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What Is Jenkins in DevOps and The Reasons Behind its Popularity

Posted On: 15 April 2022

In today’s enterprise world, the question of “What is Jenkins?” would be a regular occurrence. As businesses make ambitious moves to transform into a technology organization, an area of critical interest would be DevOps, particularly, Continuous Integration

Jenkins holds nearly 71% of the CI/CD market!

Thus, it is natural for enterprise technology teams to be curious about Jenkins or how Jenkins works.

The evolution of the digital-first business approach

Before we learn more about Jenkins, let’s first understand how businesses today deal with their digital ecosystem to remain competent in the market.

As we mentioned initially, more businesses are attempting a radical change of perspective in their operational and business model by blending digital transformation into their daily routine. As such, they become highly driven by digital applications and strategies across the length and breadth of their operational landscape. This requires their technology backbone to be agile and continuously evolving, with new additions or features added according to market needs. To put it into a more clear perspective, businesses now see their technology becoming a productized commodity that constantly evolves to meet customer expectations and market dynamics.

Planning, development, deployment, and continuous management of a productized application is not easy, even for a technology company. This makes it an even more significant hurdle for incumbents in the digital economy businesses. Following traditional software development models would leave them vulnerable to delays, inefficiencies, and lower levels of innovation. This will ultimately kill their prospects of competing in challenging markets.

Businesses are now rapidly adopting agile software development principles for their technology development needs and relying heavily on CI/CD to solve the issue. CI/CD narrows down the barriers between development and operational teams by enabling automation of building, testing, and deploying digital applications. It facilitates the seamless integration of new code or technology into the application without disrupting its end usage. Jenkins makes its presence felt in the CI/CD scenario. Let us have a closer look.

What is Jenkins?

Jenkins is an open-source automation platform that enables a digital application’s continuous development and deployment. It is written in Java and has plugins that cater to various facets and characteristics of continuous integration. It can help enterprises accelerate their software or app development initiatives significantly. All development life-cycle elements can be easily integrated into the product for every new feature or customization. This includes the creation of new builds, documents, packaging, staging, deployment, analysis, etc.

How does Jenkins work?

In the traditional model of software development, when a change was to be made in the source code of an application, or a new feature was coded and added to the source code, developers had to wait for the entire source code to be compiled and built and then tested to see results. If the results had bugs, then it would be challenging to determine which module or section was the root cause since the entire source code build happened together, and identifying bugs or defects needs inspection of the entire source code. With Jenkins, this problem is addressable.

Jenkins works by enabling developers to run builds of the new or updated source code fragments in parallel. Once the build is complete and is successful, Jenkins automatically tests the fragment in a test server and updates the developer with feedback and test results. Furthermore, in a project where multiple developers collaborate to create different modules or features of an application, Jenkins continuously monitors the source code repository for any new change commits. Once it senses a commit from any developer, the process mentioned above is repeated.

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How Jenkins is beneficial

Now that you have a clear understanding of how Jenkins works, it is time to explore the benefits.

The primary benefit Jenkins offers for enterprises is that it relieves developers handling end-to-end build development and testing of the entire source code every time a feature addition or change is made. Instead, developers need to keep their eyes out only on the smaller fragment of code they committed. This accelerates development and helps in rolling out more application releases faster. The next significant advantage is that Jenkins handles all the heavy-duty labor that must be undertaken in parallel when a build is made. Developers need only to commit their changes, and Jenkins will manage all other processes autonomously. Elimination of manual effort ultimately results in better efficiency and also lower costs for enterprise technology development.

What is a Jenkins pipeline?

In an application development project, there would be a stream of continuous delivery pipelines that operate from start to finish. Jenkins pipeline consists of plugins that help integrate these delivery pipelines into Jenkins.

In short, a Jenkins Pipeline is a collection of tasks or jobs that sequentially execute to bring software or a new feature in the software from its development and version control stage to the end-user by leveraging automation tools.

How to create Jenkins pipeline

Jenkins pipeline - ACCELQ

Creating a Jenkins pipeline is easy as the platform offers a standard user interface to allow developers to create and name a new pipeline with a desired repository source. Once the pipeline is created, Jenkins can automatically create and run further pipelines for any new branches or pull requests made in the initial pipeline.

Why does test automation need Jenkins?

Jenkins is today a default standard for enabling continuous integration. Test automation is a critical component of the integration lifecycle and thus directly correlates with Jenkins. It has the potential to supplement the test automation efforts the organization has already enabled using state-of-the-art tools.

Why does test automation need Jenkins?

Hence, If your enterprise is considering implementing test automation with scope for integration with Jenkins in the future, get in touch with us as ACCELQ offers an end-to-end test automation platform powered by AI and with ready integration to Jenkins.

Our experts will guide you through implementing the perfect roadmap for test automation and walking you through our Jenkins plugin that is easy to integrate. Talk to us to know more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Jenkins and how it works?

Jenkins is an open-source automation platform that enables a digital application’s continuous development and deployment. It is written in Java and has plugins that cater to various facets and characteristics of continuous integration.

What is the Jenkins used for?

Jenkins is an open-source CI/CD tool used to continuously build and test the product, helping developers integrate changes into the build. It is used in support of DevOps, alongside other cloud-native tools.

Is Jenkins CI or CD tool?

Jenkins, the leading open source tool for CI and CD processes, is essential in the DevOps world. Continuous Integration is the process of building and testing code every time the developer commits it to source control. Continuous delivery provides an automated delivery of completed code to the testing and development environments.

What is difference between Jenkins and Azure DevOps?

While Jenkins is more flexible to create and deploy complex workflows, Azure DevOps is faster to adapt. In most cases, organizations use both the tools and in such cases, Azure Pipelines supports integration with Jenkins.



Director, Product Evangelist at ACCELQ.


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