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J2ee-  Difference between Ant and Maven

Posted on 2014-03-10
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Last Modified: 2014-03-15
Hi All,
Can someone please list with an example difference between Ant and Maven?

Does they play any role with kind of progamming used to build java app like struts, hibernate, spring?

Thanks
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Question by:crazywolf2010
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mccarl earned 2000 total points
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Can someone please list with an example difference between Ant and Maven?
They are basically the same, in that they help to automate the building of applications, including the compiling, testing and packaging of the application (and others).

The main difference is that Maven has built-in support for managing the resolution of dependencies, ie. you just indicate to Maven that you code depends on the Spring libraries, and it can automatically download those dependencies and include them in your application, etc.

The other difference that I will highlight is that (at least in my way of thinking) Ant is much more like a scripted build, where you define each step in the build process and Ant will execute them. Whereas Maven has that, but the build process flow is more built in to Maven and you just "hook" certain parts of it to do what you want. An example of what I'm saying is if you just wanted to zip a certain set of files (say your source files), you can easily write an Ant build file to do that, whereas with Maven it may be possible but you would need to jump through lots of hoops to get Maven to bypass all its "default" build process flow.

Does they play any role with kind of progamming used to build java app like struts, hibernate, spring?
Not really, because you still write your Java app in exactly the same way. It just changes your workflow when you are compiling/testing/packaging/deploying your app.

Note also, that both Ant and Maven can be used together! There are Ant tasks that can be used to run maven builds and handle dependencies like maven. Also, there are Maven plugins that can be used to execute ant builds. Finally, you can have a project that is built/managed by Maven and you can still manually run different Ant builds/tasks for those jobs that Ant handles better. It's totally up to the developer.
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