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Gradle vs. Ant

Gradle is a Groovy-based build automation tool that is an open-source and builds based on the concepts of Apache Maven and Apache Ant. It is capable of building almost any type of software. It is designed for the multi-project build, which can be quite large. It uses DSL (Domain Specific Language) instead of XML (Extensible Markup Language) to define build scripts. It uses a DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph) to define the order of executing the task. It assists in various development operations in the building, testing, and deploying software on different platforms. It has been developed for building automation on many languages and platforms, including Java, Scala, Android, C / C ++, and Groovy. It is the official build tool for Android. Gradle provides integration with several development tools and servers, including Eclipse, IntelliJ, Jenkins, and Android Studio.

Some unique features of Gradle are as following:

  • It supports Declarative builds and build-by-convention.
  • It supports Language for dependency-based programming.
  • It provides a structured build for the projects.
Gradle vs. Ant

Apache Ant is a Java-based build automation tool that is used for automating the build process of projects. It is developed to overcome the drawbacks of the Make build tool of UNIX. It was considered as a replacement of Make tool. It is similar to Make, but it is implemented using the Java language. It requires the Java platform and suitable for Java projects. It uses Xml files to define build scripts. It was released in 2000 and became the most popular java build tool at that time. It is easy to learn. After the initial release, it was updated with the ability to support the plugin. It is based on procedural programming approach.

Some unique features of Apache Ant are as follows:

  • It facilitates the complete Java build and deployment tool.
  • It is platform neutral and can handle platform-specific properties such as file separators.
  • It can be used to perform platform-specific tasks such as modifying the modified time of a file using 'touch' command.
  • The important feature of Ant is its flexibility and does not impose any coding convention or project structure.

Gradle is developed to overcome the drawbacks of Apache Ant. Let's understand some significant differences between Gradle and Ant.

Gradle Ant
Gradle is a Groovy-based build automation tool. Ant is a Java-based build automation tool.
It uses DSL (Domain Specific Language) instead of XML (Extensible Markup Language) to define build scripts It uses XML files to determine build scripts.
Gradle is developed to overcome the drawbacks of Maven and Ant. It is developed to overcome the drawbacks of the Make build tool of Unix.
Gradle plugins are coded in Java or Groovy programming language. It does not impose any coding convention.
Gradle provides a structured build. It does not impose project structured.
Gradle provides comfortable support for IDE integration. In Ant, the IDE integration is slightly complex than maven.
Gradle is more standardized than Ant in case of flexibility. It is less flexible than Gradle.
Gradle supports multi-project build. It does not support multi-project build.

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