Apache Ant vs Bazel: What are the differences?
Developers describe Apache Ant as "Java based build tool". Ant is a Java-based build tool. In theory, it is kind of like Make, without Make's wrinkles and with the full portability of pure Java code. On the other hand, Bazel is detailed as "Correct, reproducible, fast builds for everyone". Bazel is a build tool that builds code quickly and reliably. It is used to build the majority of Google's software, and thus it has been designed to handle build problems present in Google's development environment.
Apache Ant and Bazel belong to "Java Build Tools" category of the tech stack.
Some of the features offered by Apache Ant are:
- The most complete Java build and deployment tool available.
- Platform neutral and can handle platform specific properties such as file separators
- Can be used to perform platform specific tasks such as modifying the modified time of a file using 'touch' command
On the other hand, Bazel provides the following key features:
- Multi-language support: Bazel supports Java, Objective-C and C++ out of the box, and can be extended to support arbitrary programming languages.
- High-level build language: Projects are described in the BUILD language, a concise text format that describes a project as sets of small interconnected libraries, binaries and tests. By contrast, with tools like Make you have to describe individual files and compiler invocations.
- Multi-platform support: The same tool and the same BUILD files can be used to build software for different architectures, and even different platforms. At Google, we use Bazel to build both server applications running on systems in our data centers and client apps running on mobile phones.
"Flexible" is the top reason why over 3 developers like Apache Ant, while over 18 developers mention "Fast" as the leading cause for choosing Bazel.
Apache Ant and Bazel are both open source tools. It seems that Bazel with 12.4K GitHub stars and 2.02K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Apache Ant with 247 GitHub stars and 253 GitHub forks.
LinkedIn, Webedia, and Starter Inc. are some of the popular companies that use Apache Ant, whereas Bazel is used by Square, Asana, and Google. Apache Ant has a broader approval, being mentioned in 24 company stacks & 12 developers stacks; compared to Bazel, which is listed in 11 company stacks and 7 developer stacks.