Hudson spinoff Jenkins gets commercial backing

CloudBees now offers a commercially supported version of Jenkins that can be deployed internally

Java platform-as-a-service cloud provider CloudBees has launched a commercial version of the Jenkins CI (continuous integration) platform, the company announced Wednesday.

An increasing number of enterprises that use Jenkins for their application development are using the software in production settings, said Steve Harris, who is CloudBees' senior vice president of products. The company had surveyed Jenkins users and found that 80 percent deploy Jenkins in "mission critical" duties.

The Jenkins Enterprise software subscription, designed to be deployed on internal networks, includes formal technical support and a commitment by CloudBees that the release will be updated for a full year, which is longer than the three months of upgrades that the open-source community guarantees for the software.

In addition to the core Jenkins program, Jenkins Enterprise also offers a number of additional plugins to aid its use in the enterprise, including ones that would aid in security, large installations and usage optimization. Jenkins Enterpriseis based on the Jenkins Nectar 11.10 release.

Built to run on a Java application server, Jenkins provides a platform for managing large development projects. "As developers check in code to a source code repository, Jenkins kicks off the build process," Harris said. The software manages multiple teams working on different aspects of the project, coordinating cross-platform testing and other routines of complex code development.

Jenkins is an offshoot of the Hudson CI platform. The maintainers of the Hudson platform spun out Jenkins after becoming frustrated when Oracle did not incorporate their proposed changes to the software in a timely manner. Although Hudson is open source, Oracle owns the Hudson trademark, which it acquired as part of last year's purchase of Sun Microsystems, developer of the software.

Oracle subsequently contributed Hudson to the Eclipse Foundation, though the two projects now are unlikely to be merged back into one entity. CloudBees, which also offers Jenkins as a hosted service, argues that Hudson's developer and user momentum has moved to Jenkins.

"The bulk of the community is committed to Jenkins," he said.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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Joab Jackson

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