The Next Step in the Evolution of Shippable: JFrog Pipelines

- By Jagdish Mirani on February 01, 2021

Thank you for being a Shippable customer. JFrog’s acquisition of Shippable two years ago was an inflection point, and we appreciate your patience as we established and worked through our roadmap. The Shippable product was re-designed and re-introduced as JFrog Pipelines. We’ve invested heavily in JFrog Pipelines, and we’re now at the cross-over point at which we can recommend a migration to JFrog Pipelines for Shippable customers. It’s a matter of focus - we can bring you more features faster by investing in one product that meets your requirements.

The Shippable service will no longer be available as of May 3rd, 2021. This notification is meant to give you ample time for a product switchover, and we’re hopeful that you will consider JFrog Pipelines as your destination. You can read about the best practices for migrating to JFrog Pipelines here.

If you’re already using Artifactory through a JFrog cloud subscription, you already have Pipelines, without any additional cost. If not, it’s easy to get started fo free - Pipelines is Included in all JFrog cloud subscriptions, even for free accounts.

We have compiled a set of best practices to ease your migration to JFrog Pipelines. You can read about these best practices in a separate blog post, or sign up for a webinar on the topic of migration.

This post covers the reasons JFrog Pipelines is a good choice for Shippable customers. We’ll go through some of the popular features in Shippable and how we have improved upon them in JFrog Pipelines, and some of the bigger features in JFrog Pipelines that are not in Shippable.

Carrying Forward the Best of Shippable

Based on your feedback, we’ve come to know which Shippable features you consider to be most important. Rest assured that we have implemented these features in JFrog Pipelines, and we’ve done so in a way that provides deeper coverage of these features. These include:

  • On-demand (dynamic) nodes, dynamic node caching offer optimized usage of resources.
  • Container-based runtimes. JFrog Pipelines is cloud-native, just like Shippable.
  • YAML-based pipelines (now with a unified DSL): The JFrog Pipelines DSL is consistent and complete. In Shippable, there is an inconsistency between the CI and CD syntax.
  • Single pane of glass. Like Shippable, the CI/CD functionality is offered via a unified UI. However, in the case of Pipelines the unified UI includes the entire JFrog Platform.
  • Out-of-the-box integrations for most common tools. Pipelines comes with a broad portfolio of out-of-box integrations for the tools you're likely to use most. We have added Native Steps for Artifactory, Docker, Helm, Distribution and more.
  • RBAC and secure secrets management. Both products have RBAC, but the Pipelines permissions model is more granular because it is not tightly coupled with GitHub, as it is in Shippable. Both products are designed for secrets management from the start, with a centralized, encrypted storage vault.
  • Matrix builds execute builds in parallel, significantly reducing the processing time.

New Features for Greater Power

Jfrog Pipelines add new features that extend developer productivity, power and flexibility beyond what is possible in Shippable. Here’s a synopsis of some of the bigger features.

The Concept of a Pipeline as an Entity

JFrog Pipelines treats pipelines as first class entities with attributes and actions that are scoped at the level of the pipeline or a pipeline run. Everytime a pipeline is run, a record and result of that run is available in the UI. Collections of pipelines and runs are organized in a way that makes it easier to find what you’re looking for.

The JFrog Pipelines UI provides much better observability. Pipelines’ rich workflow diagrams enable you to see how your steps connect and watch the progress of your pipelines as they execute. The UI also makes it easier to monitor your multibranch pipelines, with an expanding/collapsing UI to group steps and view the status of each group.

Customizations, Extensions and Templates

In JFrog Pipelines, we have pre-built several common steps our users need – we call these Native Steps. We currently provide a robust set of over 20 Native Steps that cover your core DevOps tasks.

You can use the Extensions SDK in JFrog Pipelines to build your own library of steps. You can define your custom steps in YAML files in your source control system and import these steps into pipelines.

With custom extensions, you can minimize the trade-off between a centralized, standardized approach and a decentralized, autonomous approach. For the things that require control, a few experts can create and share custom extensions. Using pre-built steps makes pipeline creation scalable – every incremental pipeline becomes easier to write. The efforts of a few experts can go a long way towards empowering others who do not need the same level of DevOps skills. 

JFrog Pipelines native steps are much more versatile than managed jobs in Shippable. You can mix your own user-scripting with the pre-configured script. In Shippable’s managed jobs, there is no customization.

Similarly, templates offer another way of achieving development scale. You can publish templates that require very simple input for customization rather than starting from scratch. Templates allow you to standardize your software delivery process across teams.

Support for More Complex Pipelines

JFrog Pipelines allows developers to place YAML files in multiple repos, with the ability to separately trigger a pipeline at various stages. For the CI part of Shippable, developers are required to place the YAML file and your application code in the same repo. The multi-repo workflows in JFrog Pipelines with multiple trigger points gives developers a lot more flexibility with building complex pipelines.

Multibranch Support

JFrog Pipelines allows developers to maintain discrete pipelines for different branches of the same project. The pipeline of each branch will have its own run history and logs. This is useful when development teams create feature branches for each feature in-progress. When branches are created Pipelines automatically creates a pipeline for the branch. When the feature development is complete, the changes are merged into the main branch and the feature branch is automatically deleted. You can read more about multibranch support here.

Beyond CI/CD

The benefits of JFrog Pipelines extend beyond CI/CD to include other areas that empower you to build enterprise grade DevOps practices. JFrog Pipelines includes native integration with JFrog Artifactory, the industry standard binary repository manager with support for over 27 package types. 

Deep recursive vulnerability scanning, via JFrog Xray,  is also included so that you can gain confidence in your releases. Select subscription plans (Enterprise and Enterprise+) also include Xray Premium, which helps you identify open source license violations as early as possible in the development lifecycle.

JFrog’s cloud subscription plans also include unlimited access to Docker Hub. This is based on a groundbreaking partnership with Docker that exempts JFrog’s cloud users from Docker Hub’s image-pull rate limits.

Some other benefits include:

  • The JFrog Platform Difference for end-to-end DevOps
  • Marketplace options: billable through your cloud credits, i.e. no additional P.O. (Enterprise and Enterprise+)
  • Cloud nimble: hosted on all major cloud providers, for multi-cloud and hybrid deployments
  • Enabled for continuous delivery through Distribution, CDN, P2P
  • Unbeatable 24/7 SLA support (Enterprise and Enterprise+)
  • JFrog is the DevOps company - we help you adopt holistic best practices for DevOps success

Some of these points are covered in more detail in this post. With a single end-to-end platform, you accelerate your DevOps evolution and scale to global DevOps.

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Interested in best practices for migrations? Check out this post, or this webinar.

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Questions? Feel free to contact us and ask away.

Topics: Notifications, CI/CD, service update, Shippable