CI/CD tools for Java developers

CI/CD tools for Java developers

Aug 31, 2023
Dmitry Chuyko

CI/CD is the combination of practices for continuous integration / continuous delivery (sometimes also continuous deployment) aimed at implementing the release early, release often strategy without causing the integration hell. Incorporation of CI/CD helps to accelerate time-to-market and facilitate the life of developers, but before everything runs smoothly, we need to

  • Change business processes;
  • Cultivate the specific CI/CD mindset in the team;
  • Utilize tools and solutions for process automation.

This article covers the last-named topic. We will look into the essential CI/CD technologies in the Java ecosystem and learn how to work with them.

1. Maven, Gradle, Bazel

Build automation systems are the foundation of all the tools discussed below. Regardless of the solution you use, be it Jenkins or GitHub Actions, some other technology must run the compiler and tests. Moreover, a sound build system can substitute some of these external solutions. For instance, Apache Maven is marketed as more than a simple builder:

“Apache Maven is a software project management and comprehension tool. Based on the concept of a project object model (POM), Maven can manage a project’s build, reporting, and documentation from a central piece of information.”

Maven manages projects through a build cycle, which includes several stages corresponding to the goals of CI/CD processes: validate, compile, test, package, verify, install, and deploy. For each of them, you can use special Maven plugins (hundreds of them are on the Internet) that enable the developers to perform various tasks, from verifying the code in a repository to managing application servers. Writing your plugin, calling the code from other programming languages, or building systems is also possible.

  • Although Maven (or any other build system) can implement the CI/CD approach for small projects, larger teams may require greater flexibility and scalability. For instance, Administrators may find a centralized web interface more convenient;
  • Developers should have different rights within the project;
  • Standard build methods should be accumulated in long pipelines;

And so on. This is where other solutions created over almost three decades of Java existence come into play.

2. Jenkins

here. But in most cases, the last item on the list is enough to trim down containers without further adjustments. Take a look at the comparison of popular Linux distros in terms of size:

Linux container images classified by size

You can use a ready container for running Java applications based on Alpaquita Linux (a 100% Alpine-compatible distribution) and Liberica JDK Lite optimized for size — it takes up only 43.44 Mb!

Discover Alpaquita Containers

But distribution size is only one of the factors taken into consideration by enterprises: security features, performance, and LTS support at affordable prices are no less important.

So while you are choosing a CI/CD platform, look at the overview of the most popular Linux distributions: selecting the right technology will help accelerate development and reduce cloud costs simultaneously.

And if you still use Oracle Java in production and are tired of constant licensing changes and skyrocketing subscription prices, consider these OpenJDK alternatives and save even more!

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