Jenkins Job Builder is quite modular. It is easy to add new attributes to existing components, a new module to support a Jenkins plugin, or include locally defined methods to deal with an idiosyncratic build system.

The Builder

The Builder class manages Jenkins jobs. It’s responsible for creating/deleting/updating jobs and can be called from your application. You can pass it a filename or an open file-like object that represents your YAML configuration. See the jenkins_jobs/builder.py file for more details.

XML Processing

Most of the work of building XML from the YAML configuration file is handled by individual functions that implement a single characteristic. For example, see the jenkins_jobs/modules/builders.py file for the Python module that implements the standard Jenkins builders. The shell function at the top of the file implements the standard Execute a shell build step. All of the YAML to XML functions in Jenkins Job Builder have the same signature:

component(parser, xml_parent, data)
  • parser (YAMLParser) – the jenkins jobs YAML parser
  • xml_parent (Element) – this attribute’s parent XML element
  • data (dict) – the YAML data structure for this attribute and below

The function is expected to examine the YAML data structure and create new XML nodes and attach them to the xml_parent element. This general pattern is applied throughout the included modules.


Nearly all of Jenkins Job Builder is implemented in modules. The main program has no concept of builders, publishers, properties, or any other aspects of job definition. Each of those building blocks is defined in a module, and due to the use of setuptools entry points, most modules are easily extensible with new components.

To add a new module, define a class that inherits from jenkins_jobs.modules.base.Base, and add it to the jenkins_jobs.modules entry point in your setup.py.

class jenkins_jobs.modules.base.Base(registry)

A base class for a Jenkins Job Builder Module.

The module is initialized before any YAML is parsed.

Parameters:registry (ModuleRegistry) – the global module registry.
component_list_type = None

The component list type will be used to look up possible implementations of the component type via entry points (entry points provide a list of components, so it should be plural). Set both component_type and component_list_type to None if module doesn’t have components.

component_type = None

The component type for components of this module. This will be used to look for macros (they are defined singularly, and should not be plural). Set both component_type and component_list_type to None if module doesn’t have components.

gen_xml(xml_parent, data)

Update the XML element tree based on YAML data. Override this method to add elements to the XML output. Create new Element objects and add them to the xml_parent. The YAML data structure must not be modified.

  • parser (YAMLParser) – the global YAML Parser
  • xml_parent (Element) – the parent XML element
  • data (dict) – the YAML data structure

This method is called before any XML is generated. By overriding this method, a module may arbitrarily modify a data structure which will probably be the JJB YamlParser’s intermediate data representation. If it has changed the data structure at all, it must return True, otherwise, it must return False.

Parameters:job_data (dict) – the intermediate representation of job data loaded from JJB Yaml files without variables interpolation or other yaml expansions.
Return type:boolean
sequence = 10

The sequence number for the module. Modules are invoked in the order of their sequence number in order to produce consistently ordered XML output.


Most of the standard modules supply a number of components, and it’s easy to provide your own components for use by those modules. For instance, the Builders module provides several builders, such as the shell builder as well as the trigger_builds builder. If you wanted to add a new builder, all you need to do is write a function that conforms to the Component Interface, and then add that function to the appropriate entry point (via a setup.py file).

Module Registry

All modules and their associated components are registered in the module registry. It can be accessed either from modules via the registry field, or via the parser parameter of components.

class jenkins_jobs.registry.ModuleRegistry(jjb_config, plugins_list=None)
dispatch(component_type, xml_parent, component, template_data={})

This is a method that you can call from your implementation of Base.gen_xml or component. It allows modules to define a type of component, and benefit from extensibility via Python entry points and Jenkins Job Builder Macros.

  • component_type (string) – the name of the component (e.g., builder)
  • parser (YAMLParser) – the global YAML Parser
  • xml_parent (Element) – the parent XML element
  • template_data (dict) – values that should be interpolated into the component definition

See jenkins_jobs.modules.base.Base for how to register components of a module.

See the Publishers module for a simple example of how to use this method.


This method is intended to provide information about plugins within a given module’s implementation of Base.gen_xml. The return value is a dictionary with data obtained directly from a running Jenkins instance. This allows module authors to differentiate generated XML output based on information such as specific plugin versions.

Parameters:plugin_name (string) – Either the shortName or longName of a plugin as see in a query that looks like: http://<jenkins-hostname>/pluginManager/api/json?pretty&depth=2

During a ‘test’ run, it is possible to override JJB’s query to a live Jenkins instance by passing it a path to a file containing a YAML list of dictionaries that mimics the plugin properties you want your test output to reflect:

jenkins-jobs test -p /path/to/plugins-info.yaml

Below is example YAML that might be included in /path/to/plugins-info.yaml.

- longName: 'Jenkins HipChat Plugin'
  shortName: 'hipchat'
  version: "0.1.8"