Jenkins is an open-source automation tool written in Java with plugins built for Continuous Integration purposes. Jenkins is used to build and test your software projects continuously making it easier for developers to integrate changes to the project, and making it easier for users to obtain a fresh build.
As a Continuous Integration tool, Jenkins allows seamless, ongoing development, testing, and deployment of newly created code. Continuous Integration is a process wherein developers commit changes to source code from a shared repository, and all the changes to the source code are built continuously. This can occur multiple times daily. Each commit is continuously monitored by the CI Server, increasing the efficiency of code builds and verification. This removes the testers’ burdens, permitting quicker integration and fewer wasted resources.
What makes Jenkins so popular?
Jenkins offers many attractive features for developers:
- Easy Installation
Jenkins is a platform-agnostic, self-contained Java-based program, ready to run with packages for Windows, Mac OS, and Unix-like operating systems.
- Easy Configuration
Jenkins is easily set up and configured using its web interface, featuring error checks and a built-in help function.
- Available Plugins
There are hundreds of plugins available in the Update Center, integrating with every tool in the CI and CD toolchain.
Jenkins can be extended by means of its plugin architecture, providing nearly endless possibilities for what it can do.
- Easy Distribution
Jenkins can easily distribute work across multiple machines for faster builds, tests, and deployments across multiple platforms.
- Free Open Source
Jenkins is an open-source resource backed by heavy community support.
The Jenkins server accesses the master environment on the left side and the master environment can push down to multiple other Jenkins Slave environments to distribute the workload.
That lets you run multiple builds, tests, and product environment across the entire architecture. Jenkins Slaves can be running different build versions of the code for different operating systems and the server Master controls how each of the builds operates.
Supported on a master-slave architecture, Jenkins comprises many slaves working for a master. This architecture — the Jenkins Distributed Build — can run identical test cases in different environments. Results are collected and combined on the master node for monitoring.
Let us imagine a scenario where the complete source code of the application was built and then deployed on test server for testing. It sounds like a perfect way to develop software, but, this process has many flaws.
- Developers have to wait until the complete software is developed for the test results.
- There is a high possibility that the test results might show multiple bugs. It was tough for developers to locate those bugs because they have to check the entire source code of the application.
- It slows the software delivery process.
- Continuous feedback pertaining to things like coding or architectural issues, build failures, test status and file release uploads was missing due to which the quality of software can go down.
- The whole process was manual which increases the risk of frequent failure.
In a software product development project at Nokia, there was a process called Nightly builds. Nightly builds can be thought of as a predecessor to Continuous Integration. It means that every night an automated system pulls the code added to the shared repository throughout the day and builds that code. The idea is quite similar to Continuous Integration, but since the code that was built at night was quite large, locating and fixing of bugs was a real pain. Due to this, Nokia adopted Continuous Integration (CI). As a result, every commit made to the source code in the repository was built. If the build result shows that there is a bug in the code, then the developers only need to check that particular commit. This significantly reduced the time required to release new software.
Jenkins is a very vital tool in today’s fast growing industries. No company wants to lag behind any competition just because they have been unable to manage their workflow. Jenkins manages the workflow and integration very efficient. This makes development very faster and this is what the need of the current market.