New Releases from CloudBees and the Jenkins Community

This year's Jenkins World user conference was rife with announcements from CloudBees, the event organizer and chief commercial supporter of the open source Jenkins continuous integration (CI/CD) server, and the Jenkins community. Topping the list: the version 2 release of CloudBees Jenkins Platform, and the first enterprise distribution of Jenkins.

The Jenkins Platform is based on the core open source, Java-based Jenkins CI server technology, which went GA in April, enhanced with enterprise features and technical support. This is the first release of the platform to incorporate the new Jenkins 2 core. The platform utilizes CloudBees' Jenkins Enterprise distribution as its foundation.

Among the new features in this release of the platform:

  • A new digital assistant called the Beekeeper Upgrade Assistant, designed to cut down on delays caused by incompatibility of unverified open source plug-ins by guiding administrators with warnings and specific recommendations regarding compatible, CloudBees-verified components.
  • New visualizations for the Private SaaS edition that enable shared services DevOps teams to track Jenkins pipeline activity and resource utilization with a live, actionable dashboard.
  • A streamlined job/folder move and copy to enable enterprise-scale workload distribution without complex configuration, making it easier to manage Jenkins at scale.
  • A completely revamped knowledge base, called the CloudBees Network (CBN). It provides "a wealth of informative, technical enablement for customers and Jenkins users in one easy-to-navigate place."

CloudBees also announced CloudBees Jenkins Enterprise, a distribution of the CI server specifically for enterprise users. This edition is possible, the company said, because of CloudBees' new comprehensive testing and verification process, called the CloudBees Assurance Program. The Enterprise edition provides a stable and certified distribution of Jenkins, along with curated extensions from the community and third parties; all of which are now certified as part of the distribution, the company said.

"Open source software provides the fastest innovation and taps the immense power of many talented, passionate, and creative developers dedicated to solving hard problems," said CloudBees CEO and founder Sacha Labourey, in a statement, "but their focus is rarely on enterprise capabilities or consumability. CloudBees joins other industry leaders, like Red Hat, with their Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution, who have addressed this long-standing problem by providing enterprise customers with extensively vetted and certified solutions that secure and stabilize critical open source projects like Jenkins."

The Jenkins community announced the beta release of a new UX project at this year's conference. Called Blue Ocean, the project addresses a request that has appeared consistently in community surveys.

"Jenkins is tremendously powerful for automating complex CD pipelines, but the user experience doesn't fully accommodate the growing user base, which now includes casual users, as well as the more traditional advanced users," said James Dumay, Blue Ocean community lead and senior product manager at CloudBees, in a statement. "With Blue Ocean, you get a simplified view of the CD pipeline and see only the most relevant and commonly accessed information. Therefore, you are not overwhelmed with an excess of nonessential data. We're extremely focused on presenting information in a very visual and intuitive way to provide clarity at-a-glance for every member of a DevOps team."

The Blue Ocean team is rebuilding the UX from the ground up, providing intuitive visualizations designed to be easily understood by everyone from developers to IT operations to management. The new UX will provide a much-need graphical overview of the CD pipeline, making it possible to quickly identify issues, and also allow team members to drill down within the same interface to find the source of the problem, Dumay said.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].