Jenkins is integral to the DevOps world as it is the leading open source tool for Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD) process.
Continuous Integration is a process of building and testing the code whenever the developer pushes the code to source control, whereas Continuous Deployment is the process of deploying the code to multiple environments without any human intervention and reducing the time to deliver.
There are several CI/CD tools in the market like Jenkins, TeamCity, Travis CI, Bamboo, CircleCI, and VSTS.
However, Jenkins tops this list of CI/CD tools being used in the market because of several reasons discussed in this article.
Open Source – Being an open source project, it has 482 contributors, 542 releases and 9348 stars on GitHub, which is quite high in the open source world. It provides quick and efficient community support to the users on Jenkins.
Cross-Platform Integration Tool – Jenkins runs without depending on operating system type (Windows, Linux, and Mac).
Extensible: Jenkins integrates with almost all DevOps tools through plugins. Jenkins provides over 1000+ plugins to perform various build and deployment tasks. Users can also create their own plugins if required.
Command Line Interface – Making Jenkins extensive to write the scripts that can perform any action over Jenkins. It can be handy for SysAdmins.
Jenkins also provides an API which triggers a job when an event arises. Jobs can be run in Jenkins as per the desired schedule. It can be integrated with SCM (Source Control Management), CM (Configuration Management) tools and containerization tools which forms a full DevOps cycle.
Apart from being open source, Jenkins is popular for its features like the easy way of installation and configuration with numerous plugins. The master-slave concept helps users to distribute the Jenkins jobs across multiple systems.
Jenkins has taken a leap towards improving the UI/UX. It’s known as the “Blue Ocean”, which is the most intuitive approach to understand a concept of Jenkins – the PIPELINE. It reduces clutter and provides clarity in what we are doing. Blue Ocean is a jump start for newbies to become professionals in applying the pipeline concept in their workflows.
Jenkins apart from providing the option of notifying the build status through email, Twitter etc. is also going multilingual with i18n support helping users across the globe.
Jenkins can be secured by creating users and roles. Every user is assigned a set of roles to be restricted to a particular task. It also provides a plugin to integrate with AD (Active Directory) using LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol).
Summarizing Jenkins Features
● Trigger a build (Manual, periodic, Poll SCM …)
● Get the source code from repository
● Automatically build and test
● Generate report (Static Code Analysis, Code Coverage)
● Notify (Email, Twitter, Jabber, Google Calendar …)
● Deploy to servers
The tools in the DevOps arena are vulnerable to challenges from fast-changing space and newly developed tools. But the versatility of Jenkins is cementing its secure position, at least for the near future.