Jenkins — A Pure Automation Tool

We write code every day and it’s required to build, test and deploy the source code to complete the software development life cycle. But these steps consume so much time when we are performing them manually. So, here the requirement of automation arrives. We require a tool that is capable of doing automated builds, testing, and deployment of the source code, and one of the tools that best fit our requirements is the Jenkins.

Jenkins is an automation server that is free and open-source. With the help of Jenkins, we can automate different aspects of software development like building the code, testing, and deployment. One of the incredible features of Jenkins is that it allows us to create automated CI/CD (Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery) pipelines. Now, you may think what is the pipeline?

So, let me first explain the pipeline.

Jenkins itself is not a pipeline. The Jenkins job is just a task with certain instructions. Then how we can create a pipeline using Jenkins? Jenkins offers other applications and services APIs, software libraries, and build tools a way to plug into Jenkins. These are known as plugins. Jenkins gets more and more powerful using these plugins. Plugins help us to create a CI/CD pipeline. Now, it’s our art of integrating these plugins together to create complete automation.

Another robust feature of Jenkins is it helps us to create an end-to-end pipeline. The end-to-end pipeline means as soon as the developer pushed the code into the SCM tool, the Jenkins job will trigger, and here the magic starts. The build, test, and deployment of source code will be done by the Jenkins job along with deploying this code to the servers. This entire process is carried out by an end-to-end pipeline.

Now you know what Jenkins is and what are its capabilities. Let’s discuss how we can use Jenkins in real-world software development.

Jenkins in the real world

Jenkins with GitHub

Jenkins has a number of plugins for integrating it with GitHub. The main goal behind integrating Jenkins with GitHub is that after certain events in the GitHub repository, we want to trigger a Jenkins Job.

There are two main plugins for SCM tools.

Git plugin: Using the git plugin Jenkins can pull any Git repository that it can access.

GitHub plugin: The GitHub plugin extends the capabilities of the Git plugin and provides a bi-direction integration with GitHub. With the help of the GitHub plugin, we can set certain triggers. Whenever any changes happen in the GitHub repository, then based on the changes it will trigger the Jenkins Job.

Jenkins and Containerization

Containerization is a great technology for getting isolated environments. By combining Jenkins and Containerization tools like Docker together, we can achieve isolation between different jobs. Deploy and schedule jobs with containers to increase resource utilization and efficiency.

Jenkins in the Embedded world

Jenkins can be used with embedded software as well as hardware development as long as they provide a command-line interface. It is possible to use Jenkins with hardware peripherals attached to build agents to speed up the development of all kinds of embedded use cases. Jenkins has the capability to integrate with any tool that can provide a command-line interface.

Jenkins and Android

There are more than 2.5 billion active Android devices in the world and every day the software is being developed and enhanced for these devices. But Android development has its own challenges. As there are multiple types of Android devices available building and testing for the configurations of every device can be very challenging. To overcome this problem, Jenkins has an Android emulator plugin available.

Android emulator plugin: This plugin allows us to automate a number of Android-related tasks and it is possible to build and test on countless emulated devices.

Google Play publisher plugin: We can build a true, end-to-end pipeline by combining the Android emulator plugin and Google Play publisher plugin. We can automatically upload builds to Google Play using the Google Play publisher plugin.

Jenkins and Java

Jenkins supports building Java projects. For building a Java project there are a bunch of different options. The most popular options are Apache Maven and Gradle.

That’s it for this article.

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Tech blogger, researcher and integrator