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Deployment

The most basic continuous delivery pipeline will have, at minimum, three stages which should be defined in a Jenkinsfile: Build, Test, and Deploy. For this section we will focus primarily on the Deploy stage, but it should be noted that stable Build and Test stages are an important precursor to any deployment activity.

Jenkinsfile (Declarative Pipeline)
pipeline {
    agent any
    stages {
        stage('Build') {
            steps {
                echo 'Building'
            }
        }
        stage('Test') {
            steps {
                echo 'Testing'
            }
        }
        stage('Deploy') {
            steps {
                echo 'Deploying'
            }
        }
    }
}

Stages as Deployment Environments

One common pattern is to extend the number of stages to capture additional deployment environments, like "staging" or "production", as shown in the following snippet.

stage('Deploy - Staging') {
    steps {
        sh './deploy staging'
        sh './run-smoke-tests'
    }
}
stage('Deploy - Production') {
    steps {
        sh './deploy production'
    }
}

In this example, we’re assuming that whatever "smoke tests" are run by our ./run-smoke-tests script are sufficient to qualify or validate a release to the production environment. This kind of pipeline that automatically deploys code all the way through to production can be considered an implementation of "continuous deployment." While this is a noble ideal, for many there are good reasons why continuous deployment might not be practical, but those can still enjoy the benefits of continuous delivery. [1] Jenkins Pipeline readily supports both.

Asking for human input to proceed

Often when passing between stages, especially environment stages, you may want human input before continuing. For example, to judge if the application is in a good enough state to "promote" to the production environment. This can be accomplished with the input step.\In the example below, the "Sanity check" stage actually blocks for input and won’t proceed without a person confirming the progress.

Jenkinsfile (Declarative Pipeline)
pipeline {
    agent any
    stages {
        /* "Build" and "Test" stages omitted */

        stage('Deploy - Staging') {
            steps {
                sh './deploy staging'
                sh './run-smoke-tests'
            }
        }

        stage('Sanity check') {
            steps {
                input "Does the staging environment look ok?"
            }
        }

        stage('Deploy - Production') {
            steps {
                sh './deploy production'
            }
        }
    }
}

Conclusion

This Guided Tour was meant to introduce you to the basics of using Jenkins and Jenkins Pipeline. Because it is extremely extensible, Jenkins can be modified and configured to handle practically any aspect of automation. To learn more about what Jenkins can do, check out the User Handbook, or the Jenkins blog for the latest events, tutorials, and updates.