GoCD is an open-source Continuous Delivery tool that provides end-to-end pipeline visualization, cloud-native deployments, complex workflow modeling, and advanced traceability. Let’s unpack what that all means.
End-to-End Pipeline Visualization
This is referring to GoCD’s UI, or in their words, a “value stream map.” It’s basically a way to visualize the stages of a pipeline to help track the progression from commit to production. It’s admittedly better than something like Jenkins, but is average compared to other solutions.
This means you can use GoCD with Kubernetes, Docker, and the public cloud providers. This is important because legacy CI/CD tools were developed outside the cloud age. Most tools developed in the past 3-4 years will have similar cloud-native claims.
Complex Workflow Modeling
Basically, GoCD allows you to configure dependencies for parallel and sequential deployments. If you’re deploying applications to multiple environments, then odds are you’ll need something to deploy first before the rest of the deployments can be completed. Dependency management is a feature shared by many best-in-class tools.
If your GoCD pipeline happens to break, you can see the files and commit messages from committing to deploy. This helps with troubleshooting, and is an extremely beneficial feature often taken for granted by most CD practitioners.
These impressive-sounding feature names share a common theme: they are standard CD features. This is neither good nor bad, it’s just normal – and there are tons of similar software out there. This is reflected in GoCD’s reviews:
Five Star Review
“Simple and efficient, nice to try.”via G2
Four Star Review
“Decent generic CI/CD solution.”via G2
Three Star Review
“Recommended for beginners.”via G2
If GoCD existed in a vacuum, most developers wouldn’t have anything to complain about. But GoCD operates in one of the most competitive technology markets to date. There are other tools that go beyond “standard” that deserve your consideration.
Our Evaluation Methodology
For this evaluation, we compared GoCD to an open-source technology and a SaaS solution. We understand that some of you enjoy the complete control open source offers, but we thought it important to discuss companies bringing you awesome deployment features. This list will not include any CI tools like Travis CI, Buildbot, or any other Jenkins alternative.
Best GoCD Alternatives
Open-Source Alternative: Argo CD
Argo CD is an open-source CD tool that has taken the market by storm. Its ease of use and focus on GitOps has made the tools a force to be reckoned with. Argo CD operates under the principle that application definitions, configurations, and environments should be declarative and version controlled. Key features include:
- Automated deployments with the ability to manage and deploy to multiple clusters
- Support for multiple config management/templating tools (Kustomize, Helm, Jsonnet/Ksonnet, YAML, etc.)
- Audit trails for application events and API calls
- A UI that provides real-time application visualization
- Rollbacks that allow you to roll to any application configuration committed in Git repository.
Open-Source SaaS Hybrid Alternative: GitLab
GitLab has open-sourced a core portion of its product, but also releases closed features. GitLab wants to be the single source of software truth at an organization, acting as a CI/CD tool and SCM (SCM: source code management – other examples include GitHub and Bitbucket). The GitLab platform wants to make software delivery truly continuous, with enhanced security. GitLab features include:
- Project planning and management are incorporated into the platform. Think Kanban boards and project management software.
- GitLab will help you create, verify, package, and release your code. Again, the user has the benefit of using a singular tool to accomplish everything.
- After a deployment, GitLab uses manual deployment verification and security to make sure you’re safe from any downtime.
- Templates available for Ruby, PHP, Python, and many other languages.
Open-Source SaaS Hybrid Alternative: Harness
Harness is a SaaS software delivery platform with open-sourced modules like Drone (a feature-rich CI tool with containerized plugins, autoscaling, and more). The platform has five key software delivery modules: Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, Continuous Verification, Cloud Cost Management, and Feature Flags Management.
Harness is designed to provide a seamless delivery experience from start to finish, but if you already use a tool you’re partial to, Harness operates on an à la carte model. You can choose which modules best suit your needs. Harness’ mission is to help any company deploy like FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google). You can try Harness freemium to get a taste of the software.
*It should be noted that Harness can also be used on-premise on a corporate server.
- Intuitive CI/CD Pipelines – Harness UI makes it easy to set up pipelines and use complex deployment strategies, like canary and blue/green. Once you feel comfortable, everything can be controlled using GitOps.
- RBAC and Advanced Governance Controls – Security is top of mind for most organizations, and Harness lets you control who gets access to what.
- Machine Learning-Driven Deployment Verification – Harness will learn from your deployments to determine if an irregularity occurs that needs your attention.
- Automatic Rollbacks – Harness keeps applications from going down by automatically reinstating the previous working version – very desirable automation.
- Detailed Cloud Cost Visibility – Harness gives granular visibility into an organization’s cloud usage and how application changes affect costs.
Evaluate Harness With the Top DevOps Tools
GoCD blends in with other CD tools. Harness doesn’t. Harness stands out and above the crowd. With a complete software delivery platform, Harness can help you take your delivery game from mediocre to stellar. Sign up for your free trial today.