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GitHub vs Bitbucket: Which Web Service for Hosting it Projects is Better?

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Featured image for GitHub vs Bitbucket: Which Web Service for Hosting it Projects is Better?

For many specialists, the topic of choosing the best web service is relevant. This article will compare GitHub and Bitbucket, which are the most popular among users.

The main difference is that GitHub is focused on public code, while Bitbucket is focused on private. GitHub serves a huge open source community, and Bitbucket tends to focus primarily on enterprise and business users.

GitHub vs Bitbucket: Which Web Service for Hosting it Projects is Better?

GitHub vs Bitbucket. Source.

Bitbucket and GitHub are two of the largest source code management services for development projects, offering a variety of deployment models, from fully cloud-based to on-device. Historically, they have taken different approaches to private and public repositories, which affected usability and posed a risk to data confidentiality.

A GitHub account is the business card of a software developer. Just like any writer is asked to show their blog, each developer is expected to submit examples of their code on GitHub. But that doesn't make GitHub the best choice for every software development team. GitHub is committed to make it easier to share code, and in this regard, it is indispensable for the open source Internet backbone network that many users are used to. At the same time, this means that organizations must pay more attention to managing their users and access control settings to ensure they do not compromise their cyber resilience. The pricing models of the two products also reflect their different approaches to version control.

What are the features of Bitbucket?

Bitbucket supports Git by default, but this changes when it comes to other types of repositories. Bitbucket's advantage over GitHub was that both Git and Mercurial were available with Bitbucket. SVN has never been supported, but Bitbucket has been upgraded to support Mercurial. Bitbucket is written in Python and uses the Django web framework.

GitHub vs Bitbucket: Which Web Service for Hosting it Projects is Better?


Bitbucket web service. Source.

Bitbucket was launched in 2008 in Australia and was originally an independent startup offering hosting only for Mercurial projects. In 2010, it was acquired by another Australian company, Atlassian, and after about a year, the developers added support for Git repositories.

Many users who worry about code privacy have switched to Bitbucket from GitHub following Microsoft's recent $ 7.5 billion acquisition of the platform.

Bitbucket integrates very well with JIRA, which was originally created as a bug-tracking tool, but is now so flexible that it can be used for operations such as issue tracking, support service, and project management. This is not surprising given that JIRA is also an Atlassian product. Other features include:

  • unlimited private repo;
  • comparison of branches and history of commits;
  • Bitbucket client for Mac and Windows called SourceTree;
  • an Android application called BitBeaker;
  • Bitbucket for enterprises, called Stash;
  • integration with tools such as Jira, Crucible, Bamboo, Jenkins, HipChat;
  • deep integration with Trello through their Bitbucket Cloud feature, which offers seamless integration of branches, commits and pull requests to Trello boards;
  • branch permissions - instead of giving developers access to every branch in the repo, Bitbucket allows you to restrict access to one branch;
  • easy integration with Bamboo and Confluence in addition to Atlassian's own Jira Software Cloud for additional customization and hosting.
  • Bitbucket Snippets allows you to create and manage all kinds of multi-file snippets.
GitHub vs Bitbucket: Which Web Service for Hosting it Projects is Better?

Bitbucket interface. Source.

In addition, Bitbucket supports Git Large File Storage (LFS), which means faster clone and access times for those working with large files.

What is GitHub?

First of all, only projects using the Git Version Control System (VCS) are hosted on GitHub, nothing else. But Git is undoubtedly the most used VCS, which is why GitHub is still considered the largest code host of them all, with over 100 million code repositories.

GitHub vs Bitbucket: Which Web Service for Hosting it Projects is Better?


Логотип GitHub. Source.

What are the features of GitHub?

GitHub.com was originally launched in 2008 and the platform was written in both Ruby and Erlang. GitHub is designed to encourage close communication and collaboration in development teams. To that end, it includes features such as dedicated code comments and shared code review. Other notable features are listed below.
  1. Built-in problem tracker right in your project.
  2. Milestones and shortcuts in projects.
  3. Representation of definitions for comparison of branches.
  4. Applications for Windows and Mac desktops, as well as an application for Android.
  5. Support for over 200 programming languages and data formats.
  6. GitHub Pages, function for publishing and posting to GitHub.
  7. Security such as using SSL, SSH and / or https for all data transmissions and two-factor authentication to log into the system му.
  8. API Integration for easy integration of third party tools and integration with many other tools and platforms. Some examples are Asana and Zendesk for issue / bug tracking; CloudBees, Travis and CodeClimate for Continuous Integration (CI); AWS, Windows Azure, Google Cloud and Heroku Cloud Hosting.
  9. GitHub also acknowledges that SVN is also a widely used alternative to Git, so they provide a tool to import SVN repos into Git and host them on GitHub, although reportedly this is a clumsy and somewhat awkward solution at best. And they shrewdly made sure that the GitHub repositories are fully accessible to the SVN client.
  10. Syntax highlighting. GitHub users will get used to this standard indispensable feature, but Bitbucket still lacks it.
  11. High level of use in open source projects. Given that GitHub has a large number of public repositories, this is not surprising.
Supporting popular repositories and showcasing popular themes have made GitHub the factual choice for the open source community. Major projects include Linux and jQuery, hosted on GitHub.

Bitbucket vs GitHub: Usability and ease of use

The widespread use of GitHub by small developers to host their code has resulted in a well-tested platform that has one of the best user interfaces in the open source community. Bitbucket, which initially did not pay as much attention to open source and had less use, had interface difficulties at times, and was considered more difficult to navigate than the GitHub proposal.

However, the situation has changed recently. Bitbucket is now receiving great reviews for its user experience. Its online editor is one of the best for editing code directly on the web without pre-checking it on your computer. Being not the easiest platform to use, it is powerful and versatile, with many features to support the needs of small businesses and enterprises that have been actively using the platform for a long time. Bitbucket's interface is centered around "your work desktop", which gives you easy access to your repositories and pull requests. Bitbucket offers a complete Git interface and supports everything from filtering pull requests to issue tracking, SSH key management, and more.

GitHub has a simple interface that is easy to use even for those new to Git and hosting sources on the Internet. The platform has long been open source and contains a user interface that provides access to basic Git functionality as well as some of its own. However, there are scenarios where you still need to know how to use Git from the command line, especially if you are managing large open source projects with complex merge requirements.

GitHub allows you to easily view and check co-author commits using online comparison features, so you can manage your code at a detailed level. The frontend also offers great support for joint code review, which is very useful for teamwork, monitoring and task management, as well as DevOps features such as CI / CD. With the help of other tools, such as the GitHub Desktop, GitHub allows you to further expand the range of features you can use to manage your Git code collaboration.

Bitbucket vs. GitHub: developers’ choice

Developer decision making and community reach is one of the areas where Bitbucket and GitHub have gone through various states. Lacking the dominant open source position that GitHub has enjoyed for a long time, Bitbucket continues to play a secondary role after GitHub in terms of user base. However, its community has seen impressive growth over the past few years.

Bitbucket now boasts over 10 million registered users, and while that's not enough to supplant GitHub, which is also growing on its side, this change makes Bitbucket one of the solid leaders in the online Git code hosting market. Since its founding in 2008, company’s commitment to help companies write code, test software, and collaborate has led to the point where 60 Fortune 100 corporations can be said to use Bitbucket every day. While it may have a smaller community than GitHub, Bitbucket also has an abundance of integrations, which means that its community can access tools like Slack, AWS, Datadog, and JFrog, as well as developers using Github.

GitHub vs Bitbucket: Which Web Service for Hosting it Projects is Better?

The GitHub community is much more impressive, especially when it comes to its reputation in the open source community. To be a reliable open source project or open source developer, it is almost the de facto standard for your code to be hosted and publicly available on GitHub. The GitHub user base now has over 40 million registered users, with over 100 million Git repositories hosted on the platform. The GitHub community is active in 200 countries and is an important factor in the platform's superiority in the hi-tech world. This significant community also adds value to the business and could be a factor in Microsoft's $ 7.5 billion purchase of GitHub back in 2018. While Microsoft and the open source world have been at odds for a long time, the partnership between GitHub and Microsoft does give GitHub new capabilities and has gained the trust of enterprise customers, and Microsoft has regained the trust of open source developers and software users. Needless to say, the GitHub community, which already has a significant proportion of Fortune 50 and Fortune 100 companies, could continue to grow by leaps and bounds in the years to come.

GitHub vs. Bitbucket: wiki and collaboration

Bitbucket and GitHub not only work with source code, but also serve as platforms for collaboration and knowledge sharing. Wikis and other collaboration tools built right into platforms help teams collaborate on ideas that are part of the smart code space. On Bitbucket, you get a wiki when you create a code repository. Bitbucket wiki pages can be edited and versioned, and many projects also use them as home pages.

Bitbucket offers many other functions that facilitate team collaboration, including side-by-side diffs, IDE integration, and the ability to organize repositories into a project.

GitHub also offers many collaboration features, with its history of contributing very large open source projects bearing evidence to the reliability of the tools that support collaboration on the platform. Here are some of the projects with the most influential employee networks and the most contributors:

  • js;
  • Ansible;
  • TensorFlow;
  • React Native;
  • Kubernetes;
  • Apache Spark;
  • Код Visual Studio.
A GitHub workflow with simple cloning, repository forking, branching, pull requests, merges, diffs makes it one of the best platforms for teams who want to work on code together, whether it is open or closed. GitHub also maintains a wiki for documenting projects and sharing information with the team. Wikis are available for GitHub Free, GitHub Enterprise Cloud, and GitHub Enterprise Server. They can be written in Markdown or other supported formats. As in the case of the source code, Wiki sites are available to everyone for public repositories and are visible only to team members for private projects.

Integration with tools commonly used by developers

One of the main advantages of Atlassian Bitbucket is that it integrates very well with the Atlassian developer toolkit, and these tools are widely used and popular with developers. This is certainly true and should be a factor for you to consider, however please note that GitHub is taking steps to support its products with similar functionality and also integrates well with the Atlassian developer toolkit.

Bitbucket integrates well with Jira, Atlassian's issue tracking software and Trello, a project management tool popular with many software and business teams. In addition, there are over 50 integrations with other widely used developer tools available for developers and teams hosting their repositories on Bitbucket. Among them:

  • Amazon web services;
  • Microsoft Azure;
  • Docker Hub;
  • NPM;
  • Sonar;
  • and many more.
Through integration, you can view metrics for these services and tools right inside Bitbucket, and manage aspects of your software or DevOps infrastructure along with your code.

If you eventually go to GitHub, you can see that the integrations available for both Trello and Jira are very effective. In 2018, GitHub announced that it was working with Jira to create an integration that enables advanced features to connect your GitHub code to the Jira Software Cloud. Trello also has a GitHub Power Up integration that allows you to attach GitHub pull requests to Trello cards. With this integration, managing your GitHub work on Trello should be easy. However, GitHub is taking steps to improve its product with features like Trello. For example, back in 2016, GitHub launched Projects, a function that allows Trello-style cards to manage tasks and code projects.

GitHub also has integrations available for a wide variety of popular developer tools and software products. Slack integration is available, for example, for team chat, as well as Codefresh and Semaphore integrations for continuous integration. Available monitoring integrations include LogRocket and Waydev. In the project management category, integrations with GitKraken Glo Boards and DeepAffects are available, as well as many other useful integrations in several categories.

Given that both Bitbucket and GitHub are among the giants in hosting Git repositories, it is likely that they will continue to offer the broadest sets of integrations with other popular programming tools. A notable exception here is the exclusion of Mercurial from Bitbucket source hosting services in 2020. GitHub has never supported this VCS, but Bitbucket has supported it for many years. However, due to the small number of Mercurial users, it has completely ceased to exist on the Bitbucket platform and will not be supported in the future.

Custom application development: benefits

Custom development, or as it is also called - individual, is a unique solution that is created in accordance with the tasks from the customer. Custom development has a number of advantages. Among them:
  • quick adaptation;
  • high level of productivity;
  • unlimited growth;
  • possibility of adjustments.
It allows you to make changes for the current functionality of applications and adjust them in accordance with personal requests, which is very convenient for developers.


Summing up

Bitbucket and GitHub are very similar in terms of features, both now have unlimited free private repositories. And if your version control system (VCS) is Mercurial, then Bitbucket is a great choice. Unfortunately, none of them support SVN, which remains popular with developers, but there is a chance that this issue will be resolved in the future. Each has some useful features that others don't, like GitHub pages for small web hosting projects or Bitbucket and JIRA integration.

The choice may depend on the structure of your projects. If you have a lot of private projects and a small number of users, Bitbucket will be a better option due to its repo price. If you have large teams working on multiple projects, GitHub is the best option. The free plan offered by Bitbucket and GitHub is for individual developers and small teams.


GitHub vs Bitbucket: Which Web Service for Hosting it Projects is Better? key takeaways:

#1. What are the features of Bitbucket?
#2. What is GitHub?
#3. What are the features of GitHub?
#4. Bitbucket vs GitHub: Usability and ease of use
#5. Bitbucket vs. GitHub: developers’ choice
#6. GitHub vs. Bitbucket: wiki and collaboration
#7. Integration with tools commonly used by developers
#8. Custom application development: benefits
#9. Summing up

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Alexander Safonov
Author of the post

Customer Review