Must have heard about DevOps by now, right? Well, it is this new culture in the business world to bring teams together and make all the processes automated. There are two pillars of this culture, continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD). Well, they are nothing but a set of principles that is usually called a CI/CD pipeline.

If we list down the most vital parts of DevOps, continuous integration will be the one sitting on the top. Continuous integration is used to integrate all the different stages of the DevOps culture. It usually takes place at a repository where every member of the team pushes the code after making changes. What CI does is, it integrates all the changes that took place in parallel. It all happens automatically, exactly how you programmed it. The reason we are so bound to adopt this practice of continuous integration is, it completely nullifies the risk of error no matter the amount changes. It integrates all the changes efficiently, which helps to increase the quality of the product. Automation of the integration and delivery process lets the teams focus on other important things like security and other business requirements. You know for every new technology we have some tools to get benefitted from, the same is the case with this. Well, there is a tool for continuous integration that is called Jenkins.

What is Jenkins?

Jenkins is a tool for continuous integration that is open source and can be used to automate the process of testing and reporting of large codes. Jenkins is very popular because it is written in Java and is completely free. The other reason for its popularity is that it can monitor multiple repeated tasks during a project. As Jenkins is a service that is server-based, it needs a server. Most of the companies are using Jenkins to speed up their software development lifecycle, as automation provides speedy production.

Jenkins operates through the pipeline. Pipeline refers to the set tasks that Jenkins server will use to perform the tasks of continuous integration. Jenkins not only builds, tests, and delivers automatically but it also discloses all the defects in the code.

 Why Jenkins?

To deliver a product faster, we need a tool to work well with testing and deployment technologies, and Jenkins does just that. Let's say multiple developers are working on a project. Before Jenkins, they had to wait for all the developers to commit their codes before building the complete code. Now, after Jenkins, as soon as even one developer commits his code, Jenkins builds the code. And, this process can take place multiple times in a single day. It has also become easier to find out where the problem is in the code. Jenkins keeps building the code, so it is obvious to comprehend which developer pushed the flawed code. Well, if you want to learn more about Jenkins, you can always join our training program.

Tips and Tricks

Even though Jenkins might be the best continuous integration tool out there, but if you want to ace this tool, there are some tips and tricks you need to keep our eyes on. Let us discuss those magical tricks here.

  • Always Secure Jenkins

The most important thing is to secure Jenkins. You should always put access control on Jenkins so that only authentic persons can get in. This sounds just like a simple thing, but there can be haunting consequences.

  • Don’t Build on the Master

If you have a large project with a lot of users on it, and you want some of them to configure only with admin controls. Make sure they never run build on the master node, because it will give them access to all the restricted areas. Always ask them to build on the agent node. The best way to learn about it is Jenkins certification, and you also take online training.

  • Regularly Backup Jenkins Home

Backing up Jenkins's home can save you a lot of history you might need in the future. It includes all the SCM history and builds logs.

  • Put Sane Characters in Project Names

Project names you put are saved as folders of the project. Most of the time tools cannot work out with dollar signs, spaces, and other special characters. So, it is recommended to use alphanumeric characters for names.

  • Use File Fingerprinting to Manage Dependencies

When there are multiple projects on Jenkins, and they all are independent of each other. It is hard to remember which version is used for which. File Fingerprinting is there to manage this for you.

  • Use Plug-ins Productively

Using plug-ins can help you work more efficiently. You can use enable a plug-in when it is needed and disable it when you are finished working with it. There are plug-ins like JobConfigHistory, that keeps track of all the changes. And, Build Timeout, that you can use to abort the build if it is taking too long.

  • Use Incremental builds

Doing continuous integration on every change can be a real hard thing if one build takes 4-6 hours. You can program it like, whenever a change is detected, go for incremental build and once a day, go for a full build. You will have to check if it works in your case.

  • Integrate with Other Tools

You can always be more productive when integrating Jenkins with other tools. Gerrit is a code reviewer, and whenever there is a change detected, it runs a build, and the report is sent to Gerrit.

There are other tools available for CI/CD, but we can say that Jenkins is the one standing tall for a much longer time than others. Jenkins itself and its plug-ins are all built on Java, and Java is a well-known language for enterprise development. The most important thing is creating the pipeline because this tool blindly follows whatever is there in the pipeline. Well, if you follow all the tips and tricks mentioned above, you are good to go. If you have any further queries regarding Jenkins, feel free to contact our experts.