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What is the purpose of build software like Jenkins?

 
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Is it like a way to compile your checked-in code?
 
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The purpose of build tools like Jenkins ties in with the concept of Continuous Integration. Jenkins helps compile source code, perform code linting, static analysis, and more.
Typically Jenkins will be tied in with version control so each commit that you make will trigger a Commit Build in Jenkins.
In each commit build you will have a set of instructions for the CI Build to do. You will typically see Unit Tests, Integration Tests, code linting and depending on the programming language an application binary may be built on this step.
To answer your question though, yes  Jenkins can compile your source code but it can do much more.
 
Carl Byrd
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Thank you Jean-Marcel for a great response! That helps me understand it better. Sounds like you can make it your own; using what pieces you need.
 
Jean-Marcel Belmont
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Thank you Carl for the great question
 
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Jenkins can run build tools like Maven, and run them automatically when code is checked in, if you like. But Jenkins is much more than that. It can also run a whole raft of maintenance, testing and deployment tools as well as serving as a "one stop shopping" web site where you can track projects right down to the source code and the test results.
 
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