Building Generic Jenkins Webhooks Simplified 101

on Data Integration, Jenkins, Tutorials, Uncategorized, Webhook • October 18th, 2021 • Write for Hevo

Continuous Integration is a DevOps Software Development practice in which the developers merge their code changes into a central repository on a regular basis, after which Automated Builds and Tests are run. Jenkins is an Open-Source Continuous Integration (CI) tool that is extensively used by developers to automate the testing and deployment of their applications. A Webhook is a mechanism to automatically trigger the build of a Jenkins project in response to a commit pushed to a Git repository.

In this article, you will gain information about Jenkins Webhook Integration. You will also gain a holistic understanding of Jenkins, Webhooks, and the steps involved in setting up Jenkins Webhook Integration using Bitbucket. Read along to find out in-depth information about Jenkins Webhook Integration.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Jenkins

Jenkins Webhook Integration - Jenkins Logo
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Jenkins is an Open-Source Automation Tool written in Java that includes plugins for Continuous Integration. It enables you to automate the execution of a series of actions to achieve the Continuous Integration process. Jenkins is used to build and test your software projects continuously, making it easier for developers to incorporate changes to the project and for users to leverage a fresh build. It also enables you to deliver software on a continuous basis by integrating with a wide range of testing and deployment technologies.

Organizations can use Jenkins to automate and speed up the software development process. Jenkins manages and controls software delivery processes throughout the entire Development Lifecycle, including Build, Documentation, Testing, Packaging, Staging, Deployment, Static Code Analysis, and much more.

For further information on Jenkins, you can follow the Official Documentation.

Key Features of Jenkins

Some of the developer-centric features offered by Jenkins are as follows:

  • Easy to Install and Configure: Jenkins is a self-contained Java Program, hence it does not depend on the platform on which it is installed. It is available as both – a standard installer and a .war file. Thanks to its minimal Web User Interface, it is easy to configure once the installation is complete.
  • Open Source: Jenkins is an Open-Source tool and is completely free to use. The strong involvement of the Open-Source community makes it a powerful Continuous Integration tool.
  • Easy Distribution: Jenkins is designed in such a manner that makes it relatively simple to distribute work across multiple machines and platforms for faster Build, Testing, and Deployment.
  • Plugin Ecosystem: The community is the backbone of Jenkins, and members of the community have been instrumental in the development (and testing) of close to 1500+ plugins available in the Update Center.

Advantages of Using Jenkins

There are numerous advantages of using Jenkins. These are as follows:

  • Jenkins is an open-source tool, and it is continuously updated based on the feedback of the users. 
  • Jenkins has around 320 plugins available that connect various sources to perform Continuous Integration or Continuous Deployment (CI/CD). This feature makes Jenkins more powerful and feature-rich.
  • Jenkins also supports cloud and can be easily deployed in any cloud infrastructure.
  • With Continuous Integration, Jenkins helps developers to identify the potential code build issue before going into the Live environment. This feature allows the agile development of products. 

Disadvantages of Using Jenkins

There are certain disadvantages of Jenkins. These are as follows:

  • Jenkins’ user interface is old-fashioned, and it is outdated as compared to current UI trends. Many developers find it hard to navigate on the UI and thus find it hard to use.
  • Jenkins runs on the server, and it requires server administration skills to monitor its activity. 
  • Jenkins has complicated installation and configuration procedures.
  • Continuous Integrations regularly break due to some small setting changes.

Introduction to Webhooks

Jenkins Webhook Integration - Webhooks
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A Webhook, also known as a web callback or HTTP push API, is a method for an application to deliver real-time information to other applications. It is sometimes referred to as “Reverse APIs,” although in reality, it allows users to skip a step involved in the API concept. Most APIs involve a request followed by a response. Whereas, no request is required for a webhook; it just delivers data to the applications when it is available. Webhooks become considerably more efficient as a result, for both provider and consumer.

To leverage a webhook, initially you register a URL with the firm that provides the service. That URL is a location within your application that will accept the data and process it. In some cases, you can inform the supplier when you’d want to receive data. Whenever there’s something new, the webhook will send it to your URL. They’re quite useful and have a low-resource approach to handle event reactions.

The sole disadvantage of webhooks is the difficulty in setting them up at the beginning. For the webhook to function, you must create an API. The webhook will send an HTTP request to your app (usually a POST), and you will then be charged for interpreting it.

Pre-requisites

  • Basic knowledge of Webhooks.
  • An active Git repository. It can either be GitLab, GitHub, or Bitbucket.
  • Understanding of basic CI/CD pipelines.
  • Readily available Jenkins Server. To install the Jenkins server, you can follow this guide.

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Setting Up Jenkins Webhooks Integration

The steps followed to set up Jenkins Webhooks Integration are as follows:

Step 1: Configure the Plugins in Jenkins

Jenkins has more than 320 plugins in its plugin database. Installing the right plugin can ease the process of CI/CD. The following plugins are to be installed from the plugin database.

  • Generic Webhook Trigger Plugin
  • Pipeline Plugin

Step 2: Authenticate Jenkins

  • Create users in Jenkins to Authenticate the Pipeline and Triggers.

Step 3: Create a Jenkins Job

  • On the Jenkins home page, create a new Job by clicking “a new item“, selecting pipeline, and providing a name for the pipeline.
Jenkins Webhooks Integration - Item name
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  • In the “build trigger” section, select the “Generic Webhook Trigger” option.
Jenkins Webhook Integration - Generic Webhook Trigger
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  • Copy the URL syntax and update the Jenkins URL and Token in the following format:

https://<your jenkins server url>/generic-webhook-trigger/invoke?token=<your token>

Step 4: Configure Bitbucket Webhook

In this section, the above-created token needs to be added to the BitBucket to enable Jenkins Webhook. And the steps are as follows:

  • Log in to your BitBucket account.
  • Open the Bitbucket repository for which you want to set up the Trigger.
  • Open the Repository setting and Click on “Add Webhook“.
Jenkins Webhook Inetgration- Add Webhook
Image Source: Self
  • In the Webhooks window, provide the Name to the Webhook and paste the URL generated in the format same as in step 3.
Jenkins Webhook Integration - Add New Webhook
Image Source: Self
  • Select the required Triggers and click on the “Save” button.

Step 5: Set up the Authentication

Now that the Webhook is set up in Bitbucket, you can set up the Authentication between Jenkins and Bitbucket.

  • To create a token in Jenkins, navigate to the “Token Credential” area from the Generic Webhook you created for that Job.
  • Click on the “Add” option, and select the location to store the credential.
  • Add the token to both Secret and ID and click “OK” to add credential.
  • Now, go back to Bitbucket and test the Webhook. A 200 response is what expected to be displayed on the screen.

Step 6: Test the Flow

  • Once the above steps are completed, push the code to BitBucket.
  • As soon as the code is pushed to Bitbucket, the Bitbucket will execute the URL to Jenkins and launch the Jenkins job.
  • Verify the Job created on Jenkins server; if there are no errors, you can see the Build created on Jenkins.
Jenkins Webhook Integration - Build History
Image Source: Self

Conclusion

In this article, you have learned about Jenkins Webhook Integration from Bitbucket. This article also provided information on Jenkins, Webhooks, and steps involved in implementing Jenkins Webhook Integration.

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