Sunday, 10 July 2011

Continuous Integration for your Delphi projects using Jenkins CI

Going on with the utilization of Msbuild, I'm putting forward this post using Jenkins CI (Continuous Integration) previously known as Hudson, for your Delphi projects under Windows Vista. In a nutshell, Jenkins provides an easy-to-use so-called continuous integration system, making it easier for developers to integrate changes to the project, and making it easier for users to obtain a fresh build. The automated, continuous build increases the productivity. (Source: What is Jenkins?). With these simple steps I'll lead you throughout the whole installation and configuration of your first Delphi built project using Jenkins CI and MsBuild.

1 . Download the latest version of Jenkins CI.
Use the following link to download the latest windows installer, in my case v1.419. The default installation path is C:\Program Files\Jenkins and there you'll find the service wrapper jenkins.exe and the Java web archive (jenkins.war) that is very useful to start the Jenkins if you have difficulties installing it with a container. It's very easy to run Jenkins by itself using the command: java -jar jenkins.war (which uses Winstone as a container).

2. Setting up environment variables.
To make sure that Jenkins runs perfectly, we need to set up the JENKINS_HOME environment variable:

3. Adding administrator privileges to Jenkins windows service.
We need to be sure that the service has enough permissions to be running. To do this, go to console and type down "services.msc". Then look for Jenkins service and add the log on information using an administrator account.
I had a lot of troubles trying to execute MSBuild from Jenkins until I realised that the service didn't have enough permissions.

4. Installing Jenkins CI plug-ins.
Once everything is done, we can go on with Jenkins and open a web explorer and type http://localhost:8080. Now we need to add the following plug-ins: Jenkins MSBuild Plugin and Hudson Setenv Plugin. To install them go to "Manage Jenkins"-> "Manage Pluggins" -> Available and look for them. Then, save the changes at the end of the page and reload Jenkins.
Once installed, you'll find them under the Installed section:

5. Configure MSBuild.
Now the plug-in is ready, and we need to supply the path of our MSBuild. Go to "Manage Jenkins" -> "Configure Jenkins" and add the Msbuild information in the MSbuild section:

6. Adding environment variables.
As we are trying to build Delphi projects we need to set up Jenkins with the same environment variables included in rsvars.bat batch file. Go to "Manage Jenkins" -> "Configure Jenkins" and add the following environment variables according to your Delphi version:

7. Setting up your project.
Start a new job with your project description and choose the "Build a free-style software project" type. And add the following MSbuild information to build your project (dproj file):

8. Build your Project.
Everything is ready to do the build. Now execute the "Build now" option and you'll see your project being compiled and built using MSBuild.

Now, you can add your Delphi projects and improve the quality of your software.

Related Links:


  1. Leaving the default Jenkins service login as SYSTEM account will cause all kinds of trouble building. So don't be fooled by the fact that a SYSTEM account has many admin-like priveleges, what you want is not only an account with admin level priveleges, but one with UI/interactive priveleges, and access to a local regular user home folder and environment. The SYSTEM account lacks these, and so MSBUILD running in this context will have trouble finding the System.dcu and so on.

  2. Hi Warren,

    Thank you for your comment. I'm sure people will take into account your comment when trying to add privileges to the jenkins service.


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