TeamCity is an all-in-one DevOps tool that provides continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery/deployment (CD) capabilities. With the CI/CD platform, development and operations teams can enhance collaboration, optimize workflows, and accelerate software delivery without sacrificing quality. This guide will dissect TeamCity in terms of its features, pricing, advantages, and disadvantages to help determine if it is the right CI/CD tool for your needs. And if it is not, we will reveal some of the best TeamCity alternatives.
Overview of TeamCity
TeamCity is part of the long line of software development tools from JetBrains, the company behind IntelliJ IDEA, Space, ReSharper, and PyCharm. The automation tool first hit the scene in 2006 as JetBrains’ first offering in the CI/CD market. It now serves over 30,000 project managers, developers, DevOps engineers, admins, and teams of varying industries and sizes looking to enhance collaboration and organization, optimize pipelines, increase performance, leverage real-time reporting, minimize maintenance, and scale seamlessly.
Features of TeamCity
TeamCity’s continuous integration capabilities come in many forms. Its remote run and pre-tested commit features help developers keep code clean and concise. With it, you can build and check code and run automated tests before committing changes. Automatic investigation assignment sends instant notifications to team members who are most likely responsible for breaking a build, and there is also the option to assign multiple team members to investigate issues within a single build. Once assigned, those team members will receive notifications to begin working. Other CI features include progress reporting to inform you when problems occur, flaky test detection, and adding data like screenshots, numeric values, links, logs, etc., to test results.
TeamCity has build agents that act like testers for taking, verifying, and complementing changes with verification results. Its build history feature, meanwhile, stores a complete history of builds, failures, and changes to help developers quickly spot the root causes of issues. TeamCity’s code quality tracking capabilities let developers verify changes, manage issues, and provide feedback when necessary. It also has user management via assigned roles, user authentication, and grouping users.
Beyond its built-in features, TeamCity is extensible via several third-party integrations. It integrates with popular version control tools like Perforce, Mercurial, and Git and has cloud integrations with Microsoft Azure and Amazon EC2. TeamCity also integrates with issue and bug trackers such as Bugzilla and Jira and other tools like Docker, Maven, and Visual Studio Team Services.
Team City’s features include:
- Continuous integration
- Build agents
- Build history
- Code quality tracking
- User management
- Third-party integrations
TeamCity offers a 30-day evaluation license with unlimited agents and build configurations. This gives you the option to try the CI/CD tool for free prior to making an investment. TeamCity also offers a 50% discount for qualifying startup companies. As for its pricing options, those are broken down between on-premise and cloud plans.
TeamCity’s on-premise pricing plans are as follows:
- Professional: No cost.
- Enterprise: The first year costs $1,999. The second year onwards costs $999.
After picking between those two plans, you must determine how many build agents you need to calculate the total cost. TeamCity charges $299 per build agent for the first year. The second year onwards costs $149 per agent. TeamCity offers three build agents and 100 build configurations at no cost out of the box.
The TeamCity Professional plan includes unlimited build time and users, forum and issue tracker support, and 100 build configurations. The Enterprise plan offers unlimited build time, build configurations, and users, plus technical support.
Opt for TeamCity’s cloud options, and you will have the following to choose from:
- Yearly: $540 billed annually at $15 per committer.
- Monthly: $54 billed monthly at $18 per committer.
The cloud plans come with three committers, 600GB of monthly data transfer, 120GB of storage, 24,000 build credits, and unlimited web users or viewers. Should you need more committers, TeamCity has a slider to help you calculate the total cost. TeamCity also sells additional build credits. You can buy 25,000 credits for $20, and whatever build credits you have can be spent as you please.
Advantages of TeamCity
Many developer tools rely heavily on third-party integrations to do most of the work. That is not the case with TeamCity, as the CI/CD tool has a comprehensive list of features (monitoring, source control, statistics, etc.) to handle the heavy lifting without needing plugins. And while many tools with long feature lists are often complex with steep learning curves, TeamCity is the opposite. The automation tool offers simple setup and configuration for quick access, and its intuitive interface is modern and easy to navigate.
Another TeamCity strength lies in its reporting and insights department. Developers can leverage real-time reporting and insights to pinpoint issues as soon as they appear versus when builds are complete. Add in plenty of third-party integrations with popular developer tools and services (Jira, Maven, Docker, Kubernetes, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.) for added functionality on top of its already-loaded built-in features, and it is easy to see why TeamCity is so popular.
To summarize, TeamCity’s advantages include:
- Comprehensive features
- Advanced reporting and insights
- Third-party integrations
Disadvantages of TeamCity
TeamCity has several advantages as a developer tool, but it does have some areas of weakness as well, including:
- Slowed performance
- Limited documentation
- Small following
- Price for budget-minded customers
Some machines can experience sluggish performance when using TeamCity, as the CI/CD tool has been noted as being resource-intensive. Documentation and resources on API integration are limited, and since TeamCity’s following is smaller than other CI/CD tools, such as Jenkins, its overall resources and support may seem limited, too. Lastly, TeamCity’s pricing may exceed the budgets of small development teams and individual developers seeking a more wallet-friendly tool.
Alternatives to TeamCity
TeamCity is one of the top developer tools on the market. However, it is not the only CI/CD solution for DevOps teams. Yes, it can help your team accelerate the delivery of high-quality software, but you may want to shop around a bit for a TeamCity alternative due to some of its disadvantages that we just discussed, such as sluggish performance due to heavy resource usage, limited API documentation, a smaller following than some of its competitors (which can lead to less support and fewer resources), and its price.
If those disadvantages are too much to overcome, below are some of the best TeamCity alternatives.
If you are looking for a fast TeamCity alternative with a simple setup, look no further than CircleCI. The build automation tool is supposedly 70% faster than the competition, and it offers both on-premise and cloud hosting options. CircleCI also has a free plan for budget-minded users that comes with 6,000 build minutes at no cost, while its Performance plan has a starting price of $15 monthly for five users.
CircleCI has the following main features:
- Build automations across multiple platforms and environments
- Resource classes to configure processing and memory resources for optimal speed
- Custom workflows for builds, tests, and deploys
- Built-in DevOps optimizations for better monitoring and tracking of projects
- Integrations with GitHub, GitLab, and BitBucket and other third-party tools
You can learn more by visiting CircleCI.
If TeamCity’s price is your main gripe, Jenkins may be right up your alley. Jenkins is a free, open-source TeamCity alternative with a huge following, tons of resources, customizable configuration, and plenty of extensibility thanks to a massive plugin library.
Some of Jenkins’ top features include:
- Easy to install and configure
- Continuous integration and continuous delivery
- Extensibility via hundreds of CI/CD toolchain plugins
Distributable across multiple machines and platforms for more efficient builds, tests, and deployments
You can learn more about Jenkins by visiting their homepage.
Another TeamCity alternative worth mentioning is GitLab CI/CD. It is ideal for those seeking a flexible, user-friendly, and secure CI/CD tool that offers seamless integration with Git repositories. If your team already uses GitLab for version control and project management, then GitLab CI/CD may be a no-brainer over TeamCity. It has a free plan with basic features, while its Premium plan has a starting cost of $24 per month.
GitLab features include:
- Bug and error catching features
- Build, test, and deployment automations
- Project planning and tracking tools
- Easy migration from CircleCI and Jenkins, should the need arise
- Application performance monitoring built-in
You can learn more by reading our GitLab Review.
Final Thoughts on TeamCity
TeamCity’s out-of-the-box functionality, real-time reporting, and third-party integrations with top programmer tools make it one of the market’s top CI/CD solutions. However, it is not the only CI/CD tool, so if you are seeking something with more budget-friendly pricing or a larger following offering added support and resources, try one of the TeamCity alternatives mentioned above.
Looking for more developer tools to help you code more efficiently and increase programmer productivity? We have a few round-ups of popular coding tools to help you find the right solution for your project: