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Jenkins 2.0 Proposal: Pipeline as Code front and center

R. Tyler Croy
R. Tyler Croy
October 28, 2015

We have been featuring a few proposals this week for what "Jenkins 2.0" is going to include, today we’re discussing my personal favorite, which I believe will have a tremendously positive impact for years to come (not to be too biased!): moving the "Pipeline as Code" support in Jenkins to the front and center.

Thus far in this blog series we have reviewed proposals covering:

Today’s proposal comes from project founder Kohsuke Kawaguchi titled "Pipeline as code front and center" and represents perhaps the most important and dramatic shift we hope to make in Jenkins 2.0.

This functionality has existed through the workflow plugin, which we have discussed at various Jenkins events before but if you’re not aware of some of the power behind it, check out this presentation from Jesse Glick:

The proposal in JENKINS-31152 expands on the problem we aim to address:

The default interaction model with Jenkins has been very web UI driven, requiring users to manually create jobs, then manually fill in the details through a web browser. This requires large amounts of effort to create and manage jobs to test and build multiple projects and keeps the actual configuration of a job to build/test/deploy a project separate from the actual code being built/tested/deployed. This prevents users from applying their existing CI/CD best practices to the job configurations themselves.

To address this, Kohsuke is proposing that we :

Introduce a new subsystem in Jenkins that:

  • lets you design a whole pipeline, not just a single linear set of tasks

  • stores the said pipeline configuration as human-editable Jenkinsfile in your SCM

  • makes it automatic to set up new pipelines when Jenkinsfile is added

  • differentiates multiple branches in the same repository

This is the key new feature that positions Jenkins for continuous delivery use cases and other more complex automations of today.

Kohsuke’s proposal is largely about bringing together a lot of already existing pieces together to provide a very compelling experience for new and existing users alike. I hope it is clear now why this proposal is so exciting to me.

Providing Feedback

We’re asking you to read the proposal in JENKINS-31152, which itself have some additional tickets linked under it, and provide feedback if you have it.

If you have ever logged in to the issue tracker or the wiki, you have a "Jenkins user account" which means you’ll be able to log into the issue tracker and vote for, or comment on the issue linked above.

(note: if you have forgotten your password, use the account app to reset it.)

We’re going to review feedback, make any necessary adjustments and either approve or reject the proposal two weeks from today.

Stay tuned for a couple more posts covering proposals to improve the Jenkins interface and user experience!

About the author

R. Tyler Croy

R. Tyler Croy

R. Tyler Croy has been part of the Jenkins project for the past seven years. While avoiding contributing any Java code, Tyler is involved in many of the other aspects of the project which keep it running, such as this website, infrastructure, governance, etc.