Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) are essential practices for modern software development. They enable faster and more reliable delivery of software products by automating the build, test, and deployment processes. There are many tools available for implementing CI/CD, such as Azure DevOps and GitLab.

Azure DevOps

Azure DevOps is a cloud-based platform that provides a set of services for teams to share code, track work, and ship software. It integrates well with Microsoft tools and supports various platforms and languages. It includes Azure Repos for Git hosting, Azure Pipelines for CI/CD, Azure Boards for agile planning, Azure Artifacts for package management, and Azure Test Plans for testing. When implementing CI/CD, you can decide to only use Pipelines, or you can use all the services for a full and seamless DevOps lifecycle.


GitLab is an open-source self-hosted platform that offers a complete solution for the entire DevOps lifecycle. It can be deployed on any infrastructure and supports a wide range of technologies and integrations, though some have said it doesn’t run as well on Windows. GitLab’s message is: “One platform to empower dev, sec, and ops teams.” The features available for use depend on the tier of GitLab selected, each with its own cost.


Compare and Contrast

When it comes to actually creating a pipeline, it is important to consider to the time cost of starting up. Azure DevOps has a YAML pipeline editor that makes it much easier to create and edit the pipelines. While GitLab also has a Pipeline Wizard, it expects you to create and maintain a YAML template as code. Conversely, the Azure DevOps wizard doesn’t require you to write any YAML. Furthermore, GitLab doesn’t provide a visual editor for build and release orchestration like Azure DevOps. This can serve as an impedance for certain teams.

In terms of pricing, these tools vary greatly. Azure DevOps has a flexible pricing structure, which offers a free tier for up to five users and 1,800 minutes of build time per month. This is ideal for small teams or projects that do not require a lot of resources or features.  GitLab can be expensive for smaller teams, as it offers a free tier for unlimited users but limited features. To access more features and functionalities, users must pay a monthly or annual fee that can range from $29 to $99 per user per month. This is compared to the $6 per user per month for Azure DevOps Services.

If your ecosystem already has several Microsoft tools, Azure DevOps may be a better choice for your CI/CD needs. Additionally, it is customizable and integrates with other, third-party tools through plugins in the Visual Studio Marketplace. Conversely, GitLab focuses more on using its own native tools and does not provide a marketplace for CI/CD plugins. This may mean an additional time cost of having to learn a new tool instead of being able to use whatever tool works best for you.


When deciding which CI/CD tool is right for you, it is important to look at all aspects of what development would look like. The tool you choose should do nothing but enhance your team and enable them to go create great solutions. For more information, contact our team of experts here at PRAKTIK.