Easy Read Time: 4 Minutes

Executive Summary

Sonatype Nexus Repository Manager

Know what Sonatype Nexus Repository Manager is, the problem it tries to solve, and its essential features that bring benefits to the development cycle.

5 Minute Read

  1. Overview
  2. Existing Problem
  3. How Nexus Repository Manager Solves the Problem
  4. Important Features of Nexus Repository Manager
  5. Top Sonatype Nexus Competitors

Overview

Sonatype Nexus is a powerful repository manager that offers software developers, application security professionals, and DevSecOps experts a central control to manage binaries and build artifacts. It not only offers a better way to maintain and distribute your internal repositories with dispersed teams but also serves as a proxy for remote repositories to cache external artifacts needed for your application development.

Deployed at over 100,000 organizations globally, Nexus Repository Manager is increasingly turning out to be a mission-critical resource for both development and DevOps teams, enabling automated open source governance, reduced risk, and faster software innovation. The repository manager delivers universal support for most of the popular package formats and integrations across the software development pipeline.

Nexus Repository has a free open source version as well as a Pro version that comes with a host of features designed to deliver enterprise-grade support.

Existing Problem

The software development process has evolved over the last several years. Today’s software is most likely an assembly of open source, proprietary, and third-party components such as libraries, frameworks, packages, modules, and other parts. Besides, software deployment isn’t a periodic process today. Instead, it happens on an ongoing basis through CI servers to meet the rapidly changing needs of end customers, market changes, and new business goals.

To achieve these objectives, modern DevOps teams are increasingly relying on Central and public repositories. However, with the growing usage of these repositories, there is an explosion in the volume of components. This growth leads to several inefficiencies that can affect the productivity of developers.

For example, developers in different teams will most likely download multiple versions of the same components, leading to downstream maintenance issues. Components downloaded from public resources also pose security and license risks, leading to further technical debt downstream.

Sharing proprietary components between teams happen mostly through manual email attachments, complicating version control usage. Further, the dependency on public repositories means if there’s no internet, or if the public resources are down, the internal development efforts get affected considerably.

Moreover, production deployments are required to run the entire build from scratch to generate all the binaries for deployment, leading to inefficient build and deployment processes. Also, in the absence of a mechanism to publish source or binary artifacts, sharing code with external partners mostly happens by sending them an archive of source or granting them access to software configuration management (SCM) system.

The general scenario from these behaviors points the need to improve the process of accessing and managing components locally to improve developer productivity, accelerate DevOps goals as well as improve the performance and stability of builds.

How Nexus Repository Manager Solves the Problem

Nexus Repository Manager is a dedicated server application that allows hosting internal components locally for teams so that they can efficiently exchange components across all the development phases. It also provides the ability to proxy and cache artifacts from remote repositories. Since the build downloads artifacts from a local server, there is a significant reduction in the time to download dependencies.

In addition, Nexus Repository Manager acts as central access and management point for all the components. Everyone can access these components to create final products and bring them to production environments faster. This central collaboration point also makes it easy for everyone to know where components are, offering a single source of truth, rather than dealing with multiple versions.

The repository manager also comes with robust security and access control so that people can only access resources that they are authorized to use. Besides, Nexus is a repository manager with high availability, which means that there is no single-point-of-failure, and the system will continue functioning even if one of the nodes fails.

In essence, the Nexus Repository Manager that combines the potential of a universal repository with enterprise-grade features that help DevOps teams to efficiently access, manage and distribute components, builds, and finished products across the entire software development lifecycle.

Important Features of Nexus Repository Manager

Nexus is a repository manager that any DevOps team would require as it forms a reliable source to access the required components right when they’re needed the most. Here are some of the key features of Sonatype Nexus Repository Manager.

Universal Repository

The repository manager supports all popular package formats, including Maven/Java, npm, NuGet, RubyGems, Docker, P2, OBR, APT, GO, YUM components, and more.

Central Platform for Storing Build Artifacts

Store, manage, and distribute binary artifacts between your development and operations teams throughout the development pipeline.

Proxy for Remote Repositories

Proxy external repositories to cache artifacts locally, and make them available readily even if the external repositories become unavailable.

Project Dependency Management

Control the flow of open source libraries and external artifacts within your organization’s development lifecycle. Allow or deny specific artifacts from external repositories depending on your regulatory constraints or specific dependency requirements.

Release Management

Deploy software to a staging directory, test, and certify if the release needs to be promoted or discarded. Control what software artifacts are released and who can release them.

Role-Based Access Control

Use granular-level access control to give specific rights to specific users. Give full repository access or pieces of the repository through Content Selectors.

Integration with LDAP

Connect Nexus Repository Manager to your existing LDAP directory of users and groups and offer single sign-on for all the repository users.

REST API

Utilize the REST API to automate tasks such as managing dependencies, deploying builds, managing access control, or replicating artifacts, and stay productive.

Performance Monitoring

Identify which components in your repository manager need an upgrade or replacement. Find and prioritize vulnerable components by severity and impact using Repository Health Check.

Secure Development

Ensure safe development using SSL for both inbound and outbound communications.

Top Sonatype Nexus Competitors

Sonatype Nexus is increasingly gaining popularity among developers as a reliable repository manager. However, there are other similar solutions available. Check out these top 4 Sonatype Nexus competitors.

GitLab

GitLab is a Git repository manager that supports binary artifacts and container, but has a limited support for package types compared to Nexus.

Pulp

Pulp is an open-source platform that can manage local and third-party repositories in a centralized place with integrations available for RPM, Python, Puppet, Docker, and OSTree.

JFrog Artifactory

JFrog Artifactory is an enterprise-ready repository manager that supports software packages created in any language or technology.

Archiva

Archiva is a repository manager from Apache that takes care of personal or enterprise-wide build artifact repository.

References: