Bamboo Review
PRO: flexibility when setting up our builds. CON: lacks support for branched builds using multiple source repositories


What is most valuable?

We are very fond of the flexibility it offers in terms of setting up our builds. We have a wide variety of components we need to build which often require custom actions or manipulations using in house technology. Bamboo allows us to set this up quite easily by the flexible configuration features it includes.

Secondly we really like the integration of the build aspect and deploy aspect. One of the recent major releases included this feature to link build and deploy projects together allowing a deployment pipe-line to be setup completely in Bamboo. This makes the status of deployments very visible and also allows for easy follow up and even rollback in case a deployment causes too much havoc.

How has it helped my organization?

Thanks to Bamboo we are able to build changes made by development quite quickly and allow them to deploy to our internal environments when needed (as well as automated during the night). This significantly reduces the effort required to get something into test.

The fact that all builds use a unified setup and infrastructure makes it much easier to control and adapt the ever increasing number of builds.

What needs improvement?

We are lacking proper support for branched builds using multiple source repositories. The current approach is quite clunky (or non-existent) but it seems there is something in the pipe line for the end of the year according to a recent post on the Bamboo Jira.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Bamboo for about 6 years now

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Not at all, over all those years we only had a handful of issues and that's probably because we always take each new update directly.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No, we never encountered any serious regression. For the few cases we encountered bugs they were fixed in a reasonable time interval.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scaling out a build system is not always easy, but thanks to the remote agent technology we are able to scale out and add nodes in a transparent way.

How is customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

We use a 3d party for our license management, which makes it hard to judge this but we never had direct interactions with Atlassian Customer support.

Technical Support:

Pretty good once you get trough the initial levels of the support team, it can take a while before you are able to prove that there's a genuine issue.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We came from Jenkins back in the day, I recall our most important reasons to switch where the enterprise readiness of Bamboo and its integration in the Atlassian stack (Jira and others).

How was the initial setup?

Bamboo is very easy to deploy, all it takes is extracting the distribution and a JRE to run it. This also goes for the remote agents which install by running a JAR which already contains the configuration for communicating with its master.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented in house.

What was our ROI?

That would be 100%, the time saved in development is enormous.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We started out using only a number of agents and moved to a bigger setup using many remote agents over the years. The cost depends on the agents used and amount of boxes deployed to run them on.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Only Jenkins, see previous answer.

What other advice do I have?

Plan before you start, Bamboo is 'only' that which automates. One should have a decent design of how the build needs to work internally and have that (scripts, servers, descriptors ...) in order before attempting to automate on a large scale.

Secondly, don't be afraid to change things to you application or pipeline to help the automation to be more efficient - for example we replaced massive chunks of hard SQL from the build scripts by a webservice to avoid dependencies to JDBC in our builds.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.

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