June 21, 2018

What Is an Artifact Repository?

Version Control
DevOps

An artifact repository organizes and manages binary files and their metadata in a central place. Artifact repository tools are important as teams get larger and the use of components, assemblies, and microservices become more widespread. When development teams lack a repository manager, they face several challenges.

Scattered Artifacts

When teams don’t have an artifact repository, they often rely on file sharing services to store their build artifacts. This makes it hard to track the versions of artifacts and their usage.

Non-Optimal Build Performance

Build performance is hampered when developers have to compile artifacts on their local machines. Complex binary dependencies need to be delivered into the CI/CD pipeline by an artifact repository that has high-performance servers.

The Benefits of an Artifact Repository Manager

Improved CI/CD Build Performance

Development teams reap instant benefits when they use an artifact repository manager. Artifact repositories allow teams to easily find the correct version of a given artifact. Plus, they improve CI/CD by managing code and non-code assets. This means developers can push to, and pull from, the artifact repository as part of the DevOps workflow.

Helix Core is a prime example. Helix Core delivers code and non-code assets into the CI/CD pipeline via integrations with most commonly-used build tools. A few of the build tools Helix Core currently has integrations for include:

  • Gradle
  • Jenkins
  • Electric Cloud
  • TeamCity
  • Thoughtworks Go  

Single Source of Truth

Artifact repositories improve the way teams work together by ensuring everyone is using the correct files. Storing all artifacts and containers in one location ensures that everyone can access them. This provides a central access point for artifact use by developers, QA, and operations. It also means diverse teams can work together to create better products faster.

A central aspect to developing faster is complete traceability. For example, after a build an artifact would be stored in Helix Core with a unique identifier. This allows developers to quickly link the artifact back to the underlying source code.

Artifact Repositories: The Gateway to Faster, More Reliable Builds

On the surface, an artifact repository stores and manages binary files and their metadata. But on a deeper level, it does more. It speeds up CI/CD workflows. It creates a single source of truth. And it improves the bottom line.

Artifact management is vital for cross-functional teams in the software development lifecycle. Without it, teams can easily lose the gains provided by DevOps. With it, teams get high performance, security, reliability, and reuse. This transfers to value delivered to customers at every release.

Join a Demo of Our Artifact Repository Tool

Sign up for a 20-minute demo to learn how Helix Core can help you manage your artifact library.