A multi-configuration project is useful for instances where your builds will make many similar build steps, and you would otherwise be duplicating steps.
As of 1.561, in Matrix Project Plugin.
The Configuration Matrix allows you to specify what steps to duplicate, and create a multiple-axis graph of the type of builds to create.
For example, let us say that we have a build that we want to create for several different targets
beta, and we want to produce both
release outputs. With a freestyle job, we would have the following ant commands:
We can reduce this to one ant target using variables:
And by adding two User Defined Axis in the Configuration Matrix:
Value: set-target-alpha set-target-beta set-target-gamma
Value: debug release
releasetype are exposed to the ant scripts as environment variables. The Value is a space delimited list of points to iterate through for each axis.
The immediate upshot is that if we have another release type to add (for example,
debug-optimized), we can simply add the value to the
releasetype user defined axis rather. The single change will add configuration to build the
debug-optimized release type against all three values of
NOTE: you have to choose "Build multi-configuration project" when creating a project, it can not be changed later. If you skip this step, you will be very confused and not get very far.
Some links explaining this feature a bit more:
Newbie Note: Each configuration is akin to an individual job. It has its own build history, logs, environment, etc. The history of your multi-config job only shows you a list of configurations executed. You have to drill into each configuration to see the history and console logs.
Executors used by a multi-configuration project
A matrix build project (that uses the Slave axis) will use one additional executor ("master executor"?) on a random node to coordinate the executions on the nodes defined by the Slave axis.
This executor is added as a temporary executor(also called as "flyweight task") to the node and does not use up a configured executor slot on this node (this behavior is controlled by hudson.model.Hudson.flyweightSupport). Only this "master executor" or "flyweight task" will be affected by the "Restrict where this project can be run" option, under Advanced Project Options. "Actual" or non-flyweight build execution can be controlled with the "Slaves" axis that can be added under the project's Configuration Matrix: individual nodes and/or labels containing multiple nodes can be selected, as well as filtering axis combinations.