Jenkins is an open-source automation server that facilitates Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD) in software development. It provides a platform for automating various aspects of the software delivery process, including building, testing, and deploying applications, allowing developers to integrate code changes rapidly and deliver high-quality software more efficiently.
Key Features and Functionality of Jenkins:
- Continuous Integration (CI): Jenkins enables developers to integrate code changes into a shared repository frequently. It automatically triggers builds and tests whenever changes are pushed to the version control system, ensuring that the codebase remains in a consistent and functional state.
- Continuous Deployment (CD): Jenkins supports Continuous Deployment, where code changes that have passed the CI process are automatically deployed to production or staging environments. This helps achieve faster and more reliable software releases.
- Extensibility with Plugins: Jenkins has a vast ecosystem of plugins that extend its functionality. These plugins enable integration with various tools, services, and technologies commonly used in software development, such as version control systems, build tools, testing frameworks, and deployment platforms.
- Build Automation: Jenkins automates the build process, compiling source code, and generating executable artifacts that can be tested and deployed. It supports different build tools and environments, making it versatile and suitable for various development setups.
- Scheduled Jobs: Jenkins allows users to schedule jobs at specific intervals or times. This feature is useful for automating routine tasks, such as backups, data processing, and report generation.
How Jenkins Works:
- Version Control Integration: Jenkins integrates with popular version control systems like Git, SVN, and others, allowing it to monitor code repositories for changes and trigger build and test processes automatically.
- Jobs and Pipelines: In Jenkins, jobs define the specific tasks to be executed, such as compiling code, running tests, and deploying applications. Pipelines enable the creation of end-to-end workflows by connecting multiple jobs.
- Build Agents: Jenkins uses build agents (or nodes) to distribute the workload across multiple machines, enabling parallel execution of builds and tests, which speeds up the process.
- Plugins and Integrations: Jenkins offers a vast ecosystem of plugins that extend its functionality, allowing integration with various tools, services, and technologies commonly used in software development and deployment.
Top 5 Uses of Jenkins
Integration of Individual Jobs
Jenkins jobs are usually small tools. They serve small purposes and quite simple. Jenkins provides pipeline plugin using which multiple jobs can be combined. Pipelining provides such benefit which Linux users can understand more than anyone. Both sequential or parallel combination is possible.
Jenkins lowers the Effort of repeated coding
with the uses of Jenkins, one can convert a command prompt code into a GUI button click. This can be done by wrapping up the script as a Jenkins job. Parameterized Jenkins jobs can be created for customization or to take user input. Thus, hundreds of lines of code writing can be saved.
Synchronization with Slack
A large team uses a centralized platform for communication. Slack is one such most popular platform. Slack integration can be done to Jenkins and thus communication such as activities have been triggered, its time, users name, results etc. can be shared with other people.
Manual Tests option
Sometimes things work great locally but fail when pushed on a central system. This happens because, by the time they push, things change. Continuous Integration tests the code against the current state of a code base and is done in the production-like environment.
Avoid Broken Code during shipping
Continuous integration ensures that code coverage is good, it is tested well and only merged when all tests are successful. This makes sure that the master builds are not broken, and no broken code is shipped to a production environment. In case, the master build is broken, such systems can trigger a warning to all developers.