Project Management3 Best DevOps Tools for 2023

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DevOps tools can help project managers, developers, and organizations streamline their software development and operations processes via enhanced collaboration, automation, and more. 

This guide will break down the following top DevOps tools in terms of their features, pros, cons, and pricing to help you pick the best solution for your unique needs:

  • Jenkins, a great choice for software development teams seeking an open-source automation tool with customizable configuration, continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), high extensibility, and a large community.
  • Maven, a solid pick for teams seeking an open-source build automation tool with minimal setup that is free to use.
  • Travis CI, an excellent solution for teams looking for a cloud-hosted CI/CD tool with minimal setup that is easy to use.

Jump to:


Jenkins CI/CD tool

Best for software development teams need an open-source automation tool with customizable configurations and a large community.

Overall Rating: 4.4 out of 5

  • Pricing: 5 out of 5
  • Core Features: 4.5 out of 5
  • Customer Support: 3.7 out of 5
  • Ease of Use: 4 out of 5
  • Performance: 4.25 out of 5
  • User Reviews: 5 out of 5

Jenkins is a popular open-source automation server. The award-winning DevOps tool is known for its large community and wide range of plugins and features, including CI/CD, that help development teams increase productivity and efficiency via automated building, testing, and deployment.

Features of Jenkins

Features that make Jenkins one of the best DevOps tools include:

  • Continuous integration and delivery
  • Complex build pipelines
  • Scalability
  • Reporting and insights
  • Thousands of plugins

Jenkins helps developers integrate code changes on a continuous basis. It also helps them automate the building, testing, and deployment of applications. The developer tool lets you create complex, customizable, and flexible build pipelines with features like conditional logic and parallel execution, and offers scalability and optimal performance through its distributed architecture.

Project managers can enjoy enhanced transparency and insights through Jenkins’ detailed reporting (code coverage, build/test results, etc.). Jenkins is also quite extensible, with nearly 2,000 community-contributed plugins under its belt across various categories, such as administration, user interface, source code management, and more.

Pros of Jenkins

Jenkins’ pros include:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Extensibility via plugins
  • Unique configuration
  • Vast community

The fact that Jenkins is an open-source DevOps tool makes it a highly attractive solution for software development teams with limited budgets. Its large plugin ecosystem offers tons of extensibility, and being able to configure the developer tool to fit your exact needs is another huge plus. Jenkins’ large community and following are quite useful, too, when it comes to support and additional resources.

Cons of Jenkins

Jenkins’ cons include:

  • Learning curve
  • Plugin dependency
  • Sluggish performance
  • User interface

Teams looking to unlock a DevOps tool’s full capabilities with minimal effort may be surprised by Jenkins’ steep learning curve and what is needed to configure and maintain the automation software. While its vast library of plugins is a plus, some may see such heavy plugin dependency as a disadvantage that requires constant vigilance regarding updates, support, and the like. If you have too many plugins installed while running Jenkins via a local server, you may experience sluggish performance. And the DevOps tool’s interface could use a modern facelift to look better and be more intuitive.

Pricing of Jenkins

Jenkins is an open-source DevOps tool. As such, it is free to use. That said, be sure to budget for additional costs for infrastructure, cloud hosting, premium plugins, etc., if you want to unlock its full potential. 


Maven Developer Tool

Best for teams seeking an open-source build automation tool with minimal setup that is free to use. 

Overall Rating: 4.1 out of 5

  • Pricing: 4.75 out of 5
  • Core Features: 4 out of 5
  • Customer Support: 2.3 out of 5
  • Ease of Use: 3.75 out of 5
  • Performance: 4.25 out of 5
  • User Reviews: 5 out of 5

Apache Maven was initially created to help Java developers manage their projects. The open-source build automation tool is now a favorite of project managers, developers, and Agile development teams seeking dependency management capabilities, the ability to build, publish, and deploy several projects simultaneously, and more.

Features of Maven

Maven’s standout feature as a DevOps tool include:

  • Minimal configuration
  • Build simultaneously
  • Model-based builds
  • Generates documentation
  • Dependency management
  • Release management
  • Libraries and metadata
  • Plugins

Apache Maven is surprisingly simple to set up and configure. Working with new projects or modules only takes seconds, and when new features are released, they can be accessed with minimal configuration or added effort. Developers can increase efficiency with Maven by building, publishing, and deploying multiple projects simultaneously. And they can boost productivity and save even more time with model-based builds that eliminate the need for scripting, plus documentation generation that leverages build metadata.

Maven also offers dependency management (automatic updating, Ant tasks, transitive dependencies, etc.), release management via Subversion, Git, and other source control integrations, an ever-growing repository of libraries and metadata, and extensibility via plugins written in Java or scripting languages.

Pros of Maven 

Maven’s strengths include:

  • No cost
  • Easy to set up and configure
  • Generates project documentation
  • Improves efficiency

Smaller development teams and those with limited budgets will love that Apache Maven is open-source and free to use. The automation tool’s setup and configuration is a breeze, and it also makes life easier with its seamless generation of project documentation (changelogs, dependency lists, etc.) Maven’s standardized approach increases team efficiency, too. Once you build your first project, you can replicate processes in the future with minimal effort to save a ton of time.

Cons of Maven

Maven’s weaknesses include:

  • Complexity for beginners
  • Documentation is lacking
  • Performance with large projects

One of Maven’s strengths is its simple setup. While technical users may find the automation tool easy to get started with out of the box, those new to such tools may encounter complexity and a steep learning curve. Some have complained that Maven’s documentation and support could use improvement, and its performance tends to struggle with more complex or larger projects.

Pricing of Maven

Maven is open-source and free to use. As with other open-source tools that unlock core functionalities and plugins at no cost, you may have to pay if you decide to use premium plugins or extensions that offer more advanced features. 

Travis CI

Travis CI/CD tool

Best for teams looking for a cloud-hosted CI/CD tool with minimal setup that is easy to use.

Overall Rating: 4.2 out of 5

  • Pricing: 3.7 out of 5
  • Core Features: 3.75 out of 5
  • Customer Support: 3.7 out of 5
  • Ease of Use: 3.75 out of 5
  • Performance: 5 out of 5
  • User Reviews: 5 out of 5

Travis CI is a cloud-hosted and fuss-free CI/CD tool that supports many coding languages and boosts developer productivity through time-saving automations.

Features of Travis CI

Some of Travis CI’s most noteworthy features that make it a top DevOps tool include:

  • Cloud-based option
  • Support for over 30 languages
  • Single-command automations
  • Detects bugs/code failures
  • Multi-environment testing
  • HashiCorp Vault
  • Third-party integrations

Travis CI offers a cloud-based option that minimizes the need for time-consuming onboarding by simplifying setup and configuration. The DevOps tool has a multi-language build matrix that supports 30-plus coding languages and gives developers the power to automate various tasks (validation, integration, deployment, etc.) with single commands. Travis CI catches code failures and bugs on the fly to keep your code clean, plus deploys new changes once everything is good to go. It also lets developers run and test simultaneously in multiple environments.

HashiCorp Vault integration offers added security and storage for environment variables, and third-party integrations with Slack, Docker, Code Climate, AWS, and other popular developer tools and services provide additional functionality.

Pros of Travis CI

Advantages of Travis CI include:

  • Easy to set up and maintain
  • Cloud-based options
  • Minimizes code
  • Multi-language support

Unlike some DevOps tools on the market with a steep learning curve that require a significant time investment to get started, Travis CI requires minimal setup and maintenance. Much of this is due to the developer tool’s cloud-based options. 

Another way in which Travis CI is mostly fuss-free is through its minimal code. According to the automation tool’s website, Travis CI uses about 33%less code than its competitors. Travis CI is also commended for its flexibility, as it supports over 30 different coding languages to assist developers from varying backgrounds.

Cons of Travis CI

Disadvantages of Travis CI include:

  • Pricing unideal for limited-budget teams
  • Lack of a free plan
  • Slow customer service

Travis CI can get quite pricey as you add more concurrent jobs, which could prevent teams with limited budgets from using the DevOps tool. The lack of a free plan certainly does not help the issue. Travis CI has also had some complaints of slow customer support.

Pricing of Travis CI

Travis CI lets development teams choose between cloud and enterprise pricing plans. Its cloud plans include:

  • Bootstrap: $64 per month for one concurrent job.
  • Startup: $119 per month for two concurrent jobs.
  • Small Business: $229 per month for five concurrent jobs.
  • Premium: $449 per month for 10 concurrent jobs.
  • Platinum: Starting at $729 per month for 15-300 concurrent jobs.

Travis CI’s cloud plans include unlimited repositories, collaborations, and build minutes. Free trials are also available. The Enterprise plan offers a self-hosted option that costs $34 per user, per month. It allows you to host in your private cloud or on-premise and includes Perforce and Subversion CI/CD, plus premium support.

What to Look for in DevOps Tools

There are several things to look for and consider when shopping for the ideal DevOps tool for your software development needs. 

If you have a limited budget, look for a DevOps tool that is free and open-source or has a free plan with basic features. To make the developer tool fit your needs and not the other way around, look for something known for its customization and high extensibility with plenty of third-party integrations with your most widely used tools. Do not forget about compatibility either, as you want the DevOps tool to fit seamlessly with the infrastructure, programming languages, and technology stack your development team uses.

Look for online reviews that mention user-friendliness, performance, and support to ensure the DevOps tool you pick can increase your productivity versus hindering it. Look for scalability if you plan on growing your team and projects and need to handle larger workloads. Lastly, look for common DevOps tool features such as team collaboration, version control, automation, continuous integration/delivery/deployment, monitoring and logging, and solid security.

How We Evaluated DevOps Tools

While evaluating the top DevOps tools, we began by creating six weighted categories containing important sub criteria. That sub criteria was then used to assign scores (ranging from 1-5) to each DevOps software on our list, giving us a total score for each option. The top three tools with the highest overall score made our list.

Below is an explanation of our evaluation criteria and examples of sub criteria.

Pricing – 20%

Pricing is a vital element to consider when choosing a DevOps tool. Even Open Source options can be confusing and become pricey with their different options. For our Pricing criteria, we looked at sub criteria that included the following:

  • Free trial available and length of trial
  • Free to use?
  • Cost for additional features, including the range
  • Is the pricing difficult to understand and is it transparent on the vendor’s website
  • Is a demo available

Core Features – 25%

Core Features offered by DevOps platforms are particularly important, especially as programmers seek to limit the number of tools they need to switch between. Because of this, we looked at several sub criteria for our Core Features evaluation, including (but not limited to):

  • Language, browser, and platform support
  • Number of integrations with third-party tools
  • CI/CD support
  • Monitoring and logging capabilities

Customer Support – 10%

Having someone to speak or chat with is crucial when it comes to choosing any developer tool. For our Customer Support criteria, we looked at the following support options to see if they were available and during what hours:

  • Phone, chat, and email
  • forums
  • Usergroups

Ease of Use – 20%

A low learning curve and entry point helps software development teams build and deploy software more efficiently. Our Ease of Use criteria looked at the following sub criteria:

  • Difficulty to setup, configure, and maintain
  • Does the software offer advanced configurations
  • Is the user interface intuitive
  • Are there plenty of documentation and video learning resources

Performance – 15%

For our Performance criteria, we looked at the following sub criteria:

  • Speed
  • Reliability
  • Reported bugs
  • Frequency of updates

User Reviews – 10%

In order to fully evaluate the DevOps tools on our list, we looked at other user reviews to see how other users across a diverse set of backgrounds viewed our options. Since individual reviews are highly subjective, we ranked this criteria of the lowest importance on our list, but still felt it deserved consideration as peer opinions are still valuable.

Final Thoughts on the Best DevOps Tools for 2023

The DevOps tools listed above are some of the best on the market. Before choosing a DevOps tool, make sure it fits your software development team’s needs in terms of user-friendliness, features, and pricing.

 Read: Best Automation Testing Tools

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