Build Automation Tools

Build Automation Tools Overview

Build automation tools help businesses develop and release software more quickly by standardizing and automating software build tasks. These tools make various phases of software development automated, repeatable, and more predictable.

Since software development often needs significant human oversight, the development process can be very costly and time-consuming. Software build processes in particular are commonly repetitive, and thus prime candidates for automation. By automating large swaths of tedious work, build automation tools help teams work faster and with more flexibility.

Typically, build automation tools use scripting languages to link source code, software components, and build processes. Build automation scripting can handle many parts of the process, including generating documentation, compiling code, and running tests.

Build automation is a critical component of continuous delivery and DevOps practices.

Top Rated Build Automation Products

TrustRadius Top Rated for 2022

These products won a Top Rated award for having excellent customer satisfaction ratings. The list is based purely on reviews; there is no paid placement, and analyst opinions do not influence the rankings. Read more about the Top Rated criteria.

Build Automation Tools TrustMap

TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on trScore and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 10 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap.

Build Automation Products

(1-25 of 54) Sorted by Most Reviews

The list of products below is based purely on reviews (sorted from most to least). There is no paid placement and analyst opinions do not influence their rankings. Here is our Promise to Buyers to ensure information on our site is reliable, useful, and worthy of your trust.

GitLab
Customer Verified
Top Rated

GitLab is a complete open-source DevOps platform, delivered as a single application, fundamentally changing the way Development, Security, and Ops teams collaborate and build software. From idea to production, GitLab helps teams improve cycle time from weeks to minutes, reduce development…

Azure DevOps Services

Azure DevOps (formerly VSTS, Microsoft Visual Studio Team System) is an agile development product that is an extension of the Microsoft Visual Studio architecture. Azure DevOps includes software development, collaboration, and reporting capabilities.

Jenkins

Jenkins is an open source automation server. Jenkins provides hundreds of plugins to support building, deploying and automating any project. As an extensible automation server, Jenkins can be used as a simple CI server or turned into a continuous delivery hub for any project.

CircleCI

CircleCI in San Francisco offers an eponymous build automation platform.

Bamboo

Australian company Atlassian offers Bamboo, a continuous integration server.

TeamCity

TeamCity is a continuous integration server from Czeck company JetBrains.

Apache Maven

Apache Maven is an open source build automation tool.

Liquibase

Liquibase is a database schema change automation tool that helps teams release software faster and safer by bringing the database change process into existing CI/CD automation. According to the 2021 Accelerate State of DevOps Report, elite performers are 3.4 times more likely to…

Gradle

Gradle is an open source build system.

Travis CI

Travis CI is an open source continuous integration platform.

CloudBees Codeship

Codeship from CloudBees is a build automation platform from the Austrian company of the same name.

Azure Pipelines

Users can automate builds and deployments with Azure Pipelines. Build, test, and deploy Node.js, Python, Java, PHP, Ruby, C/C++, .NET, Android, and iOS apps. Run in parallel on Linux, macOS, and Windows. Azure Pipelines can be purchased standalone, but it is also part of Azure DevOps…

JRebel

JRebel is a build automation tool developed by Estonian company ZeroTurnaround, acquired by Rogue Wave Software in 2017, and then acquired (and now supported by) Perforce since that company's 2019 acquisition of Rogue Wave. The vendor says users of JRebel saves Java teams a month…

Bitrise

Bitrise, software from the company of the same name in Budapest, helps users automate daily app development tasks from building through testing to deployment. With Bitrise, users can configure these tasks with a visual Workflow editor, with over 330 service integrations ready to…

CloudBees Jenkins Platform

CloudBees Jenkins Platform is a continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) solution that extends Jenkins. Developed for on-premise installations, CloudBees Jenkins Platform offers stable releases with monthly updates, as well as additional proprietary tools and enterprise…

GoCD

GoCD, from ThoughtWorks in Chicago, is an application lifecycle management and development tool.

GNU Make

GNU Make is an open source and free build automation tool.

Oracle Hudson CI

Oracle acquired and then supported Hudson Continuous Integration through 2016. Oracle no longer updates or supports Hudson.

JFrog Pipelines

JFrog Pipelines (formerly Shippable, acquired by JFrog Feb 2019) is a build automation tool designed to provide simple continuous delivery.

Apache Ant

Apache Ant is a Java library and command-line tool whose mission is to drive processes described in build files as targets and extension points dependent upon each other. The main known usage of Ant is the build of Java applications. Ant supplies a number of built-in tasks allowing…

RapidDeploy

RapidDeploy is a release management automation option for continuous delivery, from UK company MidVision.

Codemagic

Codemagic is a developer's CI/CD tool for mobile app projects. Build Android, iOS, React Native, Ionic, Unity, and Flutter projects on Codemagic.Codemagic uses its own CLI tools under the hood to perform complicated tasks like code signing and distribution to the stores. These are…

Harness

Harness, from the company of the same name in San Francisco, is a Continuous Delivery-as-a-Service platform designed to provide a simple, safe and secure way for engineering and DevOps teams to release applications into production. Founded in 2016, Harness uses machine learning…

AWS CodeBuild

AWS CodeBuild is a fully managed continuous integration service that compiles source code, runs tests, and produces software packages that are ready to deploy.

Learn More About Build Automation Tools

What are Build Automation Tools?

Build automation tools help businesses develop and release software more quickly by standardizing and automating software build tasks. These tools make various phases of software development automated, repeatable, and more predictable.

Since software development often needs significant human oversight, the development process can be very costly and time-consuming. Software build processes in particular are commonly repetitive, and thus prime candidates for automation. By automating large swaths of tedious work, build automation tools help teams work faster and with more flexibility.

Typically, build automation tools use scripting languages to link source code, software components, and build processes. Build automation scripting can handle many parts of the process, including generating documentation, compiling code, and running tests.

Build automation is a critical component of continuous delivery and DevOps practices.

Build Automation Tool Features

Most build automation tools have the following features:

  • Source code and build management
  • Integration with integrated development environment (IDE) software
  • Testing in parallel with build execution
  • Dependency management
  • Version conflict resolution
  • Collaborative debugging
  • Incremental (change-only) compilation
  • Rebuild minimization for faster build delivery
  • Automated events & testing
  • Automated initializing & reinitializing of build framework
  • Support for ad-hoc resource and code updates
  • Build and task caching
  • Metrics and performance tracking
  • Customization with plug-ins

Build Automation Tools Comparison

When evaluating which build automation tool is right for you, consider the following factors:

Open-Source or proprietary: Many popular build automation tools are free and open-source. Some vendors of open-source tools offer paid training and support plans, but other tools rely on developer expertise and community support. Commercial build automation tools, on the other hand, are available with multiple licensing plans and tiers of support. Some support services include in-house training, developer services, and consulting at additional expenses. If you’re low on IT or in-house development support, spending on extended, hands-on support is always a good idea. If you’re rich in expertise but money is tight, open-source tools are probably the better choice.

Ease of use: Build automation tools include a wide variety of software that may not be suited for every business type. Some tools have features focused on specific software industries, while other tools cater to large development teams with complex build needs. Make sure you pick a tool that has the right scope for your needs. Unnecessary features can lead to higher costs, more training time needed, and confusion during the build design process.

Multi-platform builds: If you’re developing software for multiple platforms, this feature is critical. You need to be able to test and build for all target platforms with only minor changes, such as tweaking a configuration file. When deciding on a build automation tool, make sure that it supports cross-platform building, testing, and deployment with minimal developer effort.

Start a Build Automation Tools comparison here

Pricing Information

Many popular build automation tools are open-source and free. Vendors of paid software commonly offer a flat subscription rate or usage-based pricing. These tools usually include features aimed at enterprises or larger teams. Annual costs for build automation tools can range from under $600 to over $100,000 depending on the scale and complexity of your needs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of using build automation tools?

Build automation tools help businesses standardize and simplify their development pipeline. This can make development teams more flexible and productive while catching more bugs before product release.

How much do build automation tools cost?

Most build automation tools are open-source and free for basic packages. Businesses that want additional features and support can purchase an annual or monthly license. Pricing is highly dependent on implementation scale and usage, and can range from under $600 to over $100,000 annually.

What do build automation tools do?

Build automation tools help businesses automate software build processes. They provide tools to design testing, compiling, documentation, and distribution processes that run without requiring developer input.