Bazel vs Gradle: What are the differences?
Bazel: 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; Gradle: A powerful build system for the JVM. 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.
Bazel and Gradle can be primarily classified as "Java Build" tools.
Some of the features offered by Bazel are:
- 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.
On the other hand, Gradle provides the following key features:
- Declarative builds and build-by-convention
- Language for dependency based programming
- Structure your build
"Fast" is the top reason why over 18 developers like Bazel, while over 106 developers mention "Flexibility" as the leading cause for choosing Gradle.
Bazel and Gradle are both open source tools. Bazel with 12.2K GitHub stars and 2K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Gradle with 9.16K GitHub stars and 2.67K GitHub forks.
According to the StackShare community, Gradle has a broader approval, being mentioned in 456 company stacks & 351 developers stacks; compared to Bazel, which is listed in 11 company stacks and 7 developer stacks.