Fully automating a continuous integration system from development, to testing, to deployment in production servers for Node.js can be a challenge. Most Node.js developers are familiar with NPM, which I learned does not stand for “Node Package Manager,” but stands for a recursive bacronymic abbreviation for "npm is not an acronym." In other words, it contains packages that contain a program described by the package.json file. To compare with a Java developer, an NPM is similar to a jar, and NPM registry is similar to Maven central for Java developers. What would happen if the main rpm registry https://www.npmjs.org/ goes down? At that moment node.js developers would be stuck waiting for npmjs.org to return to normal status, or they could run their own private registry.
Baruch Sadogursky, JFrogThat sounds easier said than done, though. According to http://isaacs.iriscouch.com/registry, the current size of the registry is 450.378 gigabytes of binaries. Out of all of those 450 gigabytes of information how many of the packages are going to be used by your developers?
Artifactory: a repository manager to bridge the gap between developers and rpm registry npmjs.org. Artifactory acts as a proxy between your coders and Jenkins instances to the outside world. When I (a developer) require a new package and I declare a new dependency in my code, Artifactory will pull the necessary package dependency from npmjs.org and make it available. After the code has been committed with the new package dependency, Jenkins is then able to fetch the same package from Artifactory. In this scenario if npmjs.org ever goes down, testing using Jenkins will never hault because it will still be able to obtain the necessary dependencies from the Artifactory server.
Building code using an Artifactory server also eliminates the need for users to checkout and build their dependencies as it would be time consuming. Also dependencies could be in an unstable state if I build in my environment and it differs from other users or the Jenkins server. Another advantage is Jenkins could record information about the packages that were used during the build.
Overall, using a package manager like Artifactory to act as a proxy between your Jenkins instance and the NPM registry npmjs.org is beneficial in order to maintain true continuous integration. Your developers and Jenkins instances would not be impacted by any downtime issues if the NPM repository is down or unavailable. Thus, adding an Artifactory server to manage package dependencies would help maintain continuous integration.
Technical Support Engineer
Steven works on providing bug fixes to CloudBees customers for Jenkins, Jenkins plugins and Jenkins enterprise plugins. He has a great passion for software development and extensive experience with Hudson and Jenkins. Follow him on Twitter.