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PHP Continious Integration with Jenkins | Gigavoice Blog

PHP Continious Integration with Jenkins

Do you know any project manager who do not know how many classes has their projects ? Probably many. I am not speaking about the exact number but rough number. Not knowing that info, you do not know exactly the complexity of your problem. If you do not know how to measure it, you do not understand it. But what is the measure ? The measure is any useful data that we can extract from the software that will help the team, QA even investors to be better familiar with the metrics of the code. Or if you agree to some coding standards or other metrics then to proof that you have respected the agreement you need to measure. Example, you can execute unit tests to check if all your functionality works after you change something. You can execute Selenium tests to see if your html contains the right data. You can measure the coding rules to ensure you code from all developers looks the same. You can measure cyclomatic complexity which is very important. You can measure copy/paste and much more. Putting your code under CI does not necessarily mean that by doing that you will get better software, but you will have a way to monitor and improve things better. Especially if you are ISO 9001 or CMMI certificate and your processes require monitoring and measure over your products. For a small project it can be a overkill but useful and for a bigger companies where a lot of people are involved, then CI is a good practice.

What is CI

Continuous integration is a process that detects the changes, makes some analyses and tests, based on the needs, create reports and notifies involved parties about the outcome. This will offer on time notifications about the defined thresholds. The developers commit the changes on a version control system. Then the CI server will detect the changes. At least once a day the CI will execute a build. Note that build is not compiling anything (php is dynamic language) but a build is a process of setting things up ready to work. Then based on the defined thresholds the CI server will notify involved parties if some measurable parameters are drifted from their thresholds.


Jenkins as a CI server

Jenkins is an excellent CI server that is very customizable, and has a lot of plugins. It is created for Java but it can be also used for PHP because it executes ant and ant with php tools will generate logs. Then Jenkins will process the logs and generate the output. First we will install Jenkins, install needed plugins, then we will need to install PHP tools for continuous integration, set-up new jenkins php project and at the end create a build.xml ant script.

Install Jenkins:

The installation is very easy. If you use ubuntu (or debian) you can do it like this:

wget -q -O - | sudo apt-key add -
sudo sh -c 'echo deb binary/ > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/jenkins.list'
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install jenkins

Jenkins will be launched as a daemon up on start. You can manage it with:

/etc/init.d/jenkins [start, stop, restart]

You can now access it with:
Or you can set up apache proxy to forward your url to the jenkins.

Install plugins

Now we will install some plugins to show the output from PHP CI tools. Installing plugins is easy. Just go to this url http://localhost:8080/pluginManager/available and check the following plugins:

  • Checkstyle (for processing PHP_CodeSniffer logfiles in Checkstyle format)
  • Clover PHP (for processing PHPUnit code coverage xml output)
  • DRY (for processing phpcpd logfiles in PMD-CPD format)
  • HTML Publisher (for publishing the PHPUnit code coverage report, for instance)
  • JDepend (for processing PHP_Depend logfiles in JDepend format)
  • Plot (for processing phploc CSV output)
  • PMD (for processing PHPMD logfiles in PMD format)
  • Violations (for processing various logfiles)
  • xUnit (for processing PHPUnit logfiles in JUnit format)

Also you can install anything-goes plugin in order to show nice images on your dashboard generated by pdepend. You also need to enable it (read more on their site). Then restart Jenkins.

Install PHP CI tools

In order to measure the php code we need php ci tools. We need to install them first. Here is a list of most common tools:

  • PHPUnit
  • PHP_CodeSniffer
  • PHP_Depend
  • phpDox

I will do it with pear:

$ sudo pear install pear
$ sudo pear config-set auto_discover 1
$ sudo pear install
$ sudo pear install PHP_CodeSniffer
$ sudo pear install phpunit/phploc
$ sudo pear channel-discover
$ sudo pear install pdepend/PHP_Depend
$ sudo pear channel-discover
$ sudo pear install --alldeps phpmd/PHP_PMD
$ sudo pear install
$ sudo pear install -f

or instead of phpDox you can install phpDoc

$ pear channel-discover
$ pear install phpdoc/phpDocumentor

Now we need to verify if the tools are working.

$ phpunit
PHPUnit 4.0.14 by Sebastian Bergmann.
$ phpcs --version
PHP_CodeSniffer version 1.5.2 (stable) by Squiz (
$ phploc --version
phploc 2.0.4 by Sebastian Bergmann.
$ pdepend --version
PHP_Depend 1.1.4 by Manuel Pichler
$ phpmd --version
PHPMD 1.5.0 by Manuel Pichler
$ phpcpd --version
phpcpd 2.0.0 by Sebastian Bergmann.
$ phpdox --version
phpDox 0.6.5 - Copyright (C) 2010 - 2014 by Arne Blankerts

We also need to install ant tool that will make our build.

$ sudo apt-get -u install ant

Create new project in Jenkins

We need to create and set up a new project under Jenkins. We need to configure all plugins and tell them where to find the log files and the reporting thresholds. This is a very tough work, and there is easy way. There is a production-ready template just for this, and we will use it. We will download jenkins command line class, download the template and put it in jenkins from the command line like this:

wget http://localhost:8080/jnlpJars/jenkins-cli.jar
curl | java -jar jenkins-cli.jar -s http://localhost:8080 create-job php-template
java -jar jenkins-cli.jar -s http://localhost:8080 reload-configuration

Your Jenkins now will look like this:
Next you need to create a new project by clicking “New Item” on the left:
Next add a project name and setup version control, from where to fetch the changes:
GigaVoice-Jenkins-new project
There are more things to be set up, but for start this is enough. So far we have installed Jenkins, needed plugins and php ci tools. Also we have create a new project with all the plugins and version control set up from a template. We are almost ready. Now we need the build script.

Create build script

In order Jenkins to show some data, we need to supply Jenkins with a data. That is the purpose of the build script. To execute previously installed php tools under the source code Ant generates log files that will be used by Jenkins. The generated files are in standard format that Jenkins understands. Previously we downloaded php-template for Jenkins and created a new project as a copy of that template. With that operation we have set up all the plugins needed to plot the data, and they require the following log files:

  • build/logs/checkstyle.xml output from phpcs
  • build/logs/pmd.xml output form phpmd
  • build/logs/pmd-cpd.xml output from phpcpd
  • build/logs/phploc.csv output from phploc
  • build/logs/clover.xml output from phpunit
  • build/logs/junit.xml output from phpunit
  • build/logs/jdepend.xml output from pdepend

Also we have used /build/pdepend/dependencies.svg and /build/pdepend/overview-pyramid.svg for the dashboard description, generated by pdepend tool. The build script will need to call php ci tools and generated the above logs. Unit tests and selenium unit tests both will automatically go under junit.xml

First in the root of your project you need to create build.xml file that will be executed by Ant from the jenkins and you need to create build folder where the results will be placed. Creating build.xml file can depend on your requirements. Put there those php ci tools that you need, so you will monitor exactly what you want.

Here is a sample build.xml file:

< ?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ? >
< !--
and build.xml file for creating QA data for jenkins continious integration
-- >
< project name="Test" default="build" basedir="." >

    < property name="source" value="."/ >

    < target name="clean" description="Clean up and create artifact directories" >
        < delete dir="${basedir}/build/api"/ >
        < delete dir="${basedir}/build/code-browser"/ >
        < delete dir="${basedir}/build/coverage"/ >
        < delete dir="${basedir}/build/logs"/ >
        < delete dir="${basedir}/build/pdepend"/ >

        < mkdir dir="${basedir}/build/api"/ >
        < mkdir dir="${basedir}/build/code-browser"/ >
        < mkdir dir="${basedir}/build/coverage"/ >
        < mkdir dir="${basedir}/build/logs"/ >
        < mkdir dir="${basedir}/build/pdepend"/ >
    < /target >

    < target name="phpunit" description="Run unit tests using PHPUnit and generates junit.xml and clover.xml" >
        < exec executable="phpunit" failonerror="true" >
            < arg line="--configuration tests/phpunit.xml" / >
        < /exec >
    < /target >

    < target name="parallelTasks" description="Run the pdepend, phpmd, phpcpd, phpcs, phpdoc and phploc tasks in parallel using a maximum of 2 threads." >
        < parallel threadCount="2" >
            < sequential >
                < antcall target="pdepend"/ >
                < antcall target="phpmd"/ >
            < /sequential >
            < antcall target="phpcpd"/ >
            < antcall target="phpcs"/ >
            < antcall target="phpdoc"/ >
            < antcall target="phploc"/ >
        < /parallel >
    < /target >

    < target name="pdepend" description="Generate jdepend.xml and software metrics charts using PHP_Depend" >
        < exec executable="pdepend" >
            < arg line="--jdepend-xml=${basedir}/build/logs/jdepend.xml
              application,cliscript,library" / >
        < /exec >
    < /target >

    < target name="phpmd" description="Generate pmd.xml using PHPMD" >
        < exec executable="phpmd" >
            < arg line="application,cliscript,library
              --reportfile ${basedir}/build/logs/pmd.xml
              --exclude *Zend*,*WURFL*,*ZFDebug*
              --suffixes php,phtml" / >
        < /exec >
    < /target >

    < !--
    Copy paste detection of code
    -- >
    < target name="phpcpd" description="Generate pmd-cpd.xml using PHPCPD" >
        < exec executable="phpcpd" >
            < arg line="--log-pmd ${basedir}/build/logs/pmd-cpd.xml
			  --exclude library/Zend/,library/WURFL/,library/ZFDebug/,shop/
			  application cliscript library" / >
        < /exec >
    < /target >

    < !--
    Lines of code and classes statistics
    -- >
    < target name="phploc" description="Generate phploc.csv" >
        < exec executable="phploc" >
            < arg line="--log-csv ${basedir}/build/logs/phploc.csv
			  --exclude library/Zend/,library/WURFL/,library/ZFDebug/,shop/

			  application cliscript library" / >
        < /exec >
    < /target >

    < !--
    Check the code if it is coded with zend standard.
    -- >
    < target name="phpcs" description="Generate checkstyle.xml using PHP_CodeSniffer" >
        < exec executable="phpcs" output="/dev/null" >
            < arg line="--report=checkstyle
              application cliscript library" / >
        < /exec >
    < /target >

    < !--
    Generate api documentation from the classes in application, cliscript and library.
    Exclude zend classes.
    Put the result in build/api folder that can be viewd with a plugin from jenkins
    -- >
    < target name="phpdoc" description="Generate API documentation using PHPDocumentor" >
        < exec executable="phpdoc" >
            < arg line="-d application,cliscript,library
			  -t ${basedir}/build/api
			  --ignore *Zend*,*WURFL*,*ZFDebug*" / >
        < /exec >
    < /target >

    < !--
    Code browser.
    -- >
    < target name="phpcb" description="Aggregate tool output with PHP_CodeBrowser" >
        < exec executable="phpcb" >
            < arg line="--log    ${basedir}/build/logs
              --source ${source}
              --output ${basedir}/build/code-browser
              --ignore library/Zend/,library/WURFL/,shop/,library/ZFDebug/
              --extensions==php,phtml" / >
        < /exec >
    < /target >

    < !--
    < target name="build" depends="clean,parallelTasks,phpunit,phpcb"/ >
    -- >
    < target name="build" depends="clean,parallelTasks,phpunit"/ >

< /project >

* The tags in the above code contain spaces like “< tagame” because the plugin was stripping the tags, so I needed to paste it like this.

Note that unit tests has separate bootstrap file in which you bootstrap everything, setting db connections and other resources.

To test the build script by hand, go the the root project directory where the build.xml is, and execute ant [target name]

Example if you want to test phpcs the target name as defined in the build.xml is phpcs

$ ant phpcs

Or if you do not specify target name then “build” target name will be executed and that includes all targets.


First build the project.
After building your project here is the dashboard:
You can find more info about the pyramid here:
There are plenty of informations available, based on your build.xml file. Here are some:


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