am working on #OpenSource file uploader. The uploader is the widget that other developers embed in their apps. It should work well in different browsers and on different devices. BrowserStack and Sauce Labs help to achieve that. I can test the uploader in many varieties of browsers+OS only used my browser without virtual machines.

    See more
    Interest over time
    Reviews of Bower and BrowserStack
    Review ofBrowserStackBrowserStack

    It's incredible how much this service has increased my productivity when it comes to testing new features in multiple browsers. And not only multiple browsers, multiple operating systems as well! And really LOVE that you can run it locally.

    Avatar of gdi2290
    Co-Founder and CTO at Tipe
    Review ofBrowserStackBrowserStack

    We only really need this for IE support

    How developers use Bower and BrowserStack
    Avatar of ONLICAR
    ONLICAR uses BrowserStackBrowserStack

    We use BrowserStack to run end to end tests with Selenium on our dashboard. It runs automatically before every deployment and cancels it if anything is out of place.

    Avatar of Promethean TV
    Promethean TV uses BowerBower

    PrometheanTV utilizes Bower in the Broadcast Center Tool to manage 3rd party front end dependencies including things like Angular, Bootstrap, etc.

    Avatar of Andrew Faulkner
    Andrew Faulkner uses BowerBower

    Bower was used for a small amount of package management. npm was used everywhere but a few edge cases that only worked with Bower.

    Avatar of Clarabridge Engage
    Clarabridge Engage uses BrowserStackBrowserStack

    BrowserStack is used by our development and support teams during QA and to try and reproduce bugs.

    Avatar of Kamarool Karim
    Kamarool Karim uses BowerBower

    It easily for me to have this kind of technology. She allow me to manage my front-end package

    Avatar of Casey Smith
    Casey Smith uses BowerBower

    Package manager for front-end JavaScript dependencies; part of the overall build pipeline.

    Avatar of Reactor Digital
    Reactor Digital uses BowerBower

    To provide any vendor modules used within the frontend build, mainly AngularJS libraries.

    Avatar of QuickSeries Publishing inc.
    QuickSeries Publishing inc. uses BrowserStackBrowserStack

    Manually and automatically test our web and mobile apps.

    Avatar of Grubster
    Grubster uses BrowserStackBrowserStack

    QA tool to access to all desktop and mobile browsers.

    Avatar of David Adler
    David Adler uses BrowserStackBrowserStack

    Used for cross browser scripting especially IE9 :-(

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