Codefresh vs. Jenkins

We have always been curious as to which serves us better- Codefresh or Jenkins? Firstly, they are incomparable, because they serve different purposes. However, taking a closer look shows us how Codefresh does everything that Jenkins does, and more. With wider scope and a multitude of features, let us see why Codefresh seems like a better solution than Jenkins. 

What is Codefresh?

To understand the Codefresh vs. Jenkins problem better, let us investigate what the two really are.  

Codefresh is a solution for Continuous Integration/Delivery. It downloads and packages/ compiles code from GIT repository. It is compatible with all major Git platforms as well as cloud providers. The final artefact is then deployed to the intended environment. Pipelines are used to carry out this basic concept. 

What is Jenkins?

It is a well-known open-source automation server. Jenkins is a java-based continuous integration server with a large plugin ecosystem and significant community support.

Well then, what are the differences between the two? 

Jenkins has a lot of features, but Codefresh has a lot more. Let us take a closer look at them-  

1. Jenkins is only used for continuous integration, whereas Codefresh is for both continuous integrations as well as deployments-

The basic tasks of Continuous Integration that Jenkins executes in its builds include compiling code, artefact packaging, testing, and handling the pull requests. Codefresh, however, carries out the actual deployment with support of all the above tasks. Jenkins does not have any deployment facility. Running a full internal custom deployment script that manages the deployment as part of ‘Jenkins Deployment.’ 

2. Codefresh includes built-in UI dashboards – 

Codefresh does include a full user interface for both the continuous integration/deployment in one place. There are dashboards for – 

  • Git repositories 
  • Pipelines 
  • Builds 
  • Kubernetes Services 
  • Helm repository 
  • Docker images 
  • Helm releases 

Jenkins does not have a GUI on its own. The only interface available in Jenkins, that is all about the jobs and builds. 

3. Codefresh is a complete DevOps solution –  

For Kubernetes deployments/helm deployments, Codefresh goes a step further by providing everything under a roof. That includes:  

  • A continuous integration solution for artefact packaging 
  • A continuous deployment solution for artefact deployment 
  • Artifacts are stored in a Docker registry that is integrated. 
  • Helm charts are stored in an integrated Helm repository. 

As a result, Codefresh is a one-stop-shop for deployments, as it includes the entire platform in a single package and Jenkins only provides the CI functionality and nothing else. 

4. Codefresh includes management dashboards for Docker, Kubernetes, and Helm-

Apart from the Helm integrated repository and integrated registry, different artefacts and releases can be managed with the help of Codefresh’s graphical dashboards. Jenkins only handles continuous integration, none of these dashboards are available. 

5. From commit to deployment, Codefresh provides complete traceability-

Codefresh is a full DevOps platform that covers the entire continuous integration/deployment lifecycle, including management of cluster, artifact  

storage, as we have seen. This gives Codefresh a complete picture of deployment, from start to finish i.e., from commit to release. It is simple to keep track of what is released using the Codefresh dashboards. On the other hand, Jenkins is only aware of the jobs and builds. 

6. Codefresh includes dashboard for Git repository –

Apart from the other repositories and dashboards, codefresh also contains a git repository, whereas Jenkins does not have a git repository dashboard. 

7. Docker based steps are used according to the Codefresh pipeline design –  

Jenkins 1.x builds are based on virtual machines (VMs) that have been pre-installed with all possible build tools required by all projects within a company. Builds are then scripted, and all necessary build dependencies are prepared ahead of time. 
Jenkins 2.x introduced the concept of pipelines, which can run commands within Docker images. This Jenkins 2.x capability, however, is entirely optional. A Jenkins team can still create pipelines using the old way. 
On the other hand, Codefresh strictly enforces Docker-based builds (in which all build tools are Dockerized) by making it the only way to create pipelines. 

8. Pipelines of Codefresh use declarative YAML rather than using Groovy scripts – 

Jenkins 2.x includes programmatic pipelines written in Groovy. Both the modes i.e., declarative and scripted are allowed in Groovy scripts.  
Codefresh only supports one pipeline mode i.e., declarative YAML. Pipeline creation is always standardized as there is no scripted mode. 

9. Codefresh extensions are Docker images rather than custom Groovy libraries- 

In Jenkins 2.x, it is perfectly acceptable to use Groovy’s “declarative” mode in simple pipelines. Complex pipelines, on the other hand, will necessitate the extension of the basic syntax and the addition of own capabilities. Jenkins can be extended using shared libraries. For this way we should know – 

  • Groovy 
  • Shared library Jenkins API 
  • To install the library, administrator access to the Jenkins instance is must. 

On the other hand, Codefresh follows a simple approach, “Codefresh Plugin”. It is just a docker image. Any programming language can be used to create this plugin.  
Plugin creation for Codefresh is an effortless process that does not require any programming language, API knowledge, or admin access. 

Summing up:

Jenkins only supports a small portion of Codefresh’s features. Jenkins has only two layers i.e., jobs and builds. Codefresh, on the other hand, contains all the deployments and DevOps solutions. 

Thus Codefresh, with its plethora of features has wider scope to be the best solution so far.  



Trainee Test Engineer

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