Introduction to Ant

Apache Ant is a Java-based build tool. ANT stands for Another Neat Tool. Before starting more about Apache ANT build tool first we have to understand what is build tool and why we need any build tool for an enterprise project.

What is Build Tool?

Build Tool is nothing but it is some set libraries and predefined rules for deployment process, compiling process, minify as CSS and JS in the case of web application. It is a tool which provide automation for resolving dependencies,  packaging, building JAR and WAR.

Why Need Build Tool?

For a developer to creating a project there are lots of work which tedious to do every time manually. Like

  • Compiling the code
  • Packaging the binaries
  • Deploying the binaries to the test server
  • Testing the changes
  • Copying the code from one location to another
So any build tool provide automation for these above tasks to the developer. As Software Developers are always love to automation. To automate and simplify the above tasks, Apache Ant is useful.

Some flash Back About Apache ANT

  • Ant was created by James Duncan Davidson.'
  • It was originally used to build Tomcat, and was bundled as a part of Tomcat distribution.
  • Ant was promoted as an independent project in Apache in the year 2000. The latest version of Apache Ant Apr 12, 2016 - Apache Ant 1.9.7 Released.

Good about Apache Ant

  • Ant is the most complete Java build and deployment tool available.
  • Ant scripts are written using plain XML. If you are already familiar with XML, you can learn Ant pretty quickly.
  • Ant is written in Java. Users of Ant can develop their own "antlibs" containing Ant tasks and types, and are offered a large number of ready-made commercial or open-source "antlibs".
  • Ant is extremely flexible and does not impose coding conventions or directory layouts to the Java projects which adopt it as a build tool.
  • Ant is good at automating complicated repetitive tasks.
  • The Apache Ant project is part of the Apache Software Foundation.