Semaphore CI vs GoCD comparison of Continuous Integration servers
What are the differences between Semaphore CI and GoCD?

Semaphore CI

https://semaphoreci.com

GoCD

https://www.gocd.org
Unique feature

Autoscaling made easy / Great CLI

Free, open source CI/CD server

Type of product

SaaS

On Premise

Offers a free plan

Yes

1,300 service minutes every month. Plans to release a free tier for open source projects.

Yes

Free, open source software. They provide some Enterprise add-ons and support at a cost though.
Predictable pricing

Yes

Semaphore doesn't have traditional pricing tiers, instead it lists the types of machines you can use and their pricing per second of service. They plan to release an annual plan at some point.

Yes

For the Enterprise plans, they specify very clear tiers depending on the number of pipelines (directly correlated with the size of the organization)
Support / SLA

N/A

Not clear if they offer any real SLA on support.

Yes

Paid support available for enterprise plans
Paralellism
Every CI servers tends to address this differently (parallel, distributed, build matrix). Some of it is just marketing, and some is just nuance. For this table, parallel means that tasks can be run concurrently on the same machine, distributed means that tasks can be scaled horizontally, on multiple machines
How to split tests in parallel in optimal way with Knapsack Pro

Yes

Allows defining a custom build matrix such that your build can be parallelized accross several different environments.

Yes

Distributed builds
distributed means that tasks can be scaled horizontally, on multiple machines
How to split tests in parallel in optimal way with Knapsack Pro

N/A

Yes

They specify supporting tools like TLB (http://test-load-balancer.github.io/) which would require distributed builds.
Containers support / Build environment

Yes

Allows running builds inside docker containers

Yes

Native Docker and Kubernetes support
Analytics / Status overview
Analytics and overview referrs to the ability to, at a glance, see what's breaking (be it a certain task, or the build for a specific project)

Yes

Yes

One of the greatest things about GoCD is their Value Stream Map which allows tracing every pipeline through every stage, from code commit, to testing and deployment. They also offer various dashboards for seeing status at a glance.
Management support
How easy is it to manage users / projects / assign roles and permissions and so on

Yes

Yes

Allows managing users, assigning roles, and even defining user groups with specific rights for certain pipelines.
Self-hosted option

No

Yes

Hosted plans / SaaS

Yes

No

Build pipelines
A continuous delivery pipeline is a description of the process that the software goes through from a new code commit, through testing and other statical analysis steps all the way to the end-users of the product.

Yes

Allows defining complex build workflows with ease

Yes

Fairly advanced support, from config files (YML, Groovy, JSON, etc) to API and UI interface for building and managing pipelines.
Reports
Reports are about the abilty to see specific reports (like code coverage or custom ones), but not necesarily tied in into a larger dashboard.

N/A

Yes

Ecosystem
Besides the official documentation and software, is there a large community using this product? Are there any community-driven tools / plugins that you can use?

N/A

Yes

Wide array of plugins available: https://www.gocd.org/plugins/#artifact (although they seem to pride themselves on the fact that most common operations / needs are first class citizens, so no plugins needed)
Specific language support: Ruby
Some CI servers have built-in support for parsing RSpec or Istanbul output for example and we mention those. Some others make it even easier by detecting Gemfiles or package.json and automate parts of the process for the developer.

Yes

Provides rich documentation on integrating Semaphore CI in Ruby projects. Also provides sudo access if you need to install system dependencies or C extensions.

Yes

Available via plugins, such as the Gem repository poller: https://www.gocd.org/plugins/#package-repo
Specific language support: JavaScript

Yes

Provides rich documentation on integrating Semaphore CI in Javascript projects

Yes

Available via plugins, such as the npm repository poller: https://www.gocd.org/plugins/#package-repo
Integrations
1st party support for common tools (like Slack notifications, various VCS platforms, etc)

Yes

Integration with GitHub and Slack. They allow building iOS projects via their macOS Mojave VM image.

Yes

Integrations are also available via plugins (for notifications, LDAP authorization, Elastic agents and more): https://www.gocd.org/plugins/#notification
API
Custom integreation is available, via an API or otherwise, it's mentioned separately as it allows further customization than any of the Ecosystem/Integration options

No

Yes

You can build on top of GoCD in a variety of ways, from writing custom plugins to using the CCTray feed provided by it.
Auditing

Yes

Yes

Additional notes

List of features is based on Semaphore 2.0

How to run parallel tests on Semaphore CI and GoCD
to execute 1-hour test suite in 2 minutes?

How it works

1. Install Knapsack Pro client in your project


2. Add Knapsack Pro client to your current CI server and run your tests in parallel



3. Update your CI server config file to run tests in parallel with Knapsack Pro

Knapsack Pro in Queue Mode will split tests in a dynamic way across parallel CI nodes to ensure each CI node finish work at a similar time. Thanks to that your CI build time is as fast as possible. It works with many supported CI servers.

Do you know

Start using Knapsack Pro

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Get faster feedback from Semaphore CI and GoCD server

  • save time & money
  • deliver features faster
  • catch errors earlier

Running Rails tests in parallel on Semaphore CI 2.0 with dynamic test files split

Semaphore CI parallelism integration

Introduction to CI parallelisation with Knapsack Pro

Run tests in parallel on Semaphore CI and GoCD in optimal way and avoid bottleneck parallel jobs.

How much can you save with faster tests
on Semaphore CI and GoCD?

minutes
$

Monthly you can save hours
and up to $
on faster development cycle.

Features that make your tests perform better

  • Queue mode see video

    Dynamic tests allocation across Semaphore CI and GoCD parallel jobs. Autobalance tests to get optimal test suite split betweeen CI nodes.

  • Regular mode see video

    Test suite split based on time execution. Generates subset of test suite per CI node before running tests.

  • Fallback mode

    Network issues? Not a problem, run tests anyway! Auto switch to the fallback mode to not depend on Knapsack Pro API.

  • All supported test runners

    Ruby: RSpec, Minitest, Test::Unit, Cucumber, Spinach, Turnip.

    JavaScript: Cypress.io, Jest

    Do you use different programming language or test runner? Let us know in the poll

Discover all features or see
how to use Knapsack Pro with your CI

Trusted solution

Join the teams optimizing their tests with Knapsack Pro.

We've been really enjoying Knapsack Pro, it's been saving us a ton of time.

Devin Brown Software Engineer at Pivotal

This is a fantastic product, it's been a total game-changer for us.

Geoff Harcourt CTO at CommonLit

We are using CircleCI and we noticed that builds were being limited by the slowest parallelized container. Knapsack Pro was really east to setup and we saw huge improvements right away. Thank you for making this tool!

Martin Sieniawski Software Engineer at Collage

Knapsack Pro has helped us build an insanely fast and scaleable build pipeline with almost no setup or maintenance.

Tim Lucas Co-founder of buildkite.com

Knapsack Pro saves us hours of engineer waiting time every week, and is the best solution for keeping our tests load balanced that we've used to date.

Michael Amygdalidis Senior Software Engineer at Popular Pays

I've been playing with Queue Mode. Love it! Wow, I love how fast it goes.

Michael Menne CTO at humanagency.org

I just logged into my account expecting it to say that I needed to add a credit card and was so surprised and delighted to see the trial doesn't count usage by calendar days but by testing days! This is incredible! I love it!!!

I just wanted to say that I really appreciate that small but very huge feature. Thank you for being so thoughtful :)

Shannon Baffoni Senior Software Engineer
at Blue Bottle Coffee

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Start using Knapsack Pro with Semaphore CI or GoCD

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