Ugly Jenkins gets a friendly new UI

The free open source Blue Ocean plugin helps agile teams track build, test, and development progress via a visual pipeline editor

Blue Ocean, a reimagined user interface for the Jenkins continuous delivery platform, makes its official debut Wednesday as a free, open source plugin.

The interface helps make software development more accessible, said Tyler Croy, director of evangelism at Jenkins solutions provider CloudBees and a board member and contributor on the Jenkins project. With Blue Ocean, any member of a devops team now can use Jenkins without having to be experts in it; the interface is more user-friendly and faster to work with; information is accessible with fewer clicks. Key to Blue Ocean 1.0 is a visual pipeline editor for software delivery that provides a WYSIWYG capability to create and commit code pipelines into Git or GitHub.

Blue Ocean had been available in a beta release since September. The existing interface has been in place for more than 10 years, Croy said. But 10 to 15 years ago, no one except developers cared about the status of builds, tests, or development, Croy said. Now, software is driven by agile teams where a product manager cares about specific changes in a software pipeline going into production.

Other features in Blue Ocean include pinpoint troubleshooting and personalization, allowing for customized dashboards. Jenkins, spawned from the Hudson Project that began at Sun Microsystems, has become a staple of devops. It now has nearly 540,000 active nodes, according to the Jenkins community.

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