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Apache Ant

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Apache Ant vs Apache Maven: What are the differences?

# Apache Ant vs Apache Maven

Apache Ant and Apache Maven are both build tools used in Java development. While they serve similar purposes, they have key differences that set them apart.

1. **Build File Format**: Apache Ant uses XML-based build files that can be more verbose and complex, whereas Apache Maven uses a simplified and convention-based Project Object Model (POM) in XML format.
2. **Dependency Management**: Apache Ant relies on manually downloading and including dependencies in the build script, while Apache Maven handles dependencies automatically by downloading from a central repository.
3. **Plugin Ecosystem**: Apache Ant requires developers to write custom tasks for specific build requirements, whereas Apache Maven has a robust plugin ecosystem that provides pre-defined functionalities for various tasks.
4. **Life Cycle Management**: Apache Ant allows developers to define custom build sequences without a predefined life cycle, while Apache Maven provides a standardized build life cycle with phases like validate, compile, test, package, etc.
5. **Convention over Configuration**: Apache Ant requires explicit configuration for each project, while Apache Maven follows the convention over configuration principle, reducing the need for extensive build configurations.
6. **Ease of Use**: Apache Ant can be more flexible and customizable at the cost of complexity and configuration overhead, while Apache Maven simplifies project setup and maintenance with its opinionated approach.

In Summary, Apache Maven streamlines Java project management with its convention-based structure and automation, while Apache Ant offers more flexibility and customization options in build configuration.
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Pros of Apache Ant
Pros of Apache Maven
  • 4
  • 1
  • 1
    Easy to learn
  • 1
    Easy to write own java-build-hooks
  • 137
    Dependency management
  • 70
    Necessary evil
  • 60
    I’d rather code my app, not my build
  • 48
    Publishing packaged artifacts
  • 43
    Convention over configuration
  • 18
  • 11
    Consistency across builds
  • 6
    Prevents overengineering using scripting
  • 4
    Runs Tests
  • 4
    Lot of cool plugins
  • 3
  • 2
    Hard to customize
  • 2
    Runs on Linux
  • 1
    Runs on OS X
  • 1
    Slow incremental build
  • 1
    Inconsistent buillds
  • 1
  • 1
    Good IDE tooling

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Cons of Apache Ant
Cons of Apache Maven
  • 1
  • 1
    Old and not widely used anymore
  • 6
  • 1
    Inconsistent buillds
  • 0
    Not many plugin-alternatives

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What is Apache Ant?

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.

What is Apache Maven?

Maven allows a project to build using its project object model (POM) and a set of plugins that are shared by all projects using Maven, providing a uniform build system. Once you familiarize yourself with how one Maven project builds you automatically know how all Maven projects build saving you immense amounts of time when trying to navigate many projects.

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What are some alternatives to Apache Ant and Apache Maven?
Standard Eclipse package suited for Java and plug-in development plus adding new plugins; already includes Git, Marketplace Client, source code and developer documentation. Click here to file a bug against Eclipse Platform.
Gradle is a build tool with a focus on build automation and support for multi-language development. If you are building, testing, publishing, and deploying software on any platform, Gradle offers a flexible model that can support the entire development lifecycle from compiling and packaging code to publishing web sites.
Apache Tomcat
Apache Tomcat powers numerous large-scale, mission-critical web applications across a diverse range of industries and organizations.
In a nutshell Jenkins CI is the leading open-source continuous integration server. Built with Java, it provides over 300 plugins to support building and testing virtually any project.
The GNU Compiler Collection and GNU Toolchain (Binutils, GDB, GLIBC)
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