Bazel vs Apache Maven: What are the differences?
What is 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.
What is Apache Maven? Apache build manager for Java projects. 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.
Bazel and Apache Maven belong to "Java Build Tools" category of the tech stack.
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, Apache Maven provides the following key features:
- Simple project setup that follows best practices - get a new project or module started in seconds
- Consistent usage across all projects means no ramp up time for new developers coming onto a project
- Superior dependency management including automatic updating, dependency closures (also known as transitive dependencies)
"Fast" is the primary reason why developers consider Bazel over the competitors, whereas "Dependency management" was stated as the key factor in picking Apache Maven.
Bazel and Apache Maven are both open source tools. Bazel with 12.2K GitHub stars and 2K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Apache Maven with 1.71K GitHub stars and 1.26K GitHub forks.
Zillow, Bodybuilding.com, and PedidosYa are some of the popular companies that use Apache Maven, whereas Bazel is used by Square, Asana, and Google. Apache Maven has a broader approval, being mentioned in 301 company stacks & 138 developers stacks; compared to Bazel, which is listed in 11 company stacks and 7 developer stacks.
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