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This plugin adds the ability to wrap your job with pre- and post- build steps which are only executed when a manual release build is triggered.

Additional plugin integration

Supports the Dashboard View with the Recent Releases portlet and the Promoted Builds Plugin with the Release build condition.

Configure the job to enable releasing

On the job configuration page, enable the release build configuration under the Build Wrapper heading and add your required release version template string, release parameters, pre and post build steps that you need to complete a release.

Release Version Template

The release version template was added in version 1.7 of the release plugin.  This parameter lets you define how the release plugin identifies the release of the project.  This is done by building a parameter based template which is resolved at release time to a fully resolved string.  For instance, the template can be: Release: ${releaseVersion}.  This will instruct the release plugin to use the value of the parameter name releaseVersion to come up with the fully identifying string which will then be used as a description of the release build and as a tooltip on the release build icon on the historical build list.

Release Parameters

The release parameters let you define various parameters that are presented to the user when a release is requested.  The list of available parameter types are the same as those available in the parameterized build option for Jenkins.

Build Steps

The build steps section is used to define arbitrary actions to run before and after the standard job build steps run. These are the same build steps offered as the build steps available in the free style job type.

In my experience, a release build typically requires pre-build steps of validating the project is releasable and bumping the version to the release version. After the build runs as usual, the post build steps are labeling the codebase and bumping the version to the next development version.

Executing a release

To run a release, click the Release icon from the job home page. This will bring you to the release details page where you will be prompted to fill in any parameters that you have defined (or the default RELEASE_VERSION and DEVELOPMENT_VERSION if there were no parameters defined).  As seen above, these values are then available at job execution time in both the pre and post release steps as well as the normal build steps. Finally, click the schedule release build and the job is scheduled to run immediately, now including the execution of the pre and post build steps.

Viewing results

Once the build is complete, the release plugin automatically locks the build, preventing it from being automatically deleted and adds a release icon denoting it as a release build.

Supported Job Types

 The release plugin supports the Maven2 and Free Style Job type

Recent Releases Portlet

The release plugin contributes a recent releases portlet that can be used in a Dashboard View

This portlet shows the 5 most recent release builds in normal mode with a link that brings you to the build page and the version string.
In the maximized mode, it shows the 50 most recent builds with additional detail.  Additionally, it offers an rss feed while in the maximized mode so that you can get notified of all release builds or all failing release builds.