Jenkins vs Sauce Labs: What are the differences?
Jenkins belongs to "Continuous Integration" category of the tech stack, while Sauce Labs can be primarily classified under "Browser Testing".
Some of the features offered by Jenkins are:
- Easy installation
- Easy configuration
- Change set support
On the other hand, Sauce Labs provides the following key features:
- 700+ browser/OS/device combinations for cross-browser and platform testing to improve web and mobile app quality and eliminate the overhead of internal infrastructure
- Highly reliable, on-demand cloud for enterprise-grade scalability and industry standard security
- Optimized for popular testing frameworks, CI systems, and surrounding tools and services
"Hosted internally" is the top reason why over 497 developers like Jenkins, while over 54 developers mention "Selenium-compatible" as the leading cause for choosing Sauce Labs.
Jenkins is an open source tool with 13.2K GitHub stars and 5.43K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Jenkins's open source repository on GitHub.
According to the StackShare community, Jenkins has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1753 company stacks & 1479 developers stacks; compared to Sauce Labs, which is listed in 66 company stacks and 11 developer stacks.
What is Jenkins?
What is Sauce Labs?
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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.
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.
We use GitLab CI because of the great native integration as a part of the GitLab framework and the linting-capabilities it offers. The visualization of complex pipelines and the embedding within the project overview made Gitlab CI even more convenient. We use it for all projects, all deployments and as a part of GitLab Pages.
While we initially used the Shell-executor, we quickly switched to the Docker-executor and use it exclusively now.
We formerly used Jenkins but preferred to handle everything within GitLab . Aside from the unification of our infrastructure another motivation was the "configuration-in-file"-approach, that Gitlab CI offered, while Jenkins support of this concept was very limited and users had to resort to using the webinterface. Since the file is included within the repository, it is also version controlled, which was a huge plus for us.
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).
I'd recommend to go with Jenkins .
It allows a lot of flexibility and additional plugins that provide extra features, quite often not possible to find elsewhere unless you want to spend time on providing that by yourself.
One of key features are pipelines that allow to easily chain different jobs even across different repos / projects.
The only downside is you have to deploy it by yourself.
Sauce Labs is a fantastic testing tool that I am using for my QA internship.
I am particularly happy with the speed of which any virtual machine loads - that saves me heaps of time and allows me to concentrate on executing more tests instead of blankly staring at the screen (and I do appreciate funny quotes displayed during the minimal wait) . I constantly have to switch between different OS and browsers and so far I had nothing but speedy and reliable experience. Moreover, getting Sauce Labs to work with local links could not have been easier!
Sauce Labs tool is in general very simple to use for either manual or automated testing, with a lot of great resources available that are easily accessible. I additionally feel that Sauce Labs goes beyond a testing tool - it is also a community of testers and for testers, which I find really appealing. I have been using BrowserStack previously and although it was also a great testing tool, I feel that it is lacking the support Sauce Labs offers.
All in all - I only have positive things to say about Sauce Labs, the only thing that could possibly be improved (and I'm just being picky) is the speed of which iOS cloud loads - it appears to be slightly slower than other virtual machines.
SauceLabs is widely used by QAs for both types of testing manual and automation. It provides possibility of compatibility testing on different OS and browsers + mobile platforms for those who don't have big test stand with all real devices. I started to use SauceLabs only because of not having real devices to test website for compatibility and responsive design. After this useful experience I started to learn about automation with Selenium Webdriver and again SauceLabs helped me with tests execution on different platforms. It's easy to setup and to integrate in existing solutions and saved us a lot of time. I love reporting provided by SauceLabs, you can check video and screenshots after or view running test on the fly. Now I recommend SauceLabs to all QAs in my and other companies, even developers are using it to reproduce bugs and check their code on different devices. SauceLabs has very good documentation and big community where any appeared question can be quickly answered. I receive their emails about news and tips how to use it efficiently, sometimes there are useful webinars at SauceLabs. Thank you for this great everyday job!
We chose to use Sauce Labs as our Selenium Grid in the cloud b/c we didn't want to support testing on Windows/IE in-house due to security concerns.
Thus choosing a service like Sauce Labs was the only solution we had to execute our Watir-WebDriver (Selenium) acceptance tests on IE and other browser/OS combos.
Pros: It took me a few hours to get setup and immediately start running tests. Our main test stack consists of: Cucumber/Watir-WebDriver (Selenium-WebDriver) and getting it up and running was not that hard. It was very fast to spin up a VM and run tests and view the screencasts and screenshots. Easier to use this as opposed to setting up an in-house Selenium Grid setup.
Cons: I didn't find ANY documentation on how to setup Watir-WebDriver on Sauce Labs, I had to figure it out via Googling. The Watir tests do run a tad bit slow on SL. The UI is a bit dated, tried out the new beta UI and it looks nicer but doesn't seem to be ready for production use, the screencast view in beta mode was way too big.
Overall I like it as it's easy to use and gets the job done. I have yet to setup w/Jenkins, that's the next stop.
We worked on a 3-year engagement with a major pharmaceutical company. Our builds had to go through a complex review and deployment process with different many players making code and configuration changes across various build profiles and environments. We wanted to ensure that nothing was broken in our application code in this process, and that any breakages would be immediately identified.
We used Sauce Labs to create a testing suite for our app, and added tests with each new release. This helped us identify several critical issues before they ever surfaced as problems on the public-facing sites. We found the Sauce Labs platform very easy to use. We were already experienced with Selenium, but had a few questions about how to run and manage our tests on Sauce. We found the documentation to be quite helpful. On the rare occasions that we had to reach out to Sauce Labs support, we received prompt, thorough replies which kept our development process moving forward at full speed.
The Sauce Labs tools have become a vital part of our development infrastructure.
Like: Lot's of OS/Browsers for tests, supports all major frameworks. Works great with Jenkins(their Sauce OnDemand plug-in is pretty awesome). Can be used in many ways and very versatile.
Lots of business problem solved....just having a quick ability to create test environments. That's a big one and Sauce Labs solves that. A realized benefit is having the ability to have videos and screenshots saved of tests.
Dislike: I would like to see improved would be the performance. Tests run faster locally than they do on Sauce, but if you run your tests in parallel and can have a number of VM's running at the same time then this usually doesn't create much of a problem.
Other Feedback: You can look at other cloud options like BrowserStack, but they don't give you the same ease of use and support for the price. You can create test agents in your own network, but they you have to constantly maintain each vm or system and that eats up valuable time. It's much easier and price effective to go with Sauce plus you get great support with them when you run into issues.
All of our pull requests are automatically tested using Jenkins' integration with GitHub, and we provision and deploy our servers using Jenkins' interface. This is integrated with HipChat, immediately notifying us if anything goes wrong with a deployment.
Jenkins is our go-to devops automation tool. We use it for automated test builds, all the way up to server updates and deploys. It really helps maintain our homegrown continuous-integration suite. It even does our blue/green deploys.
- Continuous Deploy
- Dev stage: autodeploy by trigger push request from 'develop' branch of Gitlab
- Staging and production stages: Build and rollback quicly with Ansistrano playbook
- Sending messages of job results to Chatwork.
Currently serves as the location that our QA team builds various automated testing jobs.
At one point we were using it for builds, but we ended up migrating away from them to Code Pipelines.
We use Jenkins to schedule our Browser and API Based regression and acceptance tests on a regular bases. We use additionally to Jenkins GitlabCI for unit and component testing.
Browser testing grid and test automation so we don't need the servers to do it. Integrates with CI.