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Managing Continuous Integration with Jenkins

Jenkins is an open-source automation tool written in Java with plugins built for Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment. It provides a user automation server which can be used to automate many tasks related to building, testing and delivering/ deploying of Software.

Some of the Key Factors to Understand Jenkins are listed below:

  • Continuous Integration– It is a software development practice that requires developers to integrate code into a shared repository at a frequent interval of time. All integration is verified by an automated build to detect integration errors as quickly as possible. Hence, every commit made in the repository is then built due to which the team can identify the bugs early.
  • Continuous Delivery– It is a set of practices planned to ensure that code can be quickly and safely deployed to the production by delivering every change to a production-like environment and assuring business application and services function as expected through precise automated testing.
  • Continuous Deployment– In continuous deployment, every change made is automatically deployed to the production. It is the next step after continuous delivery.

So, Jenkins allows a user to continuously deliver their software by integrating with a large number of testing and deployment technologies with the help of continuous integration, delivery, and deployment.

Why Jenkins Should Be Used Irrespective of The Traditional Way Of Deployment?

Let us assume a scenario where the whole source code of the application was built and then deployed on a test server for testing, it seems like a precise way to deploy a software but this process has many defects such as-

  1. Developers must wait until the entire software is developed for the test result
  2. There are many possibilities that result might show many defects, it becomes difficult for the developer to identify all the provided bugs and also to verify the whole source code of the application
  3. It slows down the software delivery process
  4. The whole process was manual which increases the chances of frequent failure

Hence, Jenkins is the best way to continuously trigger a build and test for every change made in source code. There are multiple plugins available in Jenkins which helps to achieve continuous integration and deployment such as Maven, GIT, Selenium, Puppet, etc.

GitLab’s Jenkins integration allows us to trigger a Jenkins build when a code is pushed to a repository, or when a merge request is created. Now let’s look at how we can integrate Jenkins and Gitlab. Maven’s Jenkins integration allows adding all the dependencies for the provided application and Selenium Jenkin’s integration allows automated testing for the provided application.

How to Set Up Jenkins?
The following are the steps to start with Jenkins:

  1. Open Chrome Browser and go to “https://jenkins.io/download/” and choose the specific platform from the list

2. Go to the downloaded location and unzip the package and run Jenkins.msi file

3. Setup the Jenkins.msi file and finish the setup while providing the location for the same

4. After successful installation of Jenkins.msi file, the user needs to search “localhost:8080”, a browser tab will popup asking for the initial Administrative password

5. User needs to copy the provided location “C:\ProgramFiles(x86)\Jenkins\secrets\initialAdminPassword” and paste in the system’s location where you will set the initial password for your Jenkins

6. Users need to customize Jenkins as per the requirement then, click on install suggested plugins

7. After all suggested plugins were installed, the “Create First Admin User” appears. Fill all the required fields and click on the “Save and Finish” button

8. After successful creation of the admin’s user, Jenkins dashboard appears to “create a new job”

Continuous Integration is a set of practice to build the code with every commit. Jenkins is the famous CI tools that helps to execute a continuous integration pipeline. Jenkins pipeline can be easily created in two dissimilar ways – Jenkins Job Builder and Declarative Pipelines. Jenkins Continuous Integration helps in test automation, giving speedy feedback, reduce the development cycle, and assists in continuous integration of code.

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