NSF ODP Tooling: Setting Up Jenkins Builds

Aug 27, 2020, 10:50 AM

Tags: nsfodp
  1. Getting Started with the NSF ODP Tooling
  2. NSF ODP Tooling: Setting Up Jenkins Builds

In my last post, I talked about the process of setting up a basic NSF ODP project from an NSF without worrying about OSGi plugins or other complicated aspects.

In this post, I'll go over one of the main reasons why you might want to do this: automated builds via Jenkins or other CI server. This process assumes that you're keeping your project in source control of some sort, most likely a Git repository.

Jenkins Setup

The specifics for installing Jenkins are a bit outside the bailiwick of my blog, but they have some good instructions on their site. Those instructions currently start out heavily with Docker, which would work well, but I've found it pretty easy to set up with a Linux VM. That usually involves adding the Jenkins package source and letting the package manager do its thing. You should also install git while you're here.

Once it's configured, the Maven configuration is the same as in the previous post: find the home directory for the user running Jenkins (generally jenkins with those Linux installs or your current user in a simpler local setup) and configure the .m2/settings.xml file the same way.

Beyond the normal Jenkins setup with your default user, there are a few things to configure.

To start out with, we'll add support for Maven projects. Jenkins is trending towards doing everything via "Pipeline" projects, which is a fine idea, but the older Maven support will suit our needs better for now. Go to "Manage Jenkins" and then "Manage Plugins". On the "Available" tab, search for "maven". You should find the "Maven integration plugin" - in my case, it's under "Installed" since I already have it:

Maven Jenkins plugin

Then, make your way back to "Manage Jenkins" and to "Global Tool Configuration". In there, add a JDK if one doesn't already exist. You can either point to an existing Java installation or install one automatically:

JDK Setup

Do similarly for Git. If you installed it in Linux or are running on macOS, you can just write "git" in for the executable path. On Windows, you should install it first.

Git Setup

Finally, do the same for Maven. Like Java, this is one that you can configure automatically. 3.6.3 is a good choice:

Mavan Setup

Project Setup

Now that that's all set up, go back to the main Jenkins page and click on "New Item". Here, you should be able to select "Maven project". In general, I like to give my Jenkins projects names without too many special characters, in particular without spaces - there's always the chance that an odd tool here or there will cause trouble with complicated path names.

Maven item

When you create the item, you'll be presented with an intimidating tower of options, but fortunately only a few are important at the moment.

Our first stop is the "Source Code Management" section, where you should configure the location of your source repository. In my case here, I'm building one of the examples in the public NSF ODP Tooling repository, but you may have to add credentials if you're using a private repository.

Source Code Management

The next important step is the "Build" section. In here, pick your Maven version if you have multiple ones, fill in the path to your root POM file (most likely "pom.xml" if your project is in the root of the repo, but it's within a subdirectory here), and set the goals to be "clean install":

Build config

Finally, go to "Post-build Actions" and add an "Archive the artifacts" action. Set the "Files to archive" to "**/target/*.nsf":

Post-build Actions

Then, hit "Save".

Back on the project page, click "Build Now" on the left:

Build Now

If all goes well, you should see the build churn for a bit below the actions and eventually go blue. Unfortunately, there's also plenty of room here for things to go awry. If they do, your best bet is to hover over the build, click the disclosure triangle next to the timestamp, and click "Console Output". That should hopefully illuminate the trouble.

Console Output

Assuming it went well, though, you should be able to refresh the page and see your NSF in the "Last Successful Artifacts" section.

Last Successful Artifacts

And that's one of the key benefits to the CI/CD process: you can have the server run a repeatable build on command, on a schedule, or on triggers (like when you push a change) and have the result ready for you when it's done.

More In Practice

Once you have these basics working, you can get more complicated from there. The most common next step will be to set up either push notifications from your repository host (if your Jenkins server is visible to your repo) or scheduled polling for changes. That way, this will start to happen automatically without the need to manually trigger it.

You can also set up email notifications on failure, which is handy even when you're the only developer - that can help remove some "works on my machine" trouble.

There are a few more things that I think will be worth covering. In particular, I'll want to demonstrate a multi-NSF build that creates a deployment ZIP - something that's present in the complicated OSGi example, but which can be done just as well in a less-complex project.

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