The Maven Cookbook

Chapter 4. Ant and Maven

Chapter 4. Ant and Maven

4.1. Introduction

Ant and Maven? Yes, it is true.

Ant isn't a language as much as it is a build tool which allows you to describe a build as a set of tasks grouped into build targets. Ant then allows you to declare dependencies between build targets. When you are using Ant you are essentially creating your own lifecycle. An Ant build.xml might have an install target which depends on a test target which depends on a compile target, but these relationships are arbitrary and managed by the person who writes the Ant build file.

Ant is something of a ancestor to Maven, it was the ubiquitous procedural build tool that almost every project used before Maven introduced the concept of wide-scale reusability of common build plugins and the concept of a universal lifecycle.