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Continuous Integration Vs. Continuous Deployment: How does AWS CodeBuild & AWS CodePipeline Compare?

AWS CodeBuild vs AWS CodePipeline


What is AWS CodeBuild? What is AWS CodePipeline?

AWS CodeBuild is a fully managed build service in the cloud. AWS CodeBuild compiles the source code, runs unit tests, and produces artifacts that are ready to deploy. CodeBuild eliminates the need to provision, manage, and scale own build servers. It provides prepackaged build environments for popular programming languages and build tools such as Apache Maven, Gradle, and more. You can also customize build environments in CodeBuild to use your own build tools. CodeBuild scales automatically to meet peak build requests

AWS CodePipeline on the other hand, is a fully managed continuous delivery service that helps to automate the release pipelines for fast and reliable application and infrastructure updates. CodePipeline automates the build, test, and deploy phases of the release process every time there is a code change, based on the release model you define. This enables a rapid and reliable delivery of features and updates. AWS CodePipeline can easily integrate with third-party services such as GitHub or any other custom plugin.

 How do the features of AWS CodeBuild and AWS CodePipeline compare?

AWS CodeBuild features 

AWS CodePipeline features

  • Bitbucket integration
  • Managed service
  • GitHub Webhooks support
  • GitHub integration
  • Streaming logs to Amazon CloudWatch
  • Parallel execution
  • Jenkins plugin integration
  • Automatic deployment
  • Parameter Store Integration for Passing secrets
  • Simple to set up
  • Integrated with AWS
  • GitHub Enterprise support
  • Scheduled builds with CloudWatch Events integration
  • Docker based build environment

What are the differences?

The main difference between the two is; AWS CodeBuild can be classified as a tool in the Continuous Integration category, while AWS CodePipeline is grouped under Continuous Deployment.

 How do you run AWS CodeBuild and AWS CodePipeline?

You can use the AWS CodeBuild or AWS CodePipeline console to run CodeBuild. You can also automate the running of CodeBuild by using the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) or the AWS SDKs.

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You can then add CodeBuild as a build or test action to the build or test stage of a pipeline in AWS CodePipeline. AWS CodePipeline is a continuous delivery service that you can use to model, visualize, and automate the steps required to release your code. This includes building your code. 

A pipeline is a workflow construct that describes how code changes go through a release process. See the illustration below; 

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What are some of the tools that integrate with AWS CodeBuild and AWS CodePipeline?

Some of the tools that integrate with AWS CodeBuild include; GitHub, GitHub Enterprise, Jenkins, Bitbucket, AWS CodeCommit, AWS CodeFormation, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, and Amazon S3.

On the other hand, some of the tools that integrate with AWS CodePipeline include; GitHub, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, Jenkins, Cloudbees, and Runscope. 

What are some alternatives to AWS CodeBuild and AWS CodePipeline?


Jenkins is the leading open-source continuous integration server. Built with Java, it provides over 300 plugins to support building and testing virtually any project.

AWS CodeDeploy

AWS CodeDeploy is a service that automates code deployments to Amazon EC2 instances. AWS CodeDeploy makes it easier to rapidly release new features, helps you avoid downtime during deployment, and handles the complexity of updating your applications.

AWS CodeStar

AWS CodeStar provides a unified user interface, enabling you to easily manage your software development activities in one place. 

Apache Maven

Maven allows a project to build using its project object model (POM) and a set of plugins that are shared by all projects using Maven, providing a uniform build system.

GitLab CI

GitLab offers a continuous integration service. If you add a .gitlab-ci.yml file to the root directory of your repository, and configure your GitLab project to use a Runner, then each merge request or push triggers your CI pipeline.

Wrapping Up

Every project has its own requirements and every CI/CD is unique. But when you have such great and easy to use tools available for you, you might as well want to make smarter use of them. AWS CodeBuild and AWS CodePipeline protects your secrets, automates jobs, reduces chances of error, and saves time and effort. In a poll by Stackshare in its community, “Pay per minute” is the primary reason why developers consider AWS CodeBuild over the competitors, whereas “Simple to set up” was stated as the key factor in picking AWS CodePipeline.


About author

About Author Dr. Michael Jurgen Garbade is the founder of LiveEdu.TV, Kyuda, Education Ecosystem. He is future Venture Capitalist, Future Politician and always on the lookout for the Next Big Challenge. Obtained Masters in business administration and physics, and a Ph.D. in finance with professional work experience in high-paced environments at Fortune 500 companies like Amazon and General Electric. Expertize: Python, PHP, Sencha Touch & C++, SEO, Finance, Strategy & E-commerce. He speaks English and German and has worked in the US, Europe, and Asia. At Education Ecosystem he is the CEO and runs business operations.
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