💠What is Jenkins and Jenkins Case Study: Topdanmark

Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery are integral parts of DevOps, as they are used for integrating multiple stages of the methodology. There are many CI/CD tools in the market but Jenkins; the Java-based open-source CI/CD tool tops the popularity list. A small survey conducted by us further escalates Jenkins’ popularity of, leading up to the occasional query of ‘What is Jenkins?’

💠 What Is Jenkins?

Jenkins is an open-source server that is written entirely in Java. It lets you execute a series of actions to achieve the continuous integration process, that too in an automated fashion.

This CI server runs in servlet containers such as Apache Tomcat. Jenkins facilitates continuous integration and continuous delivery in software projects by automating parts related to build, test, and deployment. This makes it easy for developers to continuously work on the betterment of the product by integrating changes to the project.

Jenkins automates the software builds in a continuous manner and lets the developers know about the errors at an early stage.

A strong Jenkins community is one of the prime reasons for its popularity. Jenkins is not only extensible but also has a thriving plugin ecosystem.

🔷 Watch below video for better understanding of jenkins in intresting way 🤩

📌YOU CAN CHECK OUT THIS👇 LINK FOR JENKINS INSTALLATION

Many companies, open source projects and other organisations use Jenkins.

Now let’s have look on how Topdanmark is using jenkins..

💠 Jenkins Case Study: Topdanmark

  • About Topdanmark

Innovative technology is key for Topdanmark, a Danish insurance company offering a customer service platform that allows clients to easily and quickly manage their insurance, investments and pensions. These tools are developed internally, using artificial intelligence (AI) to create smart data models, sophisticated speech recognition technologies and a highly responsive chatbot to deliver excellent customer experiences — all propelled by a reliable, robust infrastructure.

Like many enterprise organizations today, modernization is imperative, especially for those burdened with legacy systems. Topdanmark is no different and is undergoing an extensive transformation, moving from relying on 100% homegrown software to utilizing externally developed “standard” software. So, Topdanmark’s DevTools engineers seized this opportunity to automate their continuous integration delivery platform and take advantage of the cloud.

✔ Challenge had with Topdanmark before using Jenkins

Balancing the needs of DevOps modernization and cloud migration while maintaining legacy systems.

“We had a long history of not finding standard software sufficient for our needs, and always have tweaks and changes to their implementation,” Jon said. “For security reasons, we run most of the software on-premise,” Jon said. It should be noted that Topdanmark’s DevTools team has been one of the front runners pushing for increased cloud usage. “We are moving towards more cloud, but as in all large companies by Danish standards, any change in the way things get done takes time,” Jon admitted.

✔ Solution: A highly-configurable CI/CD platform which allows for automation and ease of development.

“We used Jenkins because almost everyone knows what Jenkins is and how to use it,” said DevTools engineer Jon Brohauge. “It is the ‘de facto’ product to use in our world. And it’s extremely configurable.”

How Topdanmark use Jenkins ?

Automating the build processes with a highly-configurable Jenkins platform

Topdanmark has two Jenkins setups. “We have two sets of systems, legacy and CI/CD,” Jon explains.

  • In legacy setup, they have test, integration, release, and production environments.
  • In CI/CD setup, they have a non-production and a production environment.”

The legacy setup is part of a pre-scheduled handheld deployment cycle, customized to whichever team uses it. Due to all the customizations, it could take several days from the developer request to having a working Jenkins instance. “This, of course, is not very flexible,” Jon noted. “But now that we’re moving towards CI/CD, we’ve opted to use Jenkins again. That’s because of its flexibility and ease of customization.”

The new setup is automated and easier to maintain. For this new iteration, the team took a different, more modern approach to deliver the service to its users. They created a self-service portal that allows anyone within the company to ‘order’ a Jenkins instance, a huge timesaver. Jon noted that it now takes less than five minutes to have a Jenkins instance up and running, configured to accept builds, based on Jenkins files, and in a multibranch configuration.

Driving developer success with automation and responsiveness

Due to the very nature of development and a constant flow of business needs, it’s imperative for organizations to support developers by supplying tools and solutions that allow them to create the software needed to solve the task at hand. Jon agrees, adding that Topdanmark delivers the tooling and the process-supported platform upon which the development teams run their applications. “This,” he said, “enforces the need for us to keep up with the software world: to know what’s out there, how it can help us, and how we can use it to support the development teams.”

“The secret behind this,” Jon added, “is that all the new Jenkins instances are based on spinning up a custom Jenkins Docker image, bootstrapping some multi-branch configuration — like predefined plugins — and creating the multi branch repositories from one or more GitHub organizations that are part of the request-form.”

To simplify the user experience even further, Topdanmark created quite a few Groovy scripts that can be used in the Jenkins files. “We basically hide all the complicated stuff,” Jon noted, “but maintain control regarding internal audits, and other corporate rules. For example, we now have a traceable path from developer to deployed application.”

Evolving tools, evolving applications

With the help of Jenkins, Topdanmark keeps tooling up to date. “We are in continuous dialogue with our developers regarding what they want and need to do their job,” Jon said. “By continuously evolving our tools, we better support them as they continue to evolve their applications.”

In Jon’s Jenkins Is The Way user story, he cites several results due to his team’s use of Jenkins. These include 100% automation of Jenkins instances and the ability to release and deploy an artifact whenever, wherever.

However, the ultimate outcome is one that Topdanmark — and Jon — is proudest of: happy software developers, developing great software.

✔ Results :

  • 100% automatic creation of Jenkins instances
  • the ability to release and deploy an artifact whenever, wherever
  • software developers focused on developing software rather than operations
  • smaller monoliths and containerization

Thank you for reading ..! 😊