Blue Ocean UI for Jenkins surfaces better info for dev teams

The open source project redesigns the Jenkins interface to give users less clutter and more pertinent information

Blue Ocean, a revamped user interface for the Jenkins CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous delivery) server, moved to a beta release stage this week, with general availability expected in early 2017.

The open source project rethinks the Jenkins user experience, surfacing information for development teams with as few clicks as possible, according to a Jenkins blog entry. "Basically, it's a complete redesign of the user interface," Jenkins founder Kohsuke Kawaguchi said this week. Built on a more modern technology stack, Blue Ocean gives users information needed when code fails in a Jenkins pipeline.

Blue Ocean reduces clutter and boosts clarity. Pipelines, which are Jenkins jobs enabled by the Pipeline plugin, are visualized on the screen along with steps and logs to help users understand what's going on in the CD pipeline. "Scrolling through 10,000 line log files is a thing of the past. Blue Ocean breaks down your log per step and calls out where your build failed," the blog entry states.

The UI features an editor for automating CD pipelines, as well as branch and pull request awareness and a personalized view. "Jobs that need your attention, say a Pipeline waiting for approval or a failing job that you have recently changed, appear on the top of the dashboard," according to the blog post.

Aside from Blue Ocean, Kawaguchi also detailed ease-of-use goals for Jenkins, including simplifying the pipeline model and making it easier to understand a jenkinsfile, which serves as a container for a pipeline. The company wants to enable new team members to more easily work with jenkinsfiles developed by others. Also on the to-do list: catering both to point-and-click interface users as well as those who use vi or emacs editors, and improving failover and disaster recovery for moving data away from the same computer running the CI/CD server.

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