Setting up a shared library and seed job in Jenkins - Part 1


I have been working at a client the past few months that has adopted a desire for a consistent JHipster microservice architecture. We have more than ten microservices that are supported by multiple teams. Developers support multiple services and we needed a uniform approach to deploy quality code quickly to the cloud. We set up Jenkins to support building and testing any branch of all services while maintaining the ability to deploy releases alongside feature development. As Jenkins grew, we decided to maintain our Jenkins related code through source control.

In order for us to satisfy our requirements, we used a couple of the advanced Jenkins tools.

This is the first of a two part series where the target audience is anyone interested in streamlining the process to onboard new micro services.

Source Code

The source code is available below

Series Overview

Part 1

We will set up a Freestyle project (seedJob) that will be a job that creates jobs. We will use the Jenkins Job DSL API to set up the foundation for supporting onboarding any number of services.

Part 2

We will introduce the use of Shared Libraries. In order to maintain support for both of these posts in the same repository, we will take advantage of the version specifier option associated with the @Library annotation feature of Shared Libraries. This allows us to configure our JHipster microservices to build from specific branches (or tags) in our Shared Library. Finally, we will update our seedJob to build a pipelineJob and multibranchPipelineJob when onboarding a microservice that will be provided in part 2 of this series.

Part 1 Goals

  1. Set up a Jenkins Freestyle Job called seedJob to create and configure other jobs using the Jenkins Job DSL API.
  2. Store the seedJob configuration in github.
  3. Run the seedJob to create a Freestyle Job called poc-micro.


  1. Docker installed
    • If you do not have docker installed yet, proceed to Docker's Getting Started guide first.
  2. Maven ready Jenkins running in a Docker container
    • Pull the Jenkins image: docker pull kcrane121/maven-jenkins:blog.
    • Start the Jenkins container: docker run -p 8080:8080 -p 50000:50000 kcrane121/maven-jenkins:blog.
    • Open a browser and navigate to http://localhost:8080/ and follow the instructions to complete the set up.
      Set up Tips:
      1. The first time you set this up, you will need to provide a password that was given to you after running docker run -p 8080:8080 -p 50000:50000 kcrane121/maven-jenkins:blog.
        • The generated admin password can also be found at /var/jenkins_home/secrets/initialAdminPassword in the docker container.
      2. Select Install Suggested Plugins during the setup process.
  3. Familiarity with Jenkins Pipeline.

Goal 1

Now that the prerequisites are out of the way, the first thing we are going to do is set up a Freestyle project (seedJob) in Jenkins. This job will be used to generate other jobs you want to onboard into Jenkins.

Install the Job DSL plugin

Navigate to http://localhost:8080/ in your browser and login to Jenkins with the credentials you set up (or the default admin ones provided to you during the initial set up). We need to configure Jenkins to use the Jenkins Job DSL API. This provides us the functionality to configure how we want our new jobs built.

  1. Navigate to Dashboard > Manage Jenkins > Manage Plugins > select Available tab > search for Job DSL and install.

Creating the Freestyle Project seedJob

We will set up our seedJob the same way any other job is created.

  1. On the left hand side of the page, select New Item
  2. In the text box for Enter an item name, enter seedJob > select the Freestyle project > select OK.

jenkins freestyle project

Configure seedJob to use microservice-pipelines github repository

In this first part of a two part set of blog posts, we are going to do a little preparation work in this blog to set us up for faster implementation of a Jenkins Shared library in part 2 of this series. We are going to store the code for our seedJob in a github repository called microservice-pipelines. Since we are using the microservice-pipelines repository to load seed.groovy, we need to configure seedJob to use this repository.

  1. Navigate to Dashboard > select seedJob > select Configure.
  2. Scroll to the Source Code Management section > select Git.
  3. In the Repository URL field, enter
    • Leave everything else as the default configuration.


Configure seedJob to use the seed.groovy file we will store in github

Now that we have configured Jenkins to use our microservice-pipelines repository, we need to set up seedJob to load seed.groovy from our microservice-pipelines repository. This is necessary for us to start using the Jenkins Job DSL API functionality.

  • Note: This is not a requirement. Directly inside of the seedJob, you could add a groovy script to do the same thing we are doing in our microservice-pipelines repository (without the benefit of version control).

Since we will be using our microservice-pipelines repository, we will need to add some additional configuration to the seedJob to get this working.

  1. Navigate to Dashboard > select seedJob > select Configure.
  2. Scroll to the Build section > select Add Build step > Select Process Job DSLs.
  3. Select Look on Filesystem.
  4. In the DSL Scripts input field, enter dsl/seed.groovy (this is the path to the seed.groovy file we will be setting up later).
    • Leave everything else as the default configuration.


Configure seedJob to use the microservice name as the job name

We will give our job the name of the microservice we plan to build (poc-micro). In order to do this we will need to add a String parameter to the seedJob that will be used inside of seed.groovy.

  1. Navigate to Dashboard > select seedJob > select Configure .
  2. Select This project is parameterized > select Add Parameter > select String Parameter.
  3. Enter jobName in Name field.
  4. In the Description field, enter The name of your repo (e.g. poc-micro).

jenkins seed job configuration

Goal 2

We are using the microservice-pipelines github repository. This repository will be used to store our seed code. In Part 2 of this series, we will include our Shared Library code in this repository.

  1. Inside of the microservice-pipelines repository, we have created a directory dsl with seed.groovy inside.
  2. Below are the contents of seed.groovy.
    • We create a simple Freestyle Job and use the String Param named jobName from seedJob to name our Freestyle job.
job(jobName) {
    description("A simple Freestyle Job created from seed.groovy")

Goal 3

Now that we have our seedJob setup to read in seed.groovy from our github microservice-pipelines repository, we are ready to trigger our seedJob to create a Freestyle job with jobName.

Running the seedJob

  1. Navigate to Dashboard > select seedJob > select Build Now.
  2. Under Build History, select the top red circle.
  3. This will take you to the Console Output.
    • The job failed.
    • Due to Script Security, this will happen every time you change seed.groovy. The Script Security Plugin is integrated with the Job DSL plugin and the Script Security Plugin is set up with a set of scripts that are pre approved for use. Since this is a new script, it will require an admin approval to use.

run failure

Approving our seed.groovy script

  1. We need to tell Jenkins it is ok to use this script.
    • Navigate to Dashboard > Manage Jenkins > In-process Script Approval.
    • Select Approve for the seed.groovy script.

script approval

Rerunning the seedJob

Now that we have approved seed.groovy, we are ready for our seedJob to run (and succeed).

  1. Navigate to Dashboard > select seedJob > select Build Now.
  2. Under Build History, select the top blue circle.
  3. Inside of Console Output, you will see GeneratedJob{name='freestyle'}.
    • Jenkins has created a new job called poc-micro fromseed.groovy.

run success

Verify creation of and runpoc-micro job

  1. Navigate to Dashboard and confirm poc-micro job was created.
  2. Select poc-micro > select Build Now.
  3. Under Build History, select the top blue circle.
  4. Inside of Console Output, you will see a successful execution of the poc-micro job.

jenkins created job success


In this first part of a two part series, we set up the minimum configuration requirements to use seed jobs. Our seedJob onboards a very simple Freestyle Job (poc-micro) from our microservice-pipelines repository. The benefit of microservice-pipelines is that we are now maintaining all of our pipeline configurations in source control. Using seed jobs allows us to onboard/re-onboard services quickly and easily (history is maintained for re-onboarded jobs). At my current client this was extremely helpful because it allowed us to remain agile while adjusting job requirements across all services as requirements changed.

In our next post, we will reconfigure seed.groovy to build a regular Pipeline job and a Multibranch Pipeline job. Additionally, we will configure the use of Jenkins Shared Library to share and reuse pipeline code between jobs.

Ippon Technologies is an international consulting firm that specializes in Agile Development, Big Data and DevOps / Cloud. Our 400+ highly skilled consultants are located in the US, France, Australia and Russia. Ippon technologies has a $42 million revenue.