Enjoy Spring, and new updates to our Open Source Azure Storage Plugin for Jenkins

Spring is in the air, and as we celebrate these longer days and warmer air and sprinkles of sunshine in the Pacific Northwest, the Java development team at MS Open Technologies, Inc. has also emerged with some useful updates. For Jenkins users we’ve added some new features to make deployments even easier, including a build action to download from a Blob and a post-build action to clean a container.

About a year ago, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. shared the first release of our Azure Storage plugin for Jenkins. This tool enables Azure’s Blob Storage service to be used as a repository of build artifacts. The plugin and these updates are open source, and available on GitHub now.

Getting Started

Those of you who are new to Jenkins we recommend you reference this Tutorial for detailed guidance about setting up and working with the new Azure plugin.

Experienced Jenkins users can install or update the plugin inside Jenkins by navigating to Manage Jenkins > Manage Plugins, then selecting the Available Plugins tab and choosing the Azure Storage Plugin from the Artifact Uploaders Category. To update, select the Available Updates tab and select the Azure Storage Plugin.

Once the plugin is set up in Jenkins, check out these new features (see the Tutorial for detailed information):

New Build Action: Download Items from Azure Storage

This new feature enables management of items such as JARs or SDK dependencies that you keep in Azure Storage. Centrally locating your deployment dependencies in Azure Storage makes for easier and more reliable management of dependencies, and also saves bandwidth and package size when deploying. It also allows you to manage multiple versions of dependent files. For example, dev, test and production packages can all have different JDKS and SDKs in different Azure storage instances, and using Azure Storage for managing these files ensures that all types of deployments are using the correct dependencies when deploying packages.

New Post-Build Action: Clean Container

This new option is added as a check box in the post-build dialog that appears after the Azure plugin is installed. Select Clean container before uploading if you want container contents to be cleared each time new build artifacts are uploaded. Leave it unchecked if you do not want to clean the contents of the container as part of a build upload.

Setting up a Jenkins Continuous Integration Server on Azure

VM Depot, MS Open Tech’s community-driven repository of Linux Virtual Machines, has several preconfigured Linux Virtual Machines with preconfigured instances of Jenkins making it possible to get Jenkins up and running in an Azure Linux VM quickly. For more information on setting up VM Depot Virtual Machines on Azure, follow this link.

It’s also easy to set up a custom instance of Jenkins on a customized Azure Virtual Machine. Here are some great resources to get started.

For source code versioning and repository management, Jenkins on Azure can use the built-in CVS or Subversion instances that are downloaded with Jenkins. You also have the option to connect any code management repository source that a plugin exists for, including Team Foundation Server (via the Jenkins TFS plugin), or the GitHub plugin.

Let us know what you think!

We’re excited to bring this updates forward. If you have suggestions for further improving interoperability between Jenkins and Azure, we welcome your input!

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