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Jenkins 2.0 eases automation for dev teams

Jenkins 2.0, an upgrade to the popular continuous integration and continuous delivery platform for software development, is due in April with improvements to the delivery pipeline and user interface.

In version 2.0, the Pipeline subsystem will enable users to automate processes and describe functions, such as for running tests and builds, said Kohsuke Kawaguchi, Jenkins founder and CTO at CloudBees. Users “can describe this choreography of automation,” he said. The capability can, for example, enable users to execute tests in parallel, he said. Pipelines will be developed by writing code in a script language that serves as a DSL on top of the Groovy language.

The capability is known as Pipeline as Code, Kawaguchi said. Pipeline as Code eases the setup experience and becomes part of a default set of plug-ins. Currently, the pipeline capability is offered as a separate download of plug-ins. With Pipeline as Code, automation via pipelines will be simplified, from coding all the way through to production.

“What we’re doing with 2.0 is we’re making this Pipeline feature core to Jenkins 2.0,” said Andre Pino, CloudBees vice president of marketing. “What Pipeline allows you to do is define what your pipeline process is from the very beginning to the very end. It gives you a vehicle for modeling your pipeline and then of course Jenkins will execute against that pipeline definition that you created.” Pipelines can be stored, versioned, and reused for particular functions.

“Pipelines are going to be the core concept to Jenkins instead of just jobs. So it’s really sending signal to the market that it’s a new life of Jenkins for the next few years,” CloudBees CEO Sacha Labourey said. A Pipeline Stage View capability visualizes software pipelines so that developers can see the state of builds and deployments.

The user interface, meanwhile, will tailor an environment for a particular use. “If you look at Jenkins 2.0, it really sends a message [that] this is your CD, your continuous delivery, your orchestration engine,” Labourey said. “The first thing that’s going to welcome you is a wizard that’s going to [ask] you, ‘Who are you? Do you want to do CI? Do you want to do continuous delivery? Are you a Docker user?’ Do you want to do a pipeline?’“

Jenkins 2.0 will be compatible with Jenkins 1.x, so the same plug-ins will work with it. The upgrade will also help users cope with the issue of Jenkins configurations becoming more complex. “In 2.0, we updated the configuration page” for easier navigation, Kawaguchi said.

CloudBees has built a business around the open source Jenkins project and participates in its ongoing development. Jenkins is considered a critical cog in devops, providing management for the software development side. Cloudbees also is launching a website featuring documentation for Jenkins, to be called Jenkins.io, currently in a beta stage.

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