Read this feature comparison of two popular DevOps solutions: Atlassian’s Bitbucket and the open source platform GitLab. What is the right DevOps tool for your organization?
By combining software development and business operations, organizations are bringing products and services to market faster than ever before. As the popularity of DevOps grows, so do the tools that facilitate workflow. Bitbucket and GitLab are two of the most formidable options for organizations looking to foster a DevOps culture, but how do you know which toolchain is right for you?
SEE: How to Recruit and Hire a DevOps Engineer (Tech Republic Premium)
What is Bitbucket?
Atlassian’s Bitbucket is a version control system. Bitbucket grew up in the enterprise, with a focus on private repositories and self-hosted options for professionals. Originally, Bitbucket supported both distributed and centralized version control architectures, but in recent years Bitbucket has dropped support for any centralized version control option to focus solely on Git.
When deployed as a single tool, Bitbucket is a feature-rich code repository that supports many features of the DevOps lifecycle. Combined with other Atlassian tools such as Jira and Confluence, it quickly becomes a full-fledged DevOps platform.
What is GitLab?
Like other popular DevOps tools, GitLab provides distributed, Git-based source code management. GitLab’s secret sauce is its unified view of the entire DevOps lifecycle. From a single interface, developers can access everything needed to plan, build, secure, test and deploy software. It is an all-out-of-the-box approach to DevOps.
The GitLab platform is open source under an MIT license. Anyone can follow GitLab’s development, vote on features, and even contribute code.
GitLab vs. GitLab Comparisons Bitbucket Features
|Support for public and private code repos||Yes||Yes|
|CI/CD Pipelines and Automation||Yes||Yes|
|Cloud & self-hosted options||Yes||Yes|
|Code review functionality||Yes||Yes|
|Open source platform||New||Yes|
|Official Add-on Marketplace||Yes||New|
Bitbucket supports the full Git version control system for tracking file changes and coordinating collaboration between multiple software developers. This can be done via a web interface or desktop client. The web interface is functional and the desktop client is very clean and easy to learn. Bitbucket touts a distinctive advanced search feature they call “code aware”, which makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for in major repositories.
GitLab provides similar version control functionality, including branching, pull requests, merging, and conflict resolution. GitLab excels when it comes to collaboration between developers and testers. The inline collaboration features support code assessments, task assignments, and issue tracking, improving efficiency by allowing developers to manage their work from within the code itself.
GitLab has a full project management tool built into the platform. It supports most types of agile workflows your team may use, including kanban, scrum, and eXtreme Programming. If you dedicated . have used project management tools Like it Trello or JiraGitLab’s project management interface may seem basic, but it makes sense to have everything you need to manage software development in a single interface.
Bitbucket has no project management built into the base product. That said, it has best-in-class integrations with both Jira and Trello, both of which are owned by parent company Atlassian. These products, especially Jira, are widely adopted across the enterprise across disciplines, giving the entire organization greater visibility into the work being done. Jira is incredibly flexible and feature-rich.
SEE: Bitbucket vs GitHub: DevOps Tools Comparison (TechRepublic)
While Bitbucket currently supports Atlassian’s Bamboo product for: CI/CD, this product is being replaced by Bitbucket Pipelines. Pipelines are integrated directly into the BitBucket base product and provide you with a way to invoke builds, tests, and implementations on file changes. Keep in mind that for continuous monitoring of your CI/CD pipeline in Bitbucket, you need to choose a third-party solution from the Atlassian marketplace.
GitLab, with its all-in-one approach, provides Runners, enabling continuous integration, delivery, and monitoring from a unified platform. CI/CD pipelines can get quite advanced in GitLab, with built-in support for multiple operating systems, multiple development languages, a private docker registry, and even pipelines as code. The goal is to provide end-to-end visibility with ultimate flexibility; while it does just that, it comes at the cost of complexity and a steeper learning curve.
How to choose between GitLab and Bitbucket
Choosing a DevOps toolchain for your organization depends on a number of considerations. While there isn’t one right answer, here are some factors that may push you one way or another.
If your projects are primarily engineering-driven, GitLab is a good choice. The all-in-one approach improves the efficiency of your development and testing teams. In addition, since GitLab is open source, it surpasses the competitors when it comes to adding new features.
If your projects require broad visibility across your organization, or if your organization is already invested in the Atlassian ecosystem, you’ll find that Bitbucket fits well into your toolchain and requires little additional training.
Whichever tool you choose, adopting a DevOps platform will shorten your development cycles and accelerate innovation.