CircleCI vs. GNU Make

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
CircleCI
Score 8.4 out of 10
N/A
CircleCI is a software delivery engine from the company of the same name in San Francisco, that helps teams ship software faster, offering their platform for Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD). Ultimately, the solution helps to map every source of change for software teams, so they can accelerate innovation and growth.
$0
per month
GNU Make
Score 7.7 out of 10
N/A
GNU Make is an open source and free build automation tool.N/A
Pricing
CircleCIGNU Make
Editions & Modules
Free
$0
per month
Performance
$30
per month
Server
$35
per month
Scale
Custom Pricing
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
CircleCIGNU Make
Free Trial
NoNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Best Alternatives
CircleCIGNU Make
Small Businesses
GitLab
GitLab
Score 8.8 out of 10
GitLab
GitLab
Score 8.8 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
GitLab
GitLab
Score 8.8 out of 10
GitLab
GitLab
Score 8.8 out of 10
Enterprises
GitLab
GitLab
Score 8.8 out of 10
GitLab
GitLab
Score 8.8 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
CircleCIGNU Make
Likelihood to Recommend
8.0
(26 ratings)
7.1
(2 ratings)
Usability
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Performance
7.8
(3 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Support Rating
6.9
(6 ratings)
7.1
(2 ratings)
User Testimonials
CircleCIGNU Make
Likelihood to Recommend
CircleCI
CircleCI is perfect for a CI/CD pipeline for an app using a standard build process. It'll take more work for a complex build process, but should still be up to the task unless you need a lot of integrations with other tools. If you have a big team and can spare someone to focus full time on just the CI/CD tools, maybe something like Jenkins is better, but if you're just looking to get your app built, tested, and delivered without a huge amount of effort, CircleCI is probably your preferred tool.
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Open Source
GNU Make is a great tool for simple builds where language-specific options are not available, or to provide shortcuts for common commands (e.g., "make build" as shorthand for "go build ..." with a bunch of flags). However, it is complementary to other build systems. It does not replace them, which is perhaps one of its greatest strengths as well (works with existing ecosystem instead of trying to do everything). GMU Make it simple to get started with, and the philosophy of understanding how sources map to outputs, as well as the dependency graph, are beneficial.
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Pros
CircleCI
  • Multiple builds can be run at the same time in parallel.
  • The CircleCI web interface (UI/UX) is very easy to understand and use.
  • Easy Configuration to learn and use. Just a single configuration YAML file.
  • Many integrations. We use the GItHub, Slack, and DataDog integrations.
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Open Source
  • Performance and accuracy of cross-module dependencies.
  • Simple to write and easy to understand.
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Cons
CircleCI
  • The "phases" their config file uses to separate out options seem very arbitrary and are not very helpful for organizing your config file
  • No way that I know of to configure which version of MongoDB you use. You have to write your own shell script to download and start MongoDB if you want a specific version.
  • Hard to access build artifacts in the UI
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Open Source
  • No dependency management tools (but there are no cross-platform tools of this type anyway)
  • Tedious to do cross-compilation (Debug & Release builds, 32- and 64-bit builds, x86/ARM builds)
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Usability
CircleCI
CircleCI interface is awesome in that it is relatively modern and makes it clear exactly which parts of the engineering lifecycle you are in
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Open Source
No answers on this topic
Performance
CircleCI
It's pretty snappy, even with using workflows with multiple steps and different docker images. I've seen builds take a long time if it's really involved, but from what I can tell, it's still at least on par if not faster than other build tools.
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Open Source
No answers on this topic
Support Rating
CircleCI
Unless you have a reasonably large account, you're going to be mainly stuck reading their documentation. Which has improved somewhat over the years but is still extremely limited compared to a platform like Digital Ocean who invested in the documentation and a community to ensure it's kept up to date. If you can't find your answer there, you can be stuck.
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Open Source
In general, it is fair to say the support is sufficient although we do not deal with support directly. There are a lot of forum people chiming in with suggestions or recommendations of particular usage or issues we run into. Since it is open software, patch and fixes will be available from time to time. A lot of information is available in the web now for knowing GNU Make from learning, example, teaching, etc.
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Alternatives Considered
CircleCI
Circle was the first CI with simple setup, great documentation, and tight integration with GitHub. Using Jenkins was too much maintenance and overhead, TeamCity was limited in how we could customize it and run concurrent builds, TravisCI was not available for private repos when we switched.
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Open Source
I'm a full-stack developer that has used various build tools, including Maven, Gradle, and NPM/yarn. For our C projects, I also investigated CMake and Ninja, but they seemed more difficult to learn and more tedious to work with. GNU Make is a single binary that can be easily downloaded, even for Windows under MingW32, is straightforward to learn, and works pretty well despite its age.
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Return on Investment
CircleCI
  • It has eased the burden of standardizing our testing and deployment, making onboarding new developers much faster, and having to fix deployment mistakes much less often.
  • It allows us to focus our process around the GitHub workflow, ignoring the details of whatever environment the thing we're working on is actually hosted in. This saves us time.
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Open Source
  • Streamline the build based on a lot of existing component being done, reusable.
  • Commonly understandable, therefore, rampup effort is small.
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ScreenShots