Solutions Delivery Platform

Apply to a GitHub Repository

So far we’ve learned:

  • what a pipeline template is (the business logic of your pipeline)

  • how to create some mock pipeline libraries (just groovy files implementing a call method inside a directory in a repository)

  • what the pipeline configuration does (implements the template so it actually does things)

  • how to use the same pipeline template with two different tech stacks by modifying the pipeline configuration

Next, we’re going to learn how to apply a pipeline template to an entire GitHub repository.

This is a more realistic scenario and it has the added benefit of taking the pipeline template and pipeline configuration file out of the Jenkins UI and storing them in a pipeline configuration repository.

Move the Pipeline Template to a Repository

When creating libraries, we created a GitHub repository and stored the libraries in a subdirectory called libraries. In this example, we can create a new subdirectory at the root of the repositories called pipeline-configuration.

The actual names of the libraries and pipeline-configuration subdirectories do not matter and are configurable.

Within this pipeline-configuration directory create a file called Jenkinsfile and populate it with the same contents as the Pipeline Template text box in the Jenkins UI.


The Jenkinsfile is the default pipeline template that will be used. It is possible to define more than one pipeline template and let application teams select which template applies to them. More on that later, or read the docs.

Move the Pipeline Configuration to a Repository

In the same pipeline-configuration directory, create a file called pipeline_config.groovy.

When the pipeline configuration is stored in a file in a source code repository, it will always be called pipeline_config.groovy.

Populate this file with the same contents as the Pipeline Configuration text box in the Jenkins UI.


The file structure in your GitHub repository should now look like this:

├── libraries
│   ├── gradle
│   │   └── steps
│   │       └── build.groovy
│   ├── maven
│   │   └── steps
│   │       └── build.groovy
│   └── sonarqube
│       └── steps
│           └── static_code_analysis.groovy
└── pipeline-configuration
    ├── Jenkinsfile
    └── pipeline_config.groovy

Create the Global Governance Tier

Now that we have our template and pipeline configuration externalized into a source code repository, we have to tell Jenkins where to find it.

From the Jenkins home page:

  1. In the lefthand navigation menu click Manage Jenkins

  2. Click Configure System

  3. Scroll down to the Jenkins Templating Engine configuration section

  4. Under Pipeline Configuration select From SCM

  5. Select Git for the Source Location drop down menu

  6. Under Repository URL type the https URL for the GitHub Repository containing the libraries, template, and configuration file

  7. In the Credentials drop down menu, select the github credential created during the prerequisites

  8. Type pipeline-configuration in the Configuration Base Directory text box

  9. Click Save

global governance tier

You just configured your first Governance Tier!

Governance Tiers are the combination of:

  1. A pipeline configuration repository specifying where the pipeline configuration file and pipeline templates can be found

  2. A set of library sources

When done in Manage Jenkins > Configure System it’s called the Global Governance Tier and applies to every job on the Jenkins instance.

Governance Tiers can also be configured on every Folder in Jenkins. When configured, they apply to every Job within that Folder.

Through Governance Tiers, you can create a governance hierarchy that matches your organizational hierarchy just by how you organize jobs within Jenkins.

Create an Application Repository

We’re going to apply the pipeline template and configuration file to every branch in a GitHub repository.

  1. Create a GitHub Repository that will serve as our mock application repository named jte-the-basics-app-gradle

  2. Initialize the Repository with a README

  3. Modify the README in order to create a branch called test

create gradle repo

Create a Multibranch Project

Now that we have a GitHub repository representing our application, we can create a Multibranch Project in Jenkins.

Multibranch Projects are Folders in Jenkins that automatically create pipeline jobs for every branch and Pull Request in the source code repository they represent.

Through JTE, we can configure each branch and Pull Request to use the same pipeline template. This removes the Jenkinsfile from the repository.

  1. From the Jenkins home page, select New Item in the lefthand navigation menu

  2. In the Enter an item name text box, type gradle-app

  3. Select Multibranch Pipeline as the job type

  4. Click OK

  5. Under Branch Sources > Add Source select GitHub

  6. Select the github credential under the Credentials drop down menu

  7. Enter the https repository URL under Repository HTTPS URL

  8. Under the Build Configuration select Jenkins Templating Engine from the mode drop down menu

  9. Click Save

When the job is created, you will be redirected to a page showing the logs for scanning the repository. In the breadcrumbs at the top of the page, you can select gradle-app to see the folder overview.

In this overview, you’ll see two jobs in progress once the repository scan has repeated: a job for the master branch and a job for the test branch.

When these jobs complete, clicking them will show that each branch executed the pipeline template with the same configuration.