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Gradle vs SBT: What are the differences?

What is 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.

What is SBT? An open-source build tool for Scala and Java projects. It is similar to Java's Maven and Ant. Its main features are: Native support for compiling Scala code and integrating with many Scala test frameworks.

Gradle and SBT can be primarily classified as "Java Build" tools.

Gradle is an open source tool with 9.23K GitHub stars and 2.7K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Gradle's open source repository on GitHub.

Netflix, Lyft, and 9GAG are some of the popular companies that use Gradle, whereas SBT is used by Auto Trader, Betaout, and MD Insider. Gradle has a broader approval, being mentioned in 465 company stacks & 360 developers stacks; compared to SBT, which is listed in 19 company stacks and 7 developer stacks.

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Pros of Gradle
Pros of SBT
  • 109
  • 51
    Easy to use
  • 47
    Groovy dsl
  • 22
    Slow build time
  • 10
    Crazy memory leaks
  • 8
    Fast incremental builds
  • 4
    Kotlin DSL
  • 1
    Windows Support
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    Cons of Gradle
    Cons of SBT
    • 7
      Inactionnable documentation
    • 6
      It is just the mess of Ant++
    • 4
      Hard to decide: ten or more ways to achieve one goal
    • 2
      Bad Eclipse tooling
    • 2
      Dependency on groovy
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