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  1. Jenkins
  2. JENKINS-33185

Visualize parallel steps within a Pipeline Stage


      Support for visualizing parallel steps is unplanned

      A common thread in the feedback we have received is to represent parallel steps in the Stage View as cells within the Stage column.

      The use cases supported by Pipeline Stage View, such as visualizing stages across multiple runs and detecting changes in execution time or stages that fail regularly, work well due to the use of a table to visualize this data. Tables are excellent at allowing the eye to scan over a lot of related data.

      There has some debate within CloudBees on how parallel could be added to Pipeline Stage View without breaking the advantages that a table brings to the visualization. We believe that adding additional cells within the table column would reduce the usability of the overall experience, as scanning many rows becomes much more difficult.

      From a technical point of view it would be non-trivial to retrofit the Stage View with the parallel information.

      For the time being solving this problem has been delayed by CloudBees. However, we encourage any community members who are interested in solving this problem to pick it up.

      Over the last year CloudBees and the Jenkins community have been heavily invested in bringing a new user interface to Jenkins that is designed for Pipeline called Blue Ocean.

      Blue Ocean offers an entirely new way of visualizing Pipelines including parallel steps , and makes it much easier to navigate the Pipelines log by Stage and Step.

      We aim that over time that many of the use cases you have come to enjoy in Stage View will be available in Blue Ocean. We would like to encourage people interested in this feature to try out Blue Ocean and provide us feedback.

      You can find out more about Blue Ocean at https://jenkins.io/projects/blueocean/

      James Dumay

      Original Request
      1) Parallel steps are the common workflow case
      2) Build logs for parallel steps are not informative
      3) A user would expect Stage View to somehow address the issue

      Current state:

      • stage declarations within parallel sections are not being considered as parallel
      • steps within one parallelized step are being mixed => no info in the view (see the screenshot)

      Test script (move stage declarations where you want):

      for (int i=0; i< 2; ++i) {
        stage "Stage #"+i
        print 'Hello, world $i!'
      stage "Stage Parallel"
      def branches = [:]
      for (int i = 0; i < numHelloMessages.toInteger(); i++) {
        branches["split${i}"] = {
          stage "Stage parallel- #"+i
          node('remote') {
           echo  'Starting sleep'
           sleep 10
           echo  'Finished sleep'
      parallel branches

      comment from JGlick:
      So concretely: the stage view would, for a given build (row), continue to display a linear sequence of stages (columns) with their associated times and so on; but each cell (stage of a build) would be some rendering of an st-planar graph, with structure determined according to the presence of steps of interest like parallel or a proposed label. Sort of like the existing Workflow Steps, but rendered as a graph rather than a tree table, restricted to displaying certain steps, and divided by stage.
      A simpler request would be to only display branches of one top-level parallel step, if any. (I.e., an st-planar graph which is either trivial—one vertex—or where all vertices other than the source and sink are directly connected to both the source and the sink.) This more limited UI would match that of the Build Pipeline plugin.
      Note that there is also a request JENKINS-29892 which would allow several stages to share concurrency semantics, but I think that need not have any effect on visualization; it would just be an internal change in the stage step.

        1. blue-ocean-parallel-generated-view.png
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        2. blue-ocean-parallel-WORKS.png
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        3. parallel.png
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        4. pipeline.png
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        5. Screen Shot 2016-11-21 at 15.41.33.png
          Screen Shot 2016-11-21 at 15.41.33.png
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        6. stage-duration.png
          52 kB
        7. stages.png
          359 kB
        8. successful-pipeline.png
          140 kB

            cloudbees CloudBees Inc.
            hrmpw Patrick Wolf
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