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Bitbucket or GitHub?


Posted by
Stefanie Chernow

July 26, 2018

There are some tough choices to make when it comes to choosing a Git solution for your enterprise team. When delivering products fast to market, having quality code is imperative. You need a tool that can support the teamwork of your development department, so you may be asking yourself the following question: Bitbucket or GitHub?

Let’s take a look at two of the largest version control systems on the market designed for enterprises: GitHub Enterprise and Bitbucket Data Center (We’ve covered more in-depth on Bitbucket’s Cloud and Server features over here if you’re interested in the nitty-gritty details).

In this corner: GitHub Enterprise

GitHub was launched in 2008, making it the first well-known Git solution on the market. At the time, social media was really beginning to take-off, so these early social features directed much of GitHub’s roadmap. Developers could – and still can – show off their development skills for the open-source community.

Recently, Microsoft acquired GitHub for $7.5 billion. While it is too soon to determine the fallout of this decision, it’s clear that GitHub’s strategy is taking a turn towards enterprise clients – an area in which Microsoft is well-versed, yet GitHub could never fully breach with its open-sourced culture.

In this corner: Bitbucket Data Center

A lesser known fact – Bitbucket was actually created by Jesper Nøhr in 2008 as a small start-up project. Success struck when Bitbucket was acquired by Atlassian in 2010. Early on, Bitbucket was geared towards professional and enterprise teams. Its features focus on compliance, security and permissions, scalability, and priority support – in other words, the aspects that matter for businesses and complex structures. This is why 60 of Fortune 100 use Bitbucket for code collaboration.

Bitbucket or GitHub? Feature comparison

Let’s put the tools head-to-head:

Features
GitHub Enterprise
Bitbucket Data Center
Apps and integrations There is a GitHub Marketplace to extend GitHub’s functionality or to integrate it with another tool, with roughly 59 paid-for GitHub Enterprise apps. Bitbucket has more apps compatible with Data Center. Just take your pick from over 155 Bitbucket Data Center apps, with 89 that are free of charge. While commit graphs and in-browser editing do come out of the box with GitHub, these features can be easily added with Marketplace apps in Bitbucket.
A complete software development solution GitHub Enterprise is a three-in-one solution, meaning you’ll get a light wiki and issue tracker within the tool. Bitbucket Data Center integrates with Jira and Confluence seamlessly, creating a top of the line Agile software development tool. Bitbucket integrates directly with Jira in ways that GitHub doesn’t; you can create branches directly from Jira issues, interact with Jira issues without leaving Bitbucket, and automatically connect commits, branches, and pull requests to Jira issues.
Smart mirroring GitHub mirrors every repository, which could create bottlenecks when pushing changes. Hands down, Bitbucket has awesome smart mirroring. Bitbucket allows you to choose which projects are mirrored across different locations.
Workflows GitHub only has one workflow: GitHub flow. In Bitbucket Data Center, you can choose a workflow that is right for your team. You can use one of five merge strategies, create custom merge checks, and configure default reviewers.
Scalability If you want to add nodes to GitHub Enterprise’s clustering solution, you’ll need to call them and wait for the configuration. Bitbucket offers turnkey active-active clustering, meaning you can add nodes to your cluster instantly.

Bitbucket or GitHub? The price tag

As of the information available on June 2018, GitHub Enterprise is based on the list price of $2,500 per 10 users / year, while Bitbucket Data Center’s pricing is more nuanced; for 11-25 users it costs $1,800, but the price changes on a sliding scale as you add users. This is what this pricing scheme looks like as your demand for users grows:

Source: Atlassian

The pricing gap is so wide that you could actually get a Bitbucket, Jira, and Confluence Data Center combo for less than GitHub Enterprise:

Considering the power behind Jira Software and Confluence over the functionalities in Github’s wiki and issue tracking solution, that’s actually a pretty good deal!

Choosing the right tool

GitHub is a popular solution in the developer community, as the standard version exists as an open source solution which is free of charge – so this might make sense for individuals or smaller teams. However, if you have to make a decision today for your enterprise team, Bitbucket Data Center has proven itself as a strong Git solution, which focused on teamwork at scale for the better part of the last decade.

Ready to make the switch to Bitbucket Data Center? Our team of Account Managers, License specialists, Atlassian certified consultants and Atlassian trainers are on standby to help you through the entire process from A to Z.