Optimizing Pipeline Troubleshooting with CloudBees Pipeline Explorer

Written by: Samantha Frost
4 min read

Pipelines are a critical component of the development process, however, troubleshooting in complex pipelines can be time-consuming and tedious, especially for larger companies.

This is where CloudBees Pipeline Explorer comes in, providing a streamlined and efficient way to troubleshoot pipelines.

Challenges of Existing Pipeline Troubleshooting Methods

The current solutions for debugging pipelines in Jenkins® work well for simple pipelines however, as the complexity of your pipelines increases and your log files grow - these solutions struggle to handle the hefty needs of an enterprise CI environment effectively. When talking with Jenkins users who need to support enterprises sized requests -  some of the challenges they experienced with existing solutions included: 

  • Visual scalability issues: making sense of complex pipelines can be challenging, especially when parallel branches intertwine, making it hard to pinpoint and share errors for collaborative debugging.

  • No built-in search and context switching: You must rely on ctrl + f native to the web browser.  The workflow we saw in the majority of research sessions on the current log viewing solution was:  Get the general idea of where to start looking, download and rely on ctrl + f.

  • Performance: If you load a log that is 20mb and you scroll too fast - the browser gets overloaded and your text disappears - the UI is slow to update. And can be slow to load the console logs. Once you start scaling things up. Your log files get big and the UI becomes unresponsive.

For current solutions, if your pipelines are simple and log files are small - these get the job done. But for those complex pipelines that come with larger log files, an enterprise solution is needed that is fast, performant, and allows for debugging at scale.

Introducing CloudBees Pipeline Explorer

To overcome these challenges, CloudBees developed the CloudBees Pipeline Explorer, a tool designed to improve the log viewing experience and simplify troubleshooting in complex pipelines. The creation of CloudBees Pipeline Explorer was inspired by the experiences and needs of CloudBees and our customers who wanted a more streamlined way to debug their pipelines. We wanted to ease troubleshooting and make lives easier when tackling debugging of complex pipelines. With the new CloudBees Pipeline Explorer - you get:

  • Collaborative debugging - Make collaboration nimble and easy with controls and functionality that support cross-team communication.  Allows you to copy the filter, line numbers, and the specific content of a line to keep the context

  • Responsive performance: jumping through tens of thousands of lines is quick and responsive, and you won't need to wait for the UI to update after loading logs.

  • Intuitive layout - visually easy to navigate between parallel branches with a modern UI that is customizable through line numbers, timestamps, and timestamp formats. 

  • Treeview and filter - Allow for a better understanding of complex pipelines by giving you a good overview of the whole pipeline and filtering for each stage. Filter out to only specific branches and preserve the line numbers to keep the context of the branch in the log.

  • Issue Explorer - Jump right to the issue in the log from a list of identified issues

  • Built-in Search - Quickly search any size logs and remove the need for external tools

  • CloudBees Pipeline Explorer is part of the CloudBees Assurance Program (CAP) and is directly supported by CloudBees.

Welcome to Optimized Troubleshooting

Whether you're new to Jenkins or a seasoned pro, the CloudBees Pipeline Explorer is worth a look. As a pipeline maintainer or an administrator looking for a better way to find and understand errors within your CI pipeline or needing more performance in your troubleshooting tasks, CloudBees Pipeline Explorer is the solution you've been waiting for.

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