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Last active Sep 9, 2019
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My current assessment of SaaS CI systems

This assessment is performed with respect to the requirements of the .NET community open source projects which I maintain. It is restricted to the free tier provided by each system.

Only the drawbacks are listed, which makes the assessment sound a bit negative, but it's relative to a baseline functional expectation:

  • Linux and Windows
  • Fast provisioning
  • Concurrent builds
  • Common build properties surfaced as env vars (e.g build number)
  • Readable, copyable, and line-linkable log output, supporting ANSI colour codes and code page 437

Plus generally expected things like "a good UI".

  • Appveyor
    • very slow provisioning, especially of Linux agents
    • does not run concurrent builds
    • does not support code page 437 on Windows without workarounds
  • Azure DevOps
    • console output is utterly broken, in too many ways to list
    • navigation (and UI in general) is painful
  • Circle CI
    • doesn't support Windows
    • console output:
      • is not retained - it's only shown if the page was opened while the build was running
      • is not line-linkable
      • often has an extra blank line between every line
  • Cirrus CI
    • doesn't surface a build number
    • console output does not show any whitespace in lines with ANSI colour codes
  • GitHub CI
    • doesn't surface a build number
    • console output is not copyable - try selecting a section of text larger than the visible buffer!
  • GitLab CI
    • doesn't support Windows
    • console output is not line-linkable
    • no further investigation
  • Travis CI
    • only has partial Windows support
    • slow provisioning
    • only makes env vars available after parsing the YAML file, which is a complete PITA
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