Apache Maven vs TeamCity

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Apache Maven
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Apache Maven vs TeamCity: What are the differences?

Apache Maven: Apache build manager for Java projects. Maven allows a project to build using its project object model (POM) and a set of plugins that are shared by all projects using Maven, providing a uniform build system. Once you familiarize yourself with how one Maven project builds you automatically know how all Maven projects build saving you immense amounts of time when trying to navigate many projects; 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.

Apache Maven belongs to "Java Build Tools" category of the tech stack, while TeamCity can be primarily classified under "Continuous Integration".

Some of the features offered by Apache Maven are:

  • Simple project setup that follows best practices - get a new project or module started in seconds
  • Consistent usage across all projects means no ramp up time for new developers coming onto a project
  • Superior dependency management including automatic updating, dependency closures (also known as transitive dependencies)

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

"Dependency management" is the top reason why over 125 developers like Apache Maven, while over 52 developers mention "Easy to configure" as the leading cause for choosing TeamCity.

Apache Maven is an open source tool with 1.74K GitHub stars and 1.28K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Apache Maven's open source repository on GitHub.

Zillow, Intuit, and Zalando are some of the popular companies that use Apache Maven, whereas TeamCity is used by Stack Exchange, ebay, and Apple. Apache Maven has a broader approval, being mentioned in 305 company stacks & 142 developers stacks; compared to TeamCity, which is listed in 171 company stacks and 51 developer stacks.

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What is Apache Maven?

Maven allows a project to build using its project object model (POM) and a set of plugins that are shared by all projects using Maven, providing a uniform build system. Once you familiarize yourself with how one Maven project builds you automatically know how all Maven projects build saving you immense amounts of time when trying to navigate many projects.

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 Apache Maven and TeamCity?
Jira
Jira's secret sauce is the way it simplifies the complexities of software development into manageable units of work. Jira comes out-of-the-box with everything agile teams need to ship value to customers faster.
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.
Gradle
Gradle is a build tool with a focus on build automation and support for multi-language development. If you are building, testing, publishing, and deploying software on any platform, Gradle offers a flexible model that can support the entire development lifecycle from compiling and packaging code to publishing web sites.
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.
Sonatype Nexus
It is an open source repository that supports many artifact formats, including Docker, Java™ and npm. With the Nexus tool integration, pipelines in your toolchain can publish and retrieve versioned apps and their dependencies
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Decisions about Apache Maven and TeamCity
Tymoteusz Paul
Tymoteusz Paul
Devops guy at X20X Development LTD · | 13 upvotes · 276.2K 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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Gradle
Gradle
Apache Maven
Apache Maven

We use Apache Maven because it is a standard. Gradle is very good alternative, but Gradle doesn't provide any advantage for our project. Gradle is slower (without running daemon), need more resources and a learning curve is quite big. Our project can not use a great flexibility of Gradle. On the other hand, Maven is well-know tool integrated in many IDEs, Dockers and so on.

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Interest over time
Reviews of Apache Maven and TeamCity
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How developers use Apache Maven 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 opening.io
opening.io uses Apache MavenApache Maven

Java build tool for internal processes: Jezebel daemon (in-mem classifiers/recommendations/feature analysis), Connemara (batch resume stream processor) and opes (opening elasticsearch plugin, simple process that listens for new incoming resumes and triggers analysis by Jezebel via a tcp json command).

Avatar of Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt)
Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt) uses Apache MavenApache Maven

All Java-Projects are compiled using Maven. We prefer it over Ant and Gradle as it combines lightweightness with feature-richness and offers basically all we can imagine from a software project-management tool and more.

Avatar of Casey Smith
Casey Smith uses Apache MavenApache Maven

Package management and build automation for the back-end, plus integration of front-end build automation using Gulp/Bower/NPM.

Avatar of Sascha Manns
Sascha Manns uses TeamCityTeamCity

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

Avatar of Undisclosed, Do Not Contact or Spam Please
Undisclosed, Do Not Contact or Spam Please uses Apache MavenApache Maven

Necessary for Google j2objc

Avatar of theskyinflames
theskyinflames uses Apache MavenApache Maven

JEE application development cycle management.

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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