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What's new in the Jenkins 2.0 continuous integration tool release?

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Jenkins 2.0 is the latest, full increment release of the world's most downloaded continuous integration tool. Here we look at what's new and why you should upgrade.

The world's most downloaded, open source, continuous integration tool just went GA on a full increment release, and the questions software developers are asking pertain to three key points:

  1. What's new?
  2. Is it worth the effort to upgrade?
  3. Is this new release backward compatible

The entire setup process is new, or at least the options available during the setup and configuration are new. Previously, figuring out which components to install and how to leverage technologies like Git, Groovy and Gradle were potentially confusing, multi-step processes that required going online and fetching the appropriate plug-in. Now Jenkins has a number of the most popular plug-ins preconfigured so new users can hit the ground running. And if a preconfigured environment sounds a bit too bloated for your tastes, a plain, basic install with nothing preconfigured is still an option.

"A new user who doesn't otherwise know what they want from Jenkins has a lot of the tools already available and installed," said Jenkins community leader R. Tyler Croy. With the preconfigured environment, the needs of 80% of those downloading the binaries will have their needs met, while the other 20% can just use the minimal installation and customize as they see fit.

The other big enhancement over older versions is new and enhanced support for continuous delivery and automation. "One of the things we brought front and center in Jenkins 2.0 is the Pipeline as Code concept," Croy said. With the new, integrated subsystem, organizations can model their software delivery pipeline, including various workflow steps that require both computer-based and human interaction, and subsequently automate delivery. It is a feature that many organizations have been implementing on their own through the use of various Jenkins plug-ins, but now the technology is baked right into the tool.

The upgrade path

As to the question of whether there is an impetus for people using an older version of the continuous integration tool to upgrade, that really depends on the organization. But upgrading to Jenkins 2.0 is no different than performing an upgrade anywhere along the version 1.0 branch, as all of the configuration data is the same, there is no data migration required, and there is full backward compatibility, with an upgrade preserving all of the settings and configurations of the previous install.

To learn more about Jenkins 2.0, the new setup process for new installation, Pipeline as Code and more, listen to the podcast in which Cameron McKenzie speaks with R. Tyler Croy about the latest release.

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