Choosing Bitbucket Alternatives for Enterprise Solutions

Allison Bokone
Allison Bokone
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Last updated on January 8, 2024

Bitbucket is Atlassian’s source code hosting solution that includes built-in CI/CD through Bitbucket Pipelines. Bitbucket integrates with other Atlassian products, such as Jira for Agile planning and bug tracking and Trello for project management, to give users an end-to-end suite of software lifecycle tools available in the cloud.

Why Look for a Bitbucket Alternative?

That all sounds great, so why would you need an alternative? Bitbucket does have some limitations, the biggest of which is its lack of source control management (SCM) or version control system (VCS) flexibility. Bitbucket only supports Git, an open-source, distributed VCS. While Git is popular, it is more suited to text-based assets and struggles with large assets like images, videos, and audio files. In addition, a distributed VCS is not the ideal solution for all teams. For teams that want a single source of truth for their projects, Perforce Helix Core and Apache Subversion (SVN) are centralized VCSs.

There are also competing source code hosting solutions that offer integrations with different enterprise software development tools. Depending on the needs and preferences of your team, you might choose one solution over another based on what platforms your teams are familiar with and which solutions offer integrations with tools your team already uses.

Read on for an executive summary of how some competitors compare to Bitbucket.

GitHub vs Bitbucket

GitHub is the most commonly used cloud-based Git platform. It has an active community, many integrations, and a marketplace where you can find apps and actions to improve your workflows. GitHub supports a variety of CI build setups through both self-hosted runners and runners based on Linux, Windows, and macOS. GitHub Actions make it easy to deploy to cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Container Service (ECS), Azure, and Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE). GitHub’s main drawback is the heavy focus on developers and lack of support for other roles crucial to the end-to-end software development lifecycle.

While GitHub does offer many apps, for those companies already invested in Atlassian tools, Bitbucket’s integrations with the Atlassian suite paired with the Atlassian marketplace create a compelling reason to stick with the Atlassian brand and leverage the breadth of their solution. On the other hand, for companies using other products, GitHub offers support for Asana, AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and more.At the feature level, Bitbucket and GitHub are fairly evenly matched, but here are a few differences. Bitbucket saves you time with semantic search, a code aware search that ranks definitions first over usages or variable names. It reduces risk through the ability to set deployment permissions that allow you to control who can deploy and from which branch. While GitHub has two-factor authentication, Bitbucket supports external authentication via Twitter, Facebook, and Google.

GitLab vs. Bitbucket

GitLab is a Git hosting solution that offers both self-hosted data centers (Linux only) and cloud-based services (AWS, GCP, and Azure). GitLab offers a wider range of tools for DevSecOps across planning, development, verification, packaging, security, release management, configuration, monitoring, and governance. While support for such a wide range of roles and functions is powerful and offers customization you can tailor to your project, the learning curve is steeper because there is so much to explore and configure.

For companies already invested in Atlassian technology, Bitbucket might be the better choice because of its tight integration into their ecosystem. However, with the introduction of Atlassian’s Open DevOps, GitLab is now a featured partner with Jira issue integration. While GitLab offers the most robust and comprehensive DevSecOps set of tools, Bitbucket is still the better choice for teams using the Atlassian suite wanting to leverage its native integration.

Bitbucket and GitLab are also closely matched at the feature level. If your team uses Agile, a key advantage of Bitbucket is its support for Agile development. If your team has non-developer roles that you want to include in the end-to-end software lifecycle, GitLab has more support for non-dev roles, allowing for easier cross-discipline collaboration.

Perforce Helix TeamHub vs. Bitbucket

If you use a version control system other than Git, Perforce Helix TeamHub is a potential alternative to Bitbucket. TeamHub has VCS support for Git, SVN, and Mercurial. The Multi-VCS support in TeamHub enables scenarios such as collaborating and searching across Git and Mercurial repos. TeamHub can also host build artifacts from Maven and Ivy, and Docker container registries, in addition to hosting source code. It includes issue tracking and software development workflow features like Kanban boards and wikis.

For teams that work across multiple VCSs, or that want to maintain a single source of truth in a centralized repository, Perforce TeamHub and Helix Core are going to be the stronger offering. However, both TeamHub and Bitbucket are currently only supported on Linux platforms.

Assembla’s Managed Source Code Hosting Solutions for Enterprise

For the most flexible option with the least amount of overhead, Assembla is the solution that brings Perforce, SVN, and Git into the cloud under one platform. With Assembla, your team can leverage the power of SVN and Perforce in the cloud, while relying on Assembla’s expert 24/7 DevOps support to ensure your operations stay online and secure around the world. With software development tool partners such as Perforce Helix Core, Jenkins, and Travis CI, and integrations with leading project management tools like Trello, Jira, and Slack, your team can continue using the tools they love as you scale your infrastructure seamlessly in the cloud.

For an in depth overview of GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket – including pricing and customer support models – look at this comparison from Rewind.

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You can learn more about the benefits of cloud hosting on the Assembla blog. For an overview of source code hosting from Assembla go here and sign up for your free trial today.

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Allison Bokone
Allison Bokone
Allison Bokone is an instructor at Miami University in Ohio for the Computer and Information Technology department, specializing in process and DevOps. Prior to teaching, Allison worked at Microsoft for 18 years, first as a Technical Writer, then as a Program Manager and Director at Xbox. In her last role she was a regular contributor to MicrosoftGameDev.com.
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