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Decision Kit
Decision Kit

Bitbucket vs. Gitlab for Business Decision Makers


Atlassian Bitbucket gives teams Git code management, but also one place to plan projects, collaborate on code, test and deploy. It is marketed in the SaaS form (Bitbucket Cloud) and in a self-managed version (Bitbucket Server), however they are not the same product. Bitbucket Server is simply a re-branding of Stash. The two products are completely different code bases, written in two different languages (Cloud in Python, Server in Java) and do not maintain feature parity. Because of separate codebases they each have a completely different API, making it much harder to integrate.

Bitbucket supports Mercurial or Git, but not SVN. GitLab does not support Mercurial or SVN. GitLab is a complete DevOps platform, delivered as a single application, with built-in project management, source code management, CI/CD, monitoring and more. Bitbucket uses Jira for project management, Bamboo for on-prem CI/CD and Atlassian does not provide a monitoring solution. Additionally, GitLab Ultimate comes with robust built-in security capabilities such as SAST, DAST, Container Scanning, Dependency Scanning, License Compliance, secret detection and more. Bitbucket does not support these capabilities and Atlassian does not have a product for them.

GitLab also offers an “on-prem” self-managed and “cloud” SaaS solution. GitLab runs the exact same code on its SaaS platform that it offers to its self-hosted customers. This means customers can migrate from self-hosted to SaaS and back relatively easily and each solution maintains feature parity.

GitLab has seen an increased interest from world-wide internet searches (a strong indicator for devops interest) over the past five years.

Between 2018 and 2019 Gitlab adoption as a Version Control System has increased by 21% whereas Atlassian Bitbucket’s adoption has decreased by 11%. This is as per The Next Stack’s analysis of Jetbrains Developer Ecosystem surveys.

Bitbucket Strengths

Jira - Widely Adopted

- Tightly Integrated with Bitbucket Pipelines and Trello
Partnerships and

Atlassian Marketplace
- Rich set or add-ons options and services for users
Great User Experience - Fast onboarding for adoption
- Intuitive UI
Bitbucket Pipelines

& Deployment
- CI/CD built into Source Control product
(Cloud only. Bamboo for On-Prem)
Integrated Toolchain
Across Atlassian Products
- Bitbucket, Trello, Jira, etc.
Feature Highlights - Out-of-the-box SLACK integration
- Automatic unlimited concurrent pipeline runs

Bitbucket Limitations and Challenges

Limitations and Challenges  
Bitbucket CI/CD - Cloud Only

- Bamboo for Self-Managed/On-Prem
Enterprise Features - No Security Dashboard
- Lack enterprise migration tools
Immature Deployment
- No native support for canary deployments
- No native support for feature flags
Cloud Pipeline
Agent (Runners)
- Provides Linux only
*Gitlab provides Linux, Windows, and will
provide macOS soon
Free Tier Traps - Limited to 5 collaborators
- Only provides visibility into insights
from 3 integrated tools
Pricing - Price points are costly considering
Bitbucket is not a single end-to-end
DevOps application

GitLab Differentiators

Single DevOps Application Bitbucket natively provides Code Repos and CI/CD, however, all other features and functions requires integrations
Leading CI/CD - GitLab Ranked higher by Forrester for CI and CDRA
CI/CD Diversity - GitLab Supports both Cloud and On-prem CI/CD implementations
- GitLab Provides Linux and Windows Cloud runners (macOS soon)
DevSecOps - GitLab Security introduced/implemented early in the software development lifecycle (shifted left)
- Bitbucket Security not integrated into the DevOps flow, need 3rd party tools
Innovation Velocity - Gitlab outpaces Bitbucket in implementing new features, releasing new features every month
Open Source - With GitLab everyone can contribute
- Bitbucket is not Open Source.