Using the Jenkins Command

Updated 1 month ago by Michael Cretzman

One of the steps you can include in a Harness workflow is a Jenkins command step.

With the Jenkins command, you can execute Jenkins jobs in the shell session of the workflow.

When executing a job, you can also dynamically capture the output from the job, publishing runtime variables based on the context, and use those variables in another step in the same Workflow, Phase, or another Workflow or phase in the same Pipeline.

The Shell Script workflow command step can also set and capture shell session information and publish it as output variables. For more information, see Using Shell Script Commands.

What Information is Available to Capture?

Any Jenkins job information in the particular shell session of the Workflow can be captured and output using one or more Jenkins steps in that Workflow. In addition, you can capture information available using the built-in Harness variables. For more information, see Variables and Expressions in Harness.

Capturing and exporting output in the Jenkins step can be very powerful. For example, a Jenkins step could capture Jenkins build information in a Workflow, and a Harness service could echo the build information and use it in a complex function, and then export the output down the Pipeline for further evaluation.

Intended Audience

  • Developers
  • DevOps

Before You Begin

Use the Jenkins Command Step

Before you can use this command, you need to add your Jenkins server as a Harness Artifact Server. See Add Artifact Servers.

The following procedure adds and configures a Jenkins command step in a Workflow, and captures and publishes Jenkins output in a variable. Later, we will show you how to use the published variable in a Harness service.

To use the Jenkins command step, do the following:

  1. In a Harness Application, open a Workflow. For this example, since we are using Jenkins, we will use a Build workflow.
  2. In the Workflow Phase section, in Prepare Steps, click Add Command.
    The Add Command dialog opens.
  3. In Add Command, in Others, click Jenkins. The Jenkins dialog appears.
  4. Configure the Jenkins command step and click SUBMIT. The Jenkins command step has the following settings.



Jenkins Server

Select the Jenkins server you added as a Harness Artifact Server. For more information, see the Jenkins artifact server setup.

Job Name

Select the Jenkins job (also called a project) to execute. The list is automatically populated using the Jenkins Server you selected.

Job Parameters

If you are using a parameterized build, click Add to add your name/value parameters. These are the parameters you will reference using the published output variables.

Treat unstable Jenkins status as success

A build is stable if it was built successfully and no publisher reports it as unstable.A build is unstable if it was built successfully and one or more publishers report it unstable. For example, if the JUnit publisher is configured and a test fails then the build will be marked unstable.

Capture environment variables from Jenkins build

Select this option to capture the environment variables from the Jenkins Job. These are the environment variables you can see in your Jenkins Job Environment Variables section (or via API):

Next, you can enable the Jenkins Output in the Context setting to output the environment variables. See Using Published Jenkins Variables below.


Enter the timeout period, in milliseconds. For example, 600000 milliseconds is 10 minutes. The timeout period determines how long to wait for the step to complete. When the timeout expires, it is considered a workflow failure and the workflow Failure Strategy is initiated.

Wait interval before execution

Set how long the deployment process should wait before executing the step.

Execute with previous steps

Check this checkbox to run this step in parallel with the previous steps.

Jenkins Output in the Context

To export the Jenkins job output as a variable, enable Jenkins output in the context.

Variable Name

Enter a unique name for the output variable. You will use this name to reference the variable elsewhere. For example, if the Variable Name is Jenkins_Test, you would reference the Jenkins Url parameter set in Job Parameters with ${Jenkins_Test.Url}.


Select Pipeline, Workflow, or Phase. The output variables are available within the scope you set here.

The scope you select is useful for preventing variable name conflicts. You might use a workflow with published variables in multiple pipelines, so scoping the variable to Workflow will prevent conflicts with other workflows in the pipeline.

A completed Jenkins step looks something like this:

Referencing Parameters in the Same Step

You can reference the Job parameters you set in Jenkins step Job Parameters section in the same Workflow step (for example, Collect Artifact) using the name of the Jenkins step.

Here are two steps in the same section, Collect Artifact, a Jenkins step where the parameters as set in the Job Parameters section, and a Shell Script step that uses the parameters via variables.

Here is the Job parameter set in Jenkins step Job Parameters section:

Here is the parameter referenced in the Shell Script step using the Jenkins step name, Jenkins:


To reference the parameters outside the step (in other steps in the Workflow, or in another Workflow in the Pipeline), use output variables, described in Using Published Jenkins Variables.

Using Published Jenkins Variables

You can use the Jenkins variable you published in the Jenkins step (via the Jenkins Output in the Context settings), and reference parameters and environment variables in other steps of the Workflow, such as a Shell Script step.

You can reference job parameters from the Jenkins step Job Parameters section with the jobParameters component in the following syntax:


Or, if you selected the Capture environment variables from Jenkins build setting, you can reference environment variables with the envVars component in the following syntax:


Job Parameters

For example, here is a Job parameter set in Jenkins step Job Parameters section:

Here is the output variable in the same Jenkins step, scoped to Pipeline:

Here is a Shell Script step referencing the Job parameter using the output variable:

When the Workflow is deployed, the Harness Deployments page will list the output of the variable (in this case, the Url parameter we set):

Environment Variables

Let's look at an example for environment variables where you selected the Capture environment variables from Jenkins build setting, and then used Jenkins Output in the Context settings to set an output variable named myVar:

Here is an example of the environment variables from a Jenkins Job (via API):

"_class" : "org.jenkinsci.plugins.envinject.EnvInjectVarList",
"envMap" : {
"BUILD_ID" : "65",
"BUILD_NUMBER" : "65",
"BUILD_TAG" : "jenkins-build-descriptor-setter-with-params-65",
"BUILD_URL" : "",

In a Shell Script step in the Workflow, you can get the BUILD_URL environment variable using a variable containing envVars:


You can get all environment variables by simply omitting any specific environment variable name:


Harness Built-in Parameter Variables

Harness includes built-in Jenkins parameters you can use in your Shell Script steps, but only within the same Workflow step section as the Jenkins step. For example, here are two steps in the same section, a Jenkins step and a Shell Script step that uses the built-in variables:

Here is the list of parameters with their variables:

  • buildNumber - ${Jenkins.buildNumber}
  • buildUrl - ${Jenkins.buildUrl}
  • buildDisplayName - ${Jenkins.buildDisplayName}
  • buildFullDisplayName - ${Jenkins.buildFullDisplayName}
  • jobStatus - ${Jenkins.jobStatus}
  • description - ${Jenkins.description} (requires Descriptor Setter plugin in Jenkins)

When the Workflow is deployed, the Shell Script is run and the echo output using the variables is displayed.

Multibranch Pipeline Support

The Jenkins Multibranch Pipeline (Workflow Multibranch) feature enables you to automatically create a Jenkins pipeline for each branch on your source control repo.

Each branch has its own Jenkinsfile, which can be changed independently. This features enables you to handle branches better by automatically grouping builds from feature/experimental branches.

In the Harness Workflow Jenkins command, multibranch pipelines are displayed alongside other Jobs, with the child branches as subordinate options:

When you deploy the Harness Workflow, the branch you selected is built:

For more information, see Pipeline-as-code with Multibranch Workflows in Jenkins from Jenkins.

How did we do?