TeamCity vs Heroku CI comparison of Continuous Integration servers
What are the differences between TeamCity and Heroku CI?

TeamCity

https://www.jetbrains.com/teamcity/

Heroku CI

https://www.heroku.com/continuous-integration
Unique feature

Technology awareness

Heroku Flow

Type of product

On Premise

SaaS

Offers a free plan

Yes

They offer a great free professional plan, limited to 100 build configurations and 3 build agents. From there, you pay for each aditional agent you want (discounts if you purchase more than 1 agent at a time). They also provide a free plan for open source, non commercial projects, and steep 50% discounts for startups.

No (partial)

For CI only, the cost starts at $10 for pipeline, plus a variable amount depending on how long the build runs for (prorated per second). The servers used for CI cost $250 for a full month, which means you get about 3 hours for $1. For hosting, there's a free tier, limited to 1 web/1 worker with 512 MB RAM. One of the more annoying limitations is that free dynos are put into sleep mode after 30 min. of inactivity, which increases loading times considerably.
Predictable pricing

Yes

They have a clear list of prices per number of agents.

Yes

Clearly defined, offers a calculator.
Support / SLA

Yes

Yes

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

Yes

Up to 16 nodes. You can ask Heroku support to enable up to 32 parallel dynos.
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

No specific mention that we could find, but judging by the wording used it would appear that tasks can be divided accross different machines.

N/A

Containers support / Build environment

Yes

First class Docker support, among others

Yes

Builds run in isolation on new dynos (Heroku containers). Wide support via buildpacks: https://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/buildpacks
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

Great system overview, even allows building your own dashboards in order to see everything you're interested in at a glance.

Yes

Great visual overview built-in.
Management support
How easy is it to manage users / projects / assign roles and permissions and so on

Yes

Allows assigning roles, LDAP and Windows domain integrations and more.

Yes

One of the more mature solutions for teams on the market, Heroku Teams is available for free for 1-5 people, and comes at a cost for 6+ team members: https://www.heroku.com/pricing#team-comparison. Allows setting roles and app-level permissions with ease.
Self-hosted option

Yes

No

Hosted plans / SaaS

No

Yes

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

Unlike most options in the CI/CD space, TeamCity allows defining pipelines using a Kotlin-based DSL. This unlocks a lot of potential, such as templates for common CI/CD tasks, and deep integration with various IDEs (not just JetBrains IDEs)

Yes

Very easy and intuitive process that allows defining a pipeline from code commit, to code review (review apps), user acceptance testing and production deployment, via Heroku Flow. Works best if the project is also hosted on Heroku.
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.

Yes

Something that stands out from the rest, allows integrating third party reports, as long as they produce HTML output.

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?

Yes

JetBrains has a rich ecosystem of plugins in general.

Yes

Wide array of 3rd party add-ons available via Heroku Elements: https://elements.heroku.com/addons. Custom buildpacks are also available for almost any stack you might be using (over 5500 buildpacks available at the moment)
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

Using what they call 'Technology Awareness', promises great intehration with Ruby projects, with features such as testing framework support, static analysis and code coverage available out of the box, with no additional work required: https://www.jetbrains.com/teamcity/features/technology_awareness.html

Yes

Although not specifically built in to Heroku, it's guaranteed that any Ruby specific need that might arise would be solved via add-ons, buildpacks or other integrations available.
Specific language support: JavaScript

No (partial)

Unlike Ruby, there's no first class support for Javascript, although they do advertise the fact that their large collections of plugins can cover any use case for Javascript projects: https://plugins.jetbrains.com/teamcity

Yes

Although not specifically built in to Heroku, it's guaranteed that any Javascript specific need that might arise would be solved via add-ons, buildpacks or other integrations available.
Integrations
1st party support for common tools (like Slack notifications, various VCS platforms, etc)

Yes

Great cloud integrations (Google Cloud, AWS, VMWare, etc) as well as 'key' integrations (VSCode, Jira, even NuGet)

Yes

The strongest built-in integrations are with GitHub and Slack (ChatOps) but even allows integrating 3rd party CI servers in the workflow if you so require, among others.
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

Yes

Unlike most tools, which offer just a Rest API, TeamCity provides ample opportunity for extension via plugins, their own API, and service messages (formatted messages on stdout)

Yes

Offers a feature rich API that allows CRUD operations on the most important features, such as promoting an app to production, or inspecting a specific pipeline.
Auditing

Yes

Yes

Additional notes

Great ecosystem, with a strong focus on integration with other tools (not only JetBrains).

How to run parallel tests on TeamCity and Heroku CI
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.

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Get faster feedback from TeamCity and Heroku CI server

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How to leverage Heroku CI to run your tests faster?

Introduction to Knapsack Pro Heroku add-on

Heroku CI parallelism integration

Introduction to CI parallelisation with Knapsack Pro

Run tests in parallel on TeamCity and Heroku CI in optimal way and avoid bottleneck parallel jobs.

How much can you save with faster tests
on TeamCity and Heroku CI?

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 TeamCity and Heroku CI 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 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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