New Version of Hudson CI Server Released

The Eclipse Foundation officially released a new version of the Java-based Hudson continuous integration (CI) server this week.

Hudson 3.0 comes with a new plugin manager, a simplified installation process, some architectural improvements in the abstraction layer, and a 50 percent smaller footprint.

Although it was announced this week, the new version has actually been available since December.

A new plugin manager helps users deal more effectively with the more than 400 plugins that currently integrate Hudson with an assortment of build, SCM, testing, and ALM and SCLM tools, according to the organization. A new manager also supports registering custom plugin repositories and allows administrators to control which plugins are available to other admins. A new self-installation process and bootstrap configuration help to make first launch and just-in-time loading of non-Eclipse components easier. And the CI’s core scripting and charting layers have been abstracted to support different technologies, such as Eclipse BIRT (Business Intelligence Reporting Tool) for charts. (BIRT is an Eclipse-based reporting system for web apps.)

Hudson 3.0 also supports the certification of top plugins, which "ensures that the most frequently used Hudson plug-ins can integrate with the latest versions," the Foundation says.

This is the first major release of Hudson as an Eclipse project (though a testing-and-evaluation-only milestone release -- 3.0.0 -- was announced a year ago). In 2011 Oracle's decision to migrate the Hudson project to its infrastructure and to trademark the Hudson name led members of that community to vote to rename the project "Jenkins" and move the code from to GitHub. Shortly thereafter, Oracle surprised the community by contributing the Hudson code, domain name, and trademark to the Eclipse Foundation.

Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, saw Eclipse as the perfect home for Hudson. "Eclipse is the openly governed, vendor neutral community that builds enterprise-ready and product-ready software," he told ADTmag at the time. "Software which, in turn, is used by hundreds of companies as the basis for thousands of products in the marketplace. We feel that we have the best open source development and intellectual property management processes in the industry. Oracle wanted to bring Hudson to a community where they could be confident that its structure, predictability, openness, and stability could be addressed."

Meanwhile, the Jenkins fork continues to grow its community. Kohsuke Kawaguchi, who created Hudson and instigated the Jenkins fork, is an elite developer and architect at Java Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) provider CloudBees, which offers commercial support and an Enterprise version of the CI. A recent online survey of the Jenkins community, conducted by CloudBees, found that 90 percent of the 721 respondents were running more than one project on Jenkins, and that 11 percent of those respondents had contributed a plugin to Jenkins. 

More information about Hudson and the 3.0 release is available on the Eclipse Hudson project page.

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].