What is Jenkins
Jenkins can be termed as an open source continuous integration server that helps developers by orchestrating a chain of actions, to achieve the Continuous Integration process in a automated way.
Jenkins supports the complete development lifecycle of software from building, testing, documenting the software, deploying and other stages of a software development lifecycle. Jenkins is free and is entirely written in Java. Jenkins is a widely used application around the world that has around 300k installations and growing day by day.
It is a server-based application and requires a web server like Apache Tomcat. The reason Jenkins became so popular is that of its monitoring of repeated tasks which arise during the development of a project.
By using Jenkins, software companies can accelerate their software development process, as Jenkins can automate build and test at a rapid rate. Jenkins achieves Continuous Integration with the help of plugins. Plugins allow the integration of Various DevOps stages.
- Kohsuke Kawaguchi, a Java developer, working at SUN Microsystems, was tired of building the code and fixing errors repetitively. In 2004, created an automation server called Hudson that automates build and test task.
- In 2011, Oracle who owned Sun Microsystems had a dispute with Hudson open source community, so they forked Hudson and renamed it as Jenkins.
- Both Hudson and Jenkins continued to operate independently. But in short span of time, Jenkins acquired a lot of projects and contributors while Hudson remained with only 32 projects. With time, Jenkins became more popular, and Hudson is not maintained anymore.
As an independent open source project, the Jenkins project maintains most of its own infrastructure including services that help to stay the project running. the type of things that fall under “infrastructure” can span from operating virtual machines, containers, configuring networks or developing and maintaining project-specific applications to form the event of Jenkins core and plugins more efficient.
Jenkins infrastructure is maintained by the Jenkins Infrastructure team. This team consists of Jenkins contributors and volunteers who provide best-effort support depending on their availability and other commitments. We are always looking for contributors who are interested to improve Jenkins services and helping with maintaining them.
Features Of Jenkins
Jenkins is more functionality-driven rather than UI-driven hence, there is a learning curve involved in getting to know what is Jenkins. Here are the powerful developer-centric features offered by Jenkins:
1. Easy Installation & Configuration
Jenkins is a self-contained Java-based program, it is available for almost all the popular operating systems such as Windows, different flavors of Unix, and Mac OS.
As it is open-source, it is free for use. There is a strong involvement of the community which makes it a powerful CI/CD tool.
3. Thriving Plugin Ecosystem
The backbone of Jenkins is the community and the community members have been instrumental in the development (and testing) of close to 1500+ plugins available in the Update Center. Jenkins integrates with practically every tool in the continuous integration and continuous delivery toolchain.
4. Easy Distribution
Jenkins can easily distribute work across multiple machines, helping drive builds, tests and deployments across multiple platforms faster.
5. Easy Configuration
Jenkins can be easily set up and configured via its web interface, which includes on-the-fly error checks and built-in help.
Jenkins can be extended via its plugin architecture, providing nearly infinite possibilities for what Jenkins can do.
7. Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery
As an extensible automation server, Jenkins can be used as a simple CI server or turned into the continuous delivery hub for any project.
Advantages of Jenkins include:
- It is open source and it is user-friendly, easy to install and does not require additional installations or components.
- It is free of cost and easy to install.
- Rich Plugin ecosystem. The extensive pool of plugins makes Jenkins flexible and allows building, deploying and automating across various platforms.
- It has 1500+ plugins to ease your work. If a plugin does not exist, you can code it and share it with the community.
- It is built with Java and hence, it is portable to all the major platforms.
Industries Using Jenkins
A process of development includes various changes in the source code and in a shared repository. every commit made is then build. that helps to detect problem early in the code. Jenkins provides the build and test results to the concerned teams.
Most of the companies uses Jenkins to automate the processes in deployment of a product. Jenkins can used as build server to execute jobs and automate test. Jenkins accelerate the software development process by automating process. It uses plugins to achieve continuous integration of various devOps stages.
Jenkins helps in making changes like configurations, error fixes in production in a safe and efficient manner using short work cycles.
Jenkins can be used to automate repetitive tasks like backup/restore databases, turn on or turn off machines, collect statistics about a service and other tasks.
Benefits of Jenkins
1. Jenkins is an open-source tool that is extremely easy to install and use. You need no extra components to use it
2. It is free and available to be used with different platforms, such as Windows, Linux, macOS, and others
3. It is widely used, so finding support on online communities is not a big problem
4. Jenkins automates all integration work. Integration issues are scarce, and so, it helps in saving time and money over the project lifecycle.
5. It is easy to configure, extend, and modify. It allows the instant generation of tests and building, automation, and deployment of code on different platforms
6. Jenkins can be configured to run CI and CD concepts properly
7. It can easily detect and fix issues. The software is always ready for a sudden release
8. Supports a variety of plugins, which allows better flexibility
9. It helps in detecting errors very early, thus saving developers a lot of time and hard work
Case Study: Netflix
Netflix is a streaming service that offers a wide variety of award-winning TV shows, movies, anime, documentaries, and more on thousands of internet-connected devices. So Netflix greatly uses Jenkins for its use case. Once a line of code has been built and tested locally using Nebula, it is ready for continuous integration and deployment. The first step is to push the updated source code to a git repository. Teams are free to find a git workflow that works for them.
Once the change is committed, a Jenkins job is triggered. Netflix’s use of Jenkins for continuous integration has evolved over the years. They started with a single massive Jenkins master in their datacenter and have evolved to running 25 Jenkins masters in AWS. Jenkins is used throughout Netflix for a variety of automation tasks above just simple continuous integration.
A Jenkins job is configured to invoke Nebula to build, test and package the application code. If the repository being built is a library, Nebula will publish the .jar to our artifact repository. If the repository is an application, then the Nebula os package plugin will be executed.
How popular is Jenkins?
2833 companies reportedly use Jenkins in their tech stacks, including Facebook, Netflix, and Udemy.
Here are the name of the companies which use Jenkins:
- Nokia Simens
- Delivery Hero
Hope you got a good knowledge about Jenkins from this blog
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