Jenkins CI/CD Tool Overview |

Jenkins is a popular, flexible and customizable open source automation server. Promotes continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) by automating build, test, and deployment in software development and DevOps environments, enabling developers to increase efficiency, productivity, quality, and speed while reducing the errors.

Is Jenkins the right CI/CD tool for you? We’ll take a closer look at Jenkins’ features, pricing, pros, and cons so you can answer this question with confidence. And if it’s not the right CI/CD tool, we’ll also reveal some Jenkins alternatives that might be a better fit.


Overview of the Jenkins CI/CD tool

Jenkins CI/CD Dashboard.

Jenkins originally started as an automation server called “Hudson” in 2004. It was created by a Java developer, Kohsuke Kawaguchi, who started the tool to meet the need for continuous integration while working at Sun Microsystems (now Oracle). A dispute over excessive control between Hudson’s open source community and Oracle led to a fork in 2011. Oracle maintained Hudson, while Jenkins remained an independent project. Over time, Jenkins added contributors and features and exploded in popularity, while Hudson eroded and was no longer maintained.

Today, Jenkins is a reliable, flexible, and scalable CI/CD tool for developers to automate and simplify their software development processes through a vast ecosystem of plugins. It has further enhanced its reputation over the years by winning numerous CI, open source and DevOps awards.

Features of Jenkins

Jenkins has a number of features that make it an attractive choice for developers looking for a CI/CD tool to automate their software development processes, such as:

  • Continuous integration.
  • Continuous delivery and installation.
  • Distributed architecture.
  • Pipelines.
  • Plugin ecosystem.
  • Report.
  • Safety.

Jenkins allows developers to continuously integrate their code changes. This ensures that the latest code from multiple developers is regularly tested and merged. The CI/CD tool also automates the building, testing, and deployment of applications in multiple environments such as development, production, and production.

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Developers can enjoy greater scalability and performance thanks to Jenkins’ distributed architecture, which distributes workloads across multiple machines. They can also define the entire software delivery workflow by creating complex build processes in Jenkins that are highly flexible and customizable with features like conditional logic, parallel execution, manual approvals, and stages.

Perhaps the most notable feature of Jenkins is its impressive plugin ecosystem, which makes it highly extensible as a CI/CD tool. Jenkins has more than 1,800 community-added plugins in various categories such as platforms, user interface, administration, build management, and source code management.

The list of Jenkins features continues with detailed reports on code coverage, build and test results, etc. To keep your automation infrastructure secure, Jenkins works with security researchers and core and plugin developers to rapidly patch security vulnerabilities.

Creating Jenkins items.

Jenkins pricing

Jenkins is an open source automation server. As such, developers can download and install it for free without worrying about license fees. But while Jenkins itself is free, there are other potential costs to consider when using the CI/CD tool for things like:

  • Infrastructure.
  • Cloud hosting.
  • Plugins.

Developers running Jenkins on their own infrastructure will end up paying for hardware, servers, maintenance, and networking. These costs vary depending on the requirements and scale of your desired Jenkins setup.

On the other hand, if you want to host your Jenkins setup on a cloud platform such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS), that also comes at a cost. What you end up paying depends on the cloud provider you choose, as well as storage, instance types, data transfer, etc. it depends.

Last but not least comes the costs associated with extensions. Jenkins has a huge plugin library that attracts many developers. While many plugins are free and sufficient for most CI/CD needs, you may want to pay for some premium third-party plugins with more advanced enterprise features, premium support, etc. have it comes at a cost and requires a larger budget when using Jenkins.

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Benefits of Jenkins

Jenkins has many advantages as a CI/CD tool, including:

  • Open source code.
  • Plugin ecosystem.
  • Customization.
  • A strong community.

Development teams and individual developers with limited budgets will love that Jenkins is open source and allows you to enjoy its features for free. The huge plugin ecosystem Solid documentation is another plus that makes Jenkins extremely flexible and extensible.

Developers can modify the Jenkins configuration to suit their unique needs and install the features they need to complete their projects. They are also able to create complex workflows that meet their needs. Finally, Jenkins’ sizable open source community allows developers to enjoy solid support when they need it, as well as regular updates with new features, security fixes, and bug fixes.

Disadvantages of Jenkins

While strong in many essential areas, Jenkins could use improvement in other areas. Disadvantages of the CI/CD tool include:

  • Outdated interface.
  • sluggishness.
  • Complexity.
  • Plugin dependency.

Some may find the Jenkins user interface outdated and in need of a major facelift, especially compared to some other CI/CD tools with a more modern aesthetic. It could also be more intuitive and user-friendly, especially for those new to CI/CD tools. These aren’t the only issues with Jenkins’ UI, as it can also feel sluggish and less responsive than its competitors, especially when you’re loading on a local server with a lot of plugins installed.

Another problem with Jenkins is its complexity. The learning curve for Jenkins can be steep, and configuring and maintaining a CI/CD tool can seem like a lot of work. And while Jenkins’ huge plugin ecosystem is an advantage, it can also be a disadvantage if you rely heavily on some plugins that become obsolete, lose support, and so on.

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Alternatives to Jenkins

Jenkins is one of the most recognized and popular CI/CD tools on the market. However, that doesn’t mean it’s an ideal fit for your development team, which is why we’ve created a short list of Jenkins alternatives.


CircleCI CI/CD tool overview.

CircleCI is a Jenkins alternative that makes sense for developers looking for something easy to use or migrate to. This CI/CD tool has a fast, free plan, and performance plans start at $15 per month for five users.

For more information, see the CircleCI CI/CD tool overview.

GitLab CI/CD

GitLab operations dashboard

GitLab CI/CD is another easy-to-use Jenkins alternative. It’s flexible and works with all the most popular frameworks and languages, and it’s also secure with features like security test reports, dependency and container auditing, and reliable monitoring and metrics. GitLab CI/CD has a free package with limited features. Its premium plan starts at $24 per user per month.

Learn more at GitLab CI/CD website.

GitHub Actions

GitHub Dashboard.

Looking for another Jenkins alternative that is easy to set up and maintain? Look no further than GitHub Actions, which offers the bonus of tight integration with GitHub. GitHub Actions is free to use for public repositories and 2000 free minutes per month for private repositories. The CI/CD device offers additional minutes with pay-as-you-go pricing.

look at the GitHub Actions page for more.

Final thoughts on Jenkins

If you don’t mind the interface and are willing to invest the time and effort to understand, configure, and maintain Jenkins, it’s a solid choice as a CI/CD tool, especially if you’re an open source enthusiast. But if you’re looking for something more modern that’s easier to set up and requires less maintenance, choose one of the Jenkins alternatives listed above.