Mastering Jenkins Pipelines: Best Practices and Usage (2023)


Jenkins Pipeline stands as a pivotal feature within the Jenkins build server, revolutionizing continuous delivery (CD) pipelines through its dynamic and extensible capabilities. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricacies of Jenkins Pipelines, exploring both scripted and declarative approaches, along with best practices to optimize your pipeline workflows.

Understanding Jenkins Pipeline

Jenkins Pipeline Overview

Jenkins Pipeline is a plugin that empowers developers to orchestrate automated CD pipelines, ensuring efficient software delivery from version control to end-users. This involves a meticulous sequence of processes, encompassing building, testing, and deploying software changes.

Jenkins Pipeline Syntax: Scripted vs. Declarative

Scripted Pipelines

In the scripted approach, Jenkinsfiles are written in Groovy, specifying the exact sequence of steps. For instance:

node {
    stage('Build') {
        // Build code
    stage('Test') {
        // Run tests
    stage('Deploy') {
        // Deploy to production

Declarative Pipelines

Declarative pipelines offer a more streamlined syntax, requiring less Groovy code. The same pipeline in declarative form looks like this:

pipeline {
    agent any
    stages {
        stage('Build') {
            steps {
                sh 'make'
        stage('Test') {
            steps {
                sh 'make check'
                junit 'reports/**/*.xml'
        stage('Deploy') {
            steps {
                sh 'make publish'

Implementing Jenkins Pipeline

Creating a Jenkins Pipeline

To create a pipeline in the Jenkins Classic UI:

  1. Log into Jenkins.
  2. In the Dashboard, select New Item.
  3. Type an item name and choose Pipeline from the list.
  4. Click OK.
  5. In the Pipeline configuration page, switch to the Pipeline tab.
  6. Under Definition, select Pipeline script.
  7. Input your Pipeline code in the text area.
  8. Click Save.

Now, you've successfully launched a pipeline using the provided script.

Jenkins Pipeline Best Practices

1. Avoid Excessive Groovy Code

Prefer using single steps, like shell commands, for each pipeline step. Use Groovy code to connect these steps, reducing complexity and ensuring efficient resource utilization.

2. Embrace Shared Libraries

As projects multiply, share pipeline components among teams using Jenkins Pipeline's shared libraries. Define these in an external source control repo, minimizing redundancy.

3. Utilize Docker Images

Leverage Docker within Jenkinsfiles for building, testing, and deploying. Specify required tools directly in Docker images, enhancing portability and reducing configuration overhead.

4. Opt for Multi-Branch Pipelines

Streamline building from multiple Git branches by employing multi-branch pipeline jobs. Keep all pipeline information, including the Jenkinsfile, within the Git repository.

5. Regularly Backup Jenkins Instances

Ensure disaster recovery readiness by maintaining robust backups of every Jenkins instance. Various backup methods, including snapshots and plugins, contribute to a secure and recoverable environment.

6. Efficient Build Cleanup

Delete outdated builds to free up resources. Implement the buildDiscarder directive in pipeline jobs to automate the removal of older builds, preventing resource depletion.

Codefresh: A Modern Alternative to Jenkins

Consider Codefresh as a modern alternative to Jenkins, automating the creation of Delivery Pipelines. Codefresh simplifies continuous integration and deployment, offering a streamlined approach to software delivery.


Mastering Jenkins Pipelines requires a strategic blend of syntax understanding, best practices, and embracing modern alternatives. By implementing these recommendations, you not only optimize your CD workflows but also pave the way for seamless and efficient software delivery. Explore the power of Jenkins Pipeline and stay ahead in the realm of continuous integration and deployment.


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