CircleCI vs TeamCity

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CircleCI vs TeamCity: What are the differences?

CircleCI: Automate your development process quickly, safely, and at scale. Continuous integration and delivery platform helps software teams rapidly release code with confidence by automating the build, test, and deploy process. Offers a modern software development platform that lets teams ramp; TeamCity: 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.

CircleCI and TeamCity belong to "Continuous Integration" category of the tech stack.

Some of the features offered by CircleCI are:

  • Language-Inclusive Support
  • Custom Environments
  • Flexible Resource Allocation

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

"Github integration" is the primary reason why developers consider CircleCI over the competitors, whereas "Easy to configure" was stated as the key factor in picking TeamCity.

According to the StackShare community, CircleCI has a broader approval, being mentioned in 925 company stacks & 372 developers stacks; compared to TeamCity, which is listed in 168 company stacks and 51 developer stacks.

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What is CircleCI?

Continuous integration and delivery platform helps software teams rapidly release code with confidence by automating the build, test, and deploy process. Offers a modern software development platform that lets teams ramp.

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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Why do developers choose CircleCI?
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What are some alternatives to CircleCI and TeamCity?
Jenkins
In a nutshell Jenkins CI is the leading open-source continuous integration server. Built with Java, it provides over 300 plugins to support building and testing virtually any project.
Travis CI
Free for open source projects, our CI environment provides multiple runtimes (e.g. Node.js or PHP versions), data stores and so on. Because of this, hosting your project on travis-ci.com means you can effortlessly test your library or applications against multiple runtimes and data stores without even having all of them installed locally.
Codeship
Codeship runs your automated tests and configured deployment when you push to your repository. It takes care of managing and scaling the infrastructure so that you are able to test and release more frequently and get faster feedback for building the product your users need.
Azure DevOps
Azure DevOps provides unlimited private Git hosting, cloud build for continuous integration, agile planning, and release management for continuous delivery to the cloud and on-premises. Includes broad IDE support.
Concourse
Concourse's principles reduce the risk of switching to and from Concourse, by encouraging practices that decouple your project from your CI's little details, and keeping all configuration in declarative files that can be checked into version control.
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Decisions about CircleCI and TeamCity
Tymoteusz Paul
Tymoteusz Paul
Devops guy at X20X Development LTD · | 13 upvotes · 279.2K 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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Travis CI
Travis CI
CircleCI
CircleCI

I initially chose CircleCI for a personal project because I was not satisified with using Travis CI in the past. When it came time to develop my CI/CD config on Circle, I was pleasantly surprised with the fantastic documentation, invaluable collection of example configs and helpful support provided. The free tier they provide is quite robust for most small projects and the platform is updated frequently with nice features.

Areas where CircleCI could improve:

  • the UI is a bit slow (you can feel the local machine straining to load all the code) and it is not as intuitive as it could be
  • many UI elements receive updates and/or changes that are not always reflected in the current docs
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Sebastian Gębski
Sebastian Gębski
CTO at Shedul/Fresha · | 4 upvotes · 242.7K views
atFresha EngineeringFresha Engineering
Logentries
Logentries
Sentry
Sentry
AppSignal
AppSignal
New Relic
New Relic
GitHub
GitHub
Git
Git
Jenkins
Jenkins
CircleCI
CircleCI

Regarding Continuous Integration - we've started with something very easy to set up - CircleCI , but with time we're adding more & more complex pipelines - we use Jenkins to configure & run those. It's much more effort, but at some point we had to pay for the flexibility we expected. Our source code version control is Git (which probably doesn't require a rationale these days) and we keep repos in GitHub - since the very beginning & we never considered moving out. Our primary monitoring these days is in New Relic (Ruby & SPA apps) and AppSignal (Elixir apps) - we're considering unifying it in New Relic , but this will require some improvements in Elixir app observability. For error reporting we use Sentry (a very popular choice in this class) & we collect our distributed logs using Logentries (to avoid semi-manual handling here).

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Sebastian Dellwig
Sebastian Dellwig
Tech Lead at Porsche Digital GmbH · | 6 upvotes · 25.4K views
Codeship
Codeship
CircleCI
CircleCI
GitLab CI
GitLab CI

We are using GitLab CI and were very happy with it. The integration of all tools like CI/CD, tickets, etc makes it very easy to stay on top of things. But be aware, Gitlab currently does not have iOS build support. So if you want to exchange that for CircleCI / Codeship to have to invest some effort. We are using a managed Mac OS device and installed the Gitlab runner there, to have iOS builds.

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Tim Abbott
Tim Abbott
Founder at Zulip · | 12 upvotes · 34.6K views
atZulipZulip
CircleCI
CircleCI
Travis CI
Travis CI

We actually started out on Travis CI, but we've migrated our main builds to CircleCI, and it's been a huge improvement.

The reason it's been a huge improvement is that Travis CI has a fundamentally bad design for their images, where they start with a standard base Linux image containing tons of packages (several versions of postgres, every programming language environment, etc). This is potentially nice for the "get builds for a small project running quickly" use case, but it's a total disaster for a larger project that needs a decent number of dependencies and cares about the performance and reliability of their build.

This issue is exacerbated by their networking infrastructure being unreliable; we usually saw over 1% of builds failing due to transient networking errors in Travis CI, even after we added retries to the most frequently failing operations like apt update or pip install. And they never install Ubuntu's point release updates to their images. So doing an apt update, apt install, or especially apt upgrade would take forever. We ended up writing code to actually uninstall many of their base packages and pin the versions of hundreds of others to get a semi-fast, semi-reliable build. It was infuriating.

The CircleCI v2.0 system has the right design for a CI system: we can customize the base image to start with any expensive-to-install packages we need for our build, and we can update that image if and when we want to. The end result is that when migrating, we were able to delete all the hacky optimizations mentioned above, while still ending up with a 50% faster build latency. And we've also had 5-10x fewer issues with networking-related flakes, which means one doesn't have to constantly check whether a build failure is actually due to an issue with the code under test or "just another networking flake".

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Dustin Falgout
Dustin Falgout
Developer at Elegant Themes · | 11 upvotes · 15.6K views
atElegant ThemesElegant Themes
CircleCI
CircleCI

We use CircleCI because of the better value it provides in its plans. I'm sure we could have used Travis just as easily but we found CircleCI's pricing to be more reasonable. In the two years since we signed up, the service has improved. CircleCI is always innovating and iterating on their platform. We have been very satisfied.

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Oliver Burn
Oliver Burn
Architect at Atlassian · | 12 upvotes · 102.7K views
atAtlassianAtlassian
Azure Pipelines
Azure Pipelines
jFrog
jFrog
Octopus Deploy
Octopus Deploy
AWS CodePipeline
AWS CodePipeline
CircleCI
CircleCI
Bitbucket
Bitbucket
Jira
Jira

We recently added new APIs to Jira to associate information about Builds and Deployments to Jira issues.

The new APIs were developed using a spec-first API approach for speed and sanity. The details of this approach are described in this blog post, and we relied on using Swagger and associated tools like Swagger UI.

A new service was created for managing the data. It provides a REST API for external use, and an internal API based on GraphQL. The service is built using Kotlin for increased developer productivity and happiness, and the Spring-Boot framework. PostgreSQL was chosen for the persistence layer, as we have non-trivial requirements that cannot be easily implemented on top of a key-value store.

The front-end has been built using React and querying the back-end service using an internal GraphQL API. We have plans of providing a public GraphQL API in the future.

New Jira Integrations: Bitbucket CircleCI AWS CodePipeline Octopus Deploy jFrog Azure Pipelines

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Travis CI
Travis CI
CircleCI
CircleCI
Google Cloud Build
Google Cloud Build

I use Google Cloud Build because it's my first foray into the CICD world(loving it so far), and I wanted to work with something GCP native to avoid giving permissions to other SaaS tools like CircleCI and Travis CI.

I really like it because it's free for the first 120 minutes, and it's one of the few CICD tools that enterprises are open to using since it's contained within GCP.

One of the unique things is that it has the Kaniko cache, which speeds up builds by creating intermediate layers within the docker image vs. pushing the full thing from the start. Helpful when you're installing just a few additional dependencies.

Feel free to checkout an example: Cloudbuild Example

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Interest over time
Reviews of CircleCI and TeamCity
Review ofCircleCICircleCI

I use CircleCI as part of a cross platform mobile app to build and test the app as well as deploying .apk files to an s3 bucket.

Alongside CircleCI this repo also has a TravisCI setup for iOS. The CircleCI build has always been quicker and since moving from CircleCI v1 to CircleCI v2 it blows the TravisCI build out of the water. I'm really impressed with the performance gains from moving to v2. I'm pretty sure I could achieve similar results in Travis as well, but it was really easy to setup the Android CI build in Circle making use of Docker.

Avatar of regentgal
VP of Engineering at Jetpack Workflow
Review ofCircleCICircleCI

After trying several CI systems, we stuck with CircleCI because of the inference engine in CircleCI 1.0 made setup a breeze. We were up and running quickly. Builds are reliable, nicely integrated into GitHub, and anytime we've had a question, the support team was there to help. The 2.0 system provides Docker support and far more customization and is still fairly easy to set up with helpful documentation.

Review ofCircleCICircleCI

CircleCI has become our CI of choice. The UI is really good and it has all the integrations we need. The 2.0 upgrade was not yet possible for one of our projects due to outdated gems, however, I have been able to get it working for a different one.

Avatar of ryuzaki01
Information Technology
Review ofCircleCICircleCI

It help us with the automated build and test and also provide us with the build artifacts which we can use for the deployment also give use archive for each of our build, this things save us alot of time and cost

Review ofCircleCICircleCI

We use CircleCI to deploy to server. It is much easier than other websites like Travis especially for the free tier. It is especially useful for open source projects that need private access behind the scenes.

How developers use CircleCI 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 AngeloR
AngeloR uses CircleCICircleCI

We originally used CircleCI as our self-contained build system for our internal node modules. It was very easy to set up and configure. Unfortunately we ended up stepping away from it to Jenkins and then CodePipeline due to better integration with our various applications.

Avatar of Jeff Flynn
Jeff Flynn uses CircleCICircleCI

We prefer CircleCI because we care about testing our apps. We found it is better to invest the time writing rSPEC tests to ensure we don't insert any regression bugs with new branches. It's also nice to have a fully-automated deployment process from GitHub to Heroku.

Avatar of Matt Welke
Matt Welke uses CircleCICircleCI

Used for CI/CD for all proofs of concept and personal projects, because of ease of use, GitHub integrations, and free tier.

Also used for example repos hosted in GitHub, paired with Dependabot, so that example repo dependencies are kept up to date.

Avatar of Marc3842h
Marc3842h uses CircleCICircleCI

CircleCI is used as continues integration system for shiro and all of its modules.

It automatically deploys the latest GitHub commit to https://shiro.host/.

Avatar of jasonmjohnson
jasonmjohnson uses CircleCICircleCI

CircleCI will be used for deployment and continuous integration using a scripted configuration that deploys to Amazon EC2.

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.

How much does CircleCI cost?
How much does TeamCity cost?