Jenkins is an open source automation server, more specifically a continuous integration server. This tools is often seen as if it were the middleman between your code and your build server because it regularly looks for changes on your server and once it’s found, it sends them to the build server. It has become very popular among developers and that’s why I believe it would be nice to have a short list of the jenkins plugins that we love the most.
Now you should know that not all the codes are written by one person and therefore putting all codes together can be quite long and that’s when continuous integration comes in. But I won’t really go over continuous integration today, you can read more about it here.
Today I would rather list our top 5 jenkins plugins that our team of software developers use:
Our 5 best jenkins plugins
1 – Job DSL plugin
Last release date: Jan 15, 2017
Many of us use the UI of Jenkins to configure jobs but sometimes, you end up with so many jobs that it becomes quite difficult to maintain and actually, working with UI becomes slow. Right? Well the job DSL plugin is great for this situation, it’s quite a popular and exceptionally well documented.
What is does is that it allows users to create “projects” by using a Domain Specific Language (DSL). It enables you to automate your jenkins installations and standardize them by pushing job creation into a script.
Basically it uses the jobs that are created and makes some sort of templates with that. Let’s say that you create other jobs according to a Groovy script. So if you create one job, write the script and run that job, you’ll have those other jobs related to the last one created. Keep in mind that not all jobs that are created will directly run (only the main one created).
2 – Build Pipeline plugin
Last release date: December 08, 2016
Here at Apiumtech, we’re big fans of continuous integration and we obviously use Jenkins as it provides good support for providing continuous deployment and delivery. Another one of our favourite jenkins plugins is the Build Pipeline because it enables us to form a chain of jobs that are based on their dependencies.
The chain of jobs that you create all pass through the quality assurance steps that you can choose to trigger by a bunch of automated steps or manual tests. After it passes through all this, it is deployed into production, automatically. This in a way allows you to integrate an external processes, as for example a review before deployment.
It’s amazing because it helps you get an overview of your build process where you see the history, status & where each has arrived in the chain.
3 – Delivery Pipeline plugin
Last release date: Jan 13, 2017
We are all quite aware of the fact that in Continuous Delivery, the feedback and the visualisation of the delivery process are very important. As we mentioned earlier, we use/love the Build Pipeline Plugin. And here comes our third on our top jenkins plugins list: the Delivery Pipeline Plugin! It’s quite nice because you can visualise one or more delivery pipelines.
In fact, a pipeline has various stages and obviously, building, unit testing, packaging and analysing the pipeline can become very long when each job is a stage… So here you can group jobs into the same stage, making your life much easier.
4 – Copy Artifact Plugin
Last release date: July 24, 2016
In some situations, your build jobs are don’t really know much about each other because they are isolated, mainly where we are not using a dependency management system.
The copy Artifact plugin will add a build step to copy artifacts from another project. It enables you to copy the needed files from one job to another, that can run some tests. So you basically choose from which build you want to copy artifact and you have quite a good control during that process; you filter files that are getting copied, chose where to send it, etc.
5 – JIRA Plugin for Jenkins
Last release date: December 20, 2016
Basically this plugin integrates JIRA to Jenkins. We find it very useful because we use JIRA all the time and we absolutely need it to work through a project in an organized way between the team.
It’s practical because you can display Jenkins builds inside JIRA. It will help you in maintaining a proper, organized way of working on a lengthy project and you will minimize the mistakes that occur without JIRA.
I will end this list by saying that for people that are looking to increase their productivity, jenkins is definitely here to help and has many features and great jenkins plugins for that. It is actually quite helpful when it comes to reducing workloads through automation and organisation. Installations are in general quite simple and quick and you’ve got many many plugins to choose from, whatever suits your needs. If you’re interested, here’s a list of 17 tools used by software developers on a regular base.
Let us know about your favourite plugins in the comment section, we would to hear about them!
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