What is Jenkins Pipeline?

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Jul 27, 2020

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What is Jenkins pipeline?

The Jenkins pipeline in CI/CD automates many tasks and makes the CI/CD pipeline tasks reliable, efficient, repeatable, and high in quality.

The connection of jobs in a particular format in the pipeline is done by Jenkins.

It represents the continuous delivery and continuous integration of the jobs in the SDLC and DevOps life cycle management in the pipeline.

The below diagram shows the Jenkins pipeline. This includes continuous integration and continuous delivery of jobs namely the Build, Deploy, Test, and Release. It is done as these jobs are interdependent and forms the pipeline in a particular format. This involves continuous automation from one stage to another to bring down the cost, time, and number of iterations without affecting the quality.

It is also about the version control as the software applications which are being developed goes through the complex processes from the build to release.

The software is developed in a scalable, reliable, and repeatable manner.

What is Jenkins file?

Jenkins file is a text file for writing the Jenkins pipeline. You can execute the code with the help of Jenkins file by using the Domain-specific Language (DSL).

There are 2 types of syntax for defining the Jenkins file they are as follows,

  • Scripted – The Jenkins pipeline is executed on the Jenkins master using the lightweight executor. Only a few resources are used to convert the pipeline into subcommands.
  • Declarative – It is the easiest way to create the Jenkins pipeline and uses the hierarchy which is predefined to create the pipelines. The execution is simple and easy.

Know how to Install Jenkins

The Need for Jenkins pipeline

The Jenkins pipeline is used to solve several problems in Continuous Integration and Continuous delivery space. 

For example, there are more than hundreds of jobs in the CI/CD pipeline and it is very difficult to manage them manually or by any other tools, the numbers of tasks in the single CD are building, pre-deployment testing, deploying in a staged environment, pre-deployment testing and deployment to production. If there are 20 jobs in a small company the CD would reach 120 numbers of jobs which is very hard to manage. Imagine for a large company the number of jobs would be in thousands and is very difficult and sometimes impossible to manage without the CI/CD Jenkins pipeline.

The areas or the problem solved by Jenkins are as follows,

  • The number of jobs in thousands.
  • Maintenance is very hard and expensive
  • There was no centralization for the jobs.
  • Using code when there were no powerful or easier methods of doing the deployment.

All this is solved by Jenkins pipeline in managing a large number of jobs, centralization, easier and cost-effective maintenance, or not much maintenance and simple code to do the deployment.

For example, the one such job instance is shown in the diagram below. Now imagine doing this for thousands of jobs.

jobs in testing

The yellow color in the diagram shows the jobs in the testing server and blue shows the jobs in the production server.

Top 5 Advantages of Jenkins pipeline

The Jenkins pipeline in CI/CD automates many tasks and makes the CI/CD pipeline tasks reliable, efficient, repeatable, and high in quality.

It has made the process code easier for iterative development with other features such as audit trails, code review, and access control and has sound approval and promotion process by many project members. Multiple jobs from a single project can be managed easily.

Other Advantages are as follows,

  • Review of code on the pipeline is possible
  • Make many pipelines automatically for all the branches with a single Jenkins file.
  • The Jenkins pipeline can be reviewed
  • Single source for the pipeline and be customized for multiple users.
  • We can use the Web User interface or Jenkins file directly.

Steps to create the Jenkins pipeline

Steps for creating a simple pipeline

  1. Pipeline plugins are downloaded and installed
  2. Now a specific type of pipeline is created
  3. Pipeline is configured
  4. The pipeline is used to control the flow
  5. The pipeline is scaled further.

Concepts involved in Jenkins pipeline

The concepts involved in Jenkins pipelines are as follows,

  1. Pipeline - It is code executed for the build, test and deliver the applications and is a set of instructions in the form of code for continuous delivery
  2. Node - It is a machine or system on which the Jenkins runs. A node block is pipeline syntax that is scripted.
  3. Stage - It is used to visualize the process of Jenkins pipelines. It consists of a series of steps consisting of build, test, and deploy.
  4. Step - It is a single step in the stage, for example, either build or test or deploy from a single step.

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How to Install Build Jenkins pipeline Plugin 

The first step is to install the build Jenkins plugin pipelines. You can view the outgoing and incoming jobs in the build pipeline. Then you can name the pipeline.

  1. Next is to configure the Jenkins pipeline.
  2. Then run running the build pipeline
  3. Install the view dashboard for the build pipeline view plugin.
  4. Now run the initial job and also the dependent jobs

This will be taught in detail in the DevOps Training at StarAgile. StarAgile is a training institute that conducts online training in most of the tools of DevOps covering Jenkins. You have both the theory sessions and projects. Enroll today by visiting the StarAgile website.

Know the right way to run Jenkins pipeline

The following are the ways to set up the Jenkins pipeline in the best possible manner.

  1. Download the Jenkins from the Jenkins website and not from any other source.
  2. Use the pipeline for coding the pipeline.
  3. Use the stage block to make the non-setup work
  4. Use the node block to make the material work in the pipeline
  5. Node block must not be used to make the inputs.
  6. Timeout must be used to wrap the inputs.
  7. The env global variable must not be used to set the environment variable
  8. Archive the stashing files of the Jenkins pipeline
  9. Use parallel steps to acquire nodes
  10. Do the work or tasks within a parallel step

Why use the Jenkins pipeline

Jenkins pipeline is used in CI/CD, version control, and multiple processes and stages of the SDLC, and DevOps Life cycle management can be automated in this pipeline. For this, Jenkins Server is used to make the Jenkins pipeline.

The top four reasons to use Jenkins pipeline are as follows,

  • If there is a server restart the Jenkins pipeline will be resumed automatically. They are robust.
  • Many users can execute the code on the Jenkins pipeline
  • The Jenkins pipeline can be stopped for the inputs from the user
  • Large projects are benefitted by Jenkins pipeline as it supports thousands of jobs simultaneously supporting even the pipelines which are in the loop.

You can create a Jenkins pipeline – Ask How? 

Now that you know what is Jenkins and the importance of Jenkins in the CI/CD and how the employees, customers and the organization are benefitted in large ways, we recommend you to take a course in DevOps with StarAgile that will give you the hands-on and theoretical knowledge in Jenkins. StarAgile offers an online course in DevOps which you can take from anywhere and at any time based on your convenience. 


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