Instant Messaging (or IM) is widely used today as a fast, lightweight medium for both professional and personal communication. Instant messaging is, well, instant, which gives it an edge over email when it comes to fast notification. It is also “push” rather than “pull”—when you receive a message, it will pop up on your screen and demand your attention. This makes it a little harder to ignore or put off than a simple email message.
Jenkins provides good support for notification via Instant Messaging. The Instant Messaging plugin provides generic support for communicating with Jenkins using IM. Protocol-specific plugins can then be added for the various IM protocols such as Jabber and IRC.
Many instant messaging servers today are based on Jabber, an open source, XML-based instant messaging protocol. Jenkins provides good support for Jabber instant messaging, so that developers can receive real-time notification of build failures. In addition, the plugin runs an IM bot that listens to the chat channels and lets developers run commands on the Jenkins server via chat messages.
Setting up IM support in Jenkins is straightforward. First, you need to install both the Jenkins instant-messaging plugin and the Jenkins Jabber notifier plugin using the standard plugin manager page and restart Jenkins (see Figure 8-9).
Figure 8-9. Installing the Jenkins ...