Jenkins automates building, testing, reporting, packaging, staging, deploying the application by using plugins. Jenkins offers a simple way to set up a continuous integration or continuous delivery environment for almost any combination of languages and source code repositories using pipelines, as well as automating other routine development tasks. While Jenkins doesn’t eliminate the need to create scripts for individual steps, it does give you a faster and more robust way to integrate your entire chain of build, test and deployment tools than you can easily build yourself.
Advantages of Jenkins.
There are a number of advantages in using Jenkins while developing software, some of them are mentioned below:
- Easy to use
- The user interface is simple and intuitive
- Extremely flexible and easy to adapt to your purposes
- It has over 1000 plugins supporting communication, integration, and testing to numerous external applications and if the plugin is not available, you can easily create one.
- It has a simple configuration through a web-based GUI, which speeds up job creation, improves consistency and decreases the maintenance costs.
- Allows consistent scripting across operating systems.
- The Jenkins tool is written in Java and thus it can be portable to most of the major platforms.
Before jumping into Jenkins, one should have a clear concept of Continuous Integration (CI). Continuous Integration can be said as the cornerstone of the software development process and is used to integrate various DevOps stages. It forces the defects in a software cycle to emerge early rather than waiting for software to be fully produced.
Continuous Integration basically involves making small changes to software and the building as well as applying quality assurance processes. Using the Jenkins tool in CI allows the code to build, deployed and tested automatically without many efforts.
Why Use It
- Faster Development
Pulling the entire code for building and testing can consume a lot of time. Jenkins helps in automate building and testing systems to the integration work.
- Better Software Quality
While developing software, generally the issues are detected and resolved before it is completed which makes it a better software with quality assurance while saving a lot of money to the organisation.
- Easily Customisable
A developer can easily use Jenkins with multiple plugins and you can also customise and bring multiple possibilities in using the software. The plugins are categorised on the Jenkins website and a user must follow the special instructions while installing the plugins.
- Effortless Auditing Of Previous Run
There is no need for spending time on human efforts while capturing the console output. Jenkins capture console output for both stdout and stderr while running jobs. Also, the distribution method of Jenkins enables you to send a developer’s work across multiple platforms without any struggle.
- Large Community
Jenkins has grown large community support and has many plugins available including GitHub, Slack, Docker, etc. by which the project is kept as well-maintained and updated. You can also join in the community of Jenkins extensively and interact with the developers, share feedbacks and views on further improvements, etc.
Industry use cases of Jenkins
Manage and streamline the development of increasingly complex automotive software by adopting CI and CD practices to shorten time-to-market.
In Bosse’s division, a software development organization of about 4,000 engineers work on roughly 400 different projects for 100 customers. Historically, this group has been focused on implementing new features rather than maximizing the efficiency of processes and tools. The build and test process included numerous manual steps, involving custom-developed and third-party tools, some of which had stability issues. Replicating problems with the tools was difficult, and the process lacked transparency. Build and test processes were implemented in silos at the team level, making it difficult for one team to know if another team was facing similar issues. These silos led to redundant work and made it a challenge for management to monitor and communicate progress. In addressing these challenges, the division sought to increase the number of features delivered in each release while improving the predictability of the releases for embedded software to better prepare for the increase of IoT opportunities for connected cars and new cloud services. Aside from automating manual build and test tasks, this required streamlining software integration activities and implementing a solution that would scale from a small initial roll-out to the full 4,000-person development organization.
Use the CloudBees Jenkins Platform to increase automation and project status visibility while improving build stability and software quality
The DGS-EC division is implementing CI and CD using the CloudBees Jenkins Platform. The group started by running a few small pilot projects with Jenkins. Having gained some experience from these initial proof-of-concept efforts, Bosse lobbied for a more extensive implementation. The DCS-EC division worked with CloudBees engineers to develop a Jenkins strategy and set up the infrastructure, which now includes seven production masters and six test masters. Among the group’s first goals was to use Jenkins to automate many of the manual build and test activities in the development teams’ current processes. They wrote plugins and adapted existing plugins as needed for tools that had been developed in-house as well as third-party tools invoked in the build, test and delivery processes. The initial automation revealed stability issues with some of the tools that had not been readily apparent when the tools were run locally on an as needed basis. Jenkins made it easy to identify these issues and recreate the conditions needed to replicate them for debugging. The group set up three CloudBees plugins: the Role-based Access Control (RBAC) plugin, the High Availability plugin and the Pipeline plugin. They used the RBAC plugin to control access to Jenkins jobs and to set up dedicated spaces that users could use to experiment without affecting the work of other users. The High Availability plugin enabled the group to minimize downtime due to master failures. Using the Pipeline plugin, they orchestrated and managed complex software delivery pipelines and evaluated the performance of individual stages within those pipelines. Bosse and his colleagues are using CloudBees Jenkins Operations Center to access build analytics, manage and view masters in a central dashboard and simplify plugin version control and upgrades. Having achieved some early successes with CI and CD, the group is now focused on expanding the use of Jenkins throughout the organization.
Three-day build process reduced to less than three hours » Large scale deployment kept on track by expert support » Visibility and transparency improved with Jenkins Operations Center
Three-day process reduced to less than three hours.
After automating the build pipeline with CloudBees, it now completes in two hours and 20 minutes .That translates to more than 95% increase in speed.
Large scale deployment kept on track by expert support.
Visibility and transparency improved.
Though Jenkins has been used and appraised positively by the users for many years now, it also shows limitations sometimes. Limitations such as service instability in continuous integration, its configurations where upgrading or any changes cause breaks, etc. have been faced by the developers.