CloudBees Jenkins Enterprise, 'curated' community extensions avoid combinatorial version explosion

In a world where open source at the FOSS-hobbyist level is becoming about as rare as all-proprietary Microsoft infrastructure technology, the race to provide certified enterprise level versions of every technology stack that exists continues apace.

In this regard then, CloudBees has announced CloudBees Jenkins Enterprise as a new distribution of the Continuous Integration (CI) aimed, obviously, directly at enterprises.

Curated community extensions

Using what may well become a de facto term meaning “stuff we allow from outside” … CloudBees says that Jenkins Enterprise provides a stable and certified distribution of Jenkins, along with what are known as “curated (and certified) extensions from the community and third parties” no less.

According to CloudBees, “Key to all successful open source platforms is their ability to add features and integrate with third-party tools and solutions, through extensions. As the use of those platforms grow, the increasing number of extensions from a wide number of sources places a significant maintenance challenge on enterprises.”

Combinatorial version explosion

While individual extensions may be stable, the large number of extensions bundled in combination with each other can cause a combinatorial explosion of possible versions and issues. This challenge gets even more complicated as users have to move from one version of their entire setup, to the next.

The firm says that such a challenge requires support and testing that goes well beyond what any enterprise can and wants to do on their own – and so (if we follow CloudBees’ argument), a vendor-provided distribution combining a curated list of fully-tested and interoperable extensions is the way to go.

The enterprise route (says CloudBees) also provides a stable runtime environment as well as a safe migration path to future versions of that distribution.

Examples of enterprise-level openness

Examples include Red Hat (RHEL/Fedora and JBoss/Wildfly), Acquia (Drupal), Mulesoft (Mule ESB) and Hortonworks (Hadoop). CloudBees’ implementation of the same methodology, applied to open source components, is now being made available as the CloudBees Jenkins Enterprise distribution.

“One of the biggest strengths of Jenkins is its extensibility. Community contributors easily extend Jenkins with features and enable it to connect to virtually any tool used throughout the continuous delivery pipeline. However, until now, the community extensions, individually and especially in combination with each other, have not been tested and verified with the same level of rigor that the CloudBees team provides for the Jenkins core,” said the company, in a press statement.

In line with this news we also hear that in order to establish its new CloudBees Assurance Programme, CloudBees has invested in engineering, QA and machine resources dedicated to verifying the stability, security, inter-compatibility and upgradability of the Jenkins’ core along with a set of the most popular open source Jenkins extensions.

CloudBees Jenkins Enterprise is available as part of the CloudBees Jenkins Platform 2 and CloudBees Jenkins Platform – Private SaaS Edition 1.1 releases.