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jenkins aggregating downstream build results and how a "-" can be PITA

You would want to reuse common piece of jenkins builds to use DRY. for e.g. if you have multiple instances like dev, psr, uat and a deploy target for each instance or you have installer targets per branch. Then only thing that is different is the instance where you are deploying or the branch that you are building respectively. Two weekends before I ran into an issue where I was creating a target to auto deploy a build on an instance and problem was I had following build targets

UAT -->AnyDeploy->Run-Tests

So I had AnyDeploy and Run-Tests as shared targets that I was triggering using parameterized builds now I wanted to archive test results on top level targets(UAT,QA,Dev). Now jenkins already has an option to aggregate downstream test results but problem was that my friend had written some cryptic test runner and junit formatter that was printing results in some non standard format. So I installed copy artifact plugin and at end of build I was copying last build artifact back but we ran into interesting issues because

UAT tests would run full suite and take 10 min but dev suite will run mini suite and finish in 1 min so if someone triggered UAT test and then dev then dev would finish first and you would get wrong results attached to UAT build when it finishes. So he asked my help to fix it.  This was a nice problem and took me 2 hours but was worth it.

so jenkins has a way to give you the triggered build number of a downstream target in format of $TRIGGERED_BUILD_NUMBER_XXX where XXX is the build target name. It sounded like a piece of cake to configure the copy artifact target like this and get the job done but this was not working.

Finally after struggling for 2 hours with him I found out that it was this "-" that was causing issue.  I renamed the jenkins build to Run_Tests and that immediately solved the issue.


  1. A bit late to the party, but you could also have just written the variable name like this:


  2. I was wrong about the ${}'s .. I now agree that the "-" is evil :) I retested my case and it did not work with a "-" afterall.


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