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Apache Ant

3.7
(21)

Apache Ant is a Java library and command-line tool whose mission is to drive processes described in build files as targets and extension points dependent upon each other. The main known usage of Ant is the build of Java applications. Ant supplies a number of built-in tasks allowing to compile, assemble, test and run Java applications. Ant can also be used effectively to build non Java applications, for instance C or C++ applications. More generally, Ant can be used to pilot any type of process which can be described in terms of targets and tasks.

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Apache Ant review by venkata bangaru raiu p.
venkata bangaru raiu p.
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"Build process is very easy"

What do you like best?

Ant is an imperative build system, this means that it's very good at controlling the build process. You "tell" Ant what to do during the whole process, for example: "compile these files and put them in that folder". This is great for special projects where you want as much control as possible during the build process.We can use the apache ant in the command line interface too,it is very user friendly

What do you dislike?

While it's true that Ant gives you a lot of freedom and control over your builds, it also means that you will have to constantly reinvent the wheel on how your project structure and how everything fits together for every new project. This also makes it harder for other people to simply start working on your project because of the wide range of different ways to build a project with Ant. While tools that have more constraints generally end up looking the same and it's easier to understand how everything fits.sometimes build conflicts will come,sometimes IDE suddenly getting crashed,Dependency management is required to full fill all other requirements

Recommendations to others considering the product

use this tool to Build the application ,its very easy and convenient

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Ivy is a powerful tool for managing dependencies. resolving ivy version related issues.

Although it can also be used as a standalone tool, it's tightly integrated with Ant and provides all the dependency management services for it, basically transferring all of Ivy's flexibility in dependency management to Ant as well.

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Apache Ant review by Administrator in Internet
Administrator in Internet
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Verified Current User
Review Source

"Build automation has simplified our dev environment and made coe accessible to everyone in the org"

What do you like best?

We run a complicated SaaS application. The site itself doesn't need to be built or complied but the database, settings, and integration with other software needs to be configured for development or production environments. This used to be a tedious task requiring many steps which lead developers to all have their own unique procedures. When we finally got around to automating the entire setup with ant, we got all developers on the same page. Now we can deploy a complete instance of the application for testing with a few scrips and we know everyone is working off the same build. Its even allowed non-technical staff to deploy previews of builds on their own systems with just some basic commands.

What do you dislike?

Ant scripts are written in XML which can be overly verbose and a little confusion some times. The limited lack of error handling and reporting can also make writing and testing scripts slightly more complicated they possibly needed.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

The ability to quickly setup and deploy a full environment to deploy our application in has saved time, reduced errors or confusion in builds, and streamlined our development processes.

What Build Automation solution do you use?

Thanks for letting us know!
Apache Ant review by Peter B.
Peter B.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"A swiss army knife that you can fully customize yourself - if you invest the time and effort"

What do you like best?

Ant can basically build anything - or wrap the build of anything, really. It is highly customizable and configurable, and can be used for most any kind of software build process or automation, even mixing and matching different builds (c/c++, java, etc) and driving them from the same build tool.

What do you dislike?

Convention beats configuration, and there are a whole lot of other build tools out there that have established conventions, pluggable features, etc. With ant you have to "roll your own" system for most things, even for very lower level things. If you need to highly customize (i.e. do it differently from most everyone else doing the same or similar) and control every detail of your build, then ant will let you do it. But this isn't a best practice - the more you can follow convention for java builds (maven) or mixed builds (python wheels from makefiles, ruby tars from rake, etc) the more you will be able to get contemporary help and solutions.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Look to use a more convention-based tool if you can, if you think you need this level of absolute and total customization it is likely you're doing something else wrong with your design/architecture.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I've used ant to build various software systems, and it did a fine job. The benefits were that it could build anything we wanted, and produce exactly the build artifacts we needed. Problems were that once the person who wrote the antfile had moved on, even to another group/department, deciphering what they had done (and why) often involved a fair amount of heads cratching and experimentation.

Apache Ant review by RISHANT A.
RISHANT A.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Apache ant Is a great tool for Build Automation"

What do you like best?

It provides you an easy way to manage your whole project and build it into a working solution which is otherwise very difficult. It automates the whole process and also gives you option to deploy onto server in some cases eg deploying your WAR files on Apache servers.

Also, I like the HTTP hooks it has. It helps trigger events which are used by something else which is used somewhere else which somewhere else and thus helps a lot like to detect failures or success and generate reports etc.

What do you dislike?

It being a great tool still lacks on many features and might soon be replaced by other tools like gradle which are much more flexible. Also there can be improvement in its tutorials which are little scarce for a beginner , what i feel. Also, its integration with Eclipse IDE is not that great and comes with loads of errors.

There is a need to improve this tool so that it can catch up with its competitors.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Maybe you can consider using something like Gradle.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I have large Java projects to manage, and i use Ant to build them into a war file and deploy onto systems. Ant helps me automate the whole process .

I use it along with Jenkins , install a Ant plugin and provide your ant script. Along with other plugins , it works really well. Give it a try ! .

Apache Ant review by User
User
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"The only site for building java apps"

What do you like best?

Apache ant serves its purpose well. It is a great learning tool and accompanying resource for java. Programming can be frustrating when something isn't working. Apache ant is a great resource to turn to for fixing and improving your work in java.

What do you dislike?

I wish the format was more modern. The site itself is a bit outdated, though this does not affect the quality of the information. They could also consider expanding to offer information about other programming languages.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Apache Ant is a great resource to use for java. It can save you a lot of time and frustration. It is very specialized, which is good if you only use java (its a one stop shop) but isn't very applicable to other programming languages.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

It saves us a lot of time on java apps we would otherwise have to write ourselves. It is a great resource to answer java related questions and figure out how to solve recurring problems by using readily established expertise.

Apache Ant review by Timothy S.
Timothy S.
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Verified Current User
Review Source

"The Tried and True Build Tool for Java"

What do you like best?

ANT is very simple to use and install. You download a zip and unzip it to a folder. I generally do c:\tools\ant. Add it to your path and you are ready to use ant to build Java programs. Apache's ANT is the oldest of the modern build tools and it lacks some of the new features that Maven has.

That being said, it's simple, fast and works on every platform.

What do you dislike?

ANT is old and does not automatically get remote repositories. Maven, which is basically's ANT's replacement has a way to keep your dependencies autodownloaded and centrally managed.

ANT also uses pretty heavy XML, which allows for scripting, but is very verbose.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Apache ANT should be updated to use Maven repositories and allow for scripting in JavaScript or Groovy like Gradle. ANT could again be the leading build tool with a few additions. Since Apache Maven is also Apache, I am not sure there's the need.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

ANT is great for building small projects and for older projects.

ANT solves the issue of hand compiling Java code.

The benefit is faster development and easy use for any developer. No complex setups for every developer. It has it's place.

Apache Ant review by Chaitanya Kumar C.
Chaitanya Kumar C.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Great Build Tool"

What do you like best?

It's platform independent and installation is very easy.

It's very easy to,learn and implement.

It also allows integration of apache ivy for dependency management.

We can have complete control over build process.

It makes it very easy to define tasks that we can then execute with a few commands through the terminal.

You can write very complex build process using this.

What do you dislike?

It's XML configuration is complex. Also the xml file size can grow very big as project grows.

But it's no longer the standard, and many projects are converted to maven.

We need to manually copy the jar files lib as it doen't manage dependencies. It's very painful for the developer.

Recommendations to others considering the product

It's very good build tool. If you want to have a complete control over build process then you can blindly pick this over maven.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I am using this tool to build my portlets code. Also some of the software I use have ant is it's build tool so I need to run ant tasks to build.

Apache Ant review by SrinivasaRao J.
SrinivasaRao J.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Good open source build automation tool"

What do you like best?

You can write complex build process.

You can easily invoke the targets using simple commands.

Very easy to install and take less time.

You can write your own ant targets if you know xml.

Easy to ad support for legacy builds.

open source software.

What do you dislike?

It doesn't have dependency management.

Writing own ant targets are tricky sometimes.

scripts are not reusable, in maven we can create our own plugins.

We need to manually write build scripting.

Everybody is moving to maven so we can't reply on this completely.

Recommendations to others considering the product

You can choose ant if you don't need dependency management.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We use this software to build our product.

Apache Ant review by Sudip B.
Sudip B.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Apache Ant is very powerful build tool"

What do you like best?

It works on any platform, WOProject-Ant[5] is just one of many examples of a task extension written for Ant. These extensions are put to use by copying their jar files into ant's lib directory. Once this is done, these extension tasks can be invoked directly in the typical build.xml file. The WOProject extensions allow WebObjects developers to use ant in building their frameworks and applications, instead of using Apple's Xcode suite.

Antcontrib[6] provides a collection of tasks such as conditional statements and operations on properties as well as other useful tasks.[7]

Ant-contrib.unkrig.de[8] implements tasks and types for networking, Swing user interfaces, JSON processing and other.

Other task extensions exist for Perforce, .Net, EJB, and filesystem manipulations, just to name a few.[9]

Below is listed a sample build.xml file for a simple Java "Hello, world" application. It defines four targets - clean, clobber, compile and jar, each of which has an associated description. The jar target lists the compile target as a dependency. This tells Ant that before it can start the jar target it must first complete the compile target.

What do you dislike?

Can't create password protect excel file.writeProtectWorkbook method not work. . . . .

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

In most of my Java Projects I use Apache Ant for automating the build process

Apache Ant review by G2 Crowd User in Computer Software
G2 Crowd User in Computer Software
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Small but powerful, even if a little arachic"

What do you like best?

Apache Ant is simple, no fuss and ridiculously easy to pick up. A few additional frameworks exist to provide functionality that makes it even more powerful, such as the conditionals, logic and dependency management. As a build tool, it is very customizable to perform any task you need.

What do you dislike?

The problem with Ant is that is based off older technology back then, whose requirements did not involve a wholesome dependency management system. As such, it is now overtaken by Maven for dependency management, which is a key requirement for modern build tools.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Apache Ant solves the problem of building and deployment semi-automatically through the use of scripts such that the process is reproducible.

Apache Ant review by User in Hospital & Health Care
User in Hospital & Health Care
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Ant is a Java based build tool"

What do you like best?

Like java, it is platform independent.

It has a large variety of common tasks already catered for.

It is extensible: not that hard to create your own tasks.

the most popular build tool for Java projects

What do you dislike?

It is not as powerful as batch/shell scripts

It uses horrible XML as a programming language.

Based on procedural programming paradigm

Recommendations to others considering the product

The Ant design team has always stated that they wanted the Ant control language

to be descriptive, and not a scripting (or programming) language.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

You control everything, because you have to largely build it yourself

Ant has the ability to include plugins.

Main benefit of Ant is its control of the build process

Apache Ant review by Roger B.
Roger B.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Good tool for front end development. "

What do you like best?

Apache ant is a great tool for front end development. I don't know anyone who uses Ant for Java related worked any more as Maven is much more feature packed and adopted now. Ant is a bit old school but works great for front end development.

What do you dislike?

With all of the new technologies coming out Apache ant in my opinion has become pretty obsolete. Even for front end developers they will opt to use Grunt or Gulp instead of something like Ant.

Recommendations to others considering the product

I can't think of any reason why I would use Apache ant anymore. I prefer maven and grunt or gulp.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

When I was working on GM applications we used Apache ant to automate our front end build processes.

Apache Ant review by S R.
S R.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"One of the Best open source Build tool "

What do you like best?

It's simple fast and works in any platform :) and its a open source too

What do you dislike?

We have to manually get the remote repositories and it has uses XML scripting

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

we are using it for front end build process and its benefits consists of handling java code compilations and easy to setup and use in every platform.

Apache Ant review by Dharma r.
Dharma r.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Great open source Build Tool"

What do you like best?

1. Simple to use

2. Easy to add support for legacy builds.

3. High Performance

4. To be able to compile large files in a relatively short time

What do you dislike?

1. Its no longer the standard, and many projects which are mavenized are much easier to use via maven than downloading the jar and getting it into your lib. then doing wire up via ant.

2. every build requires more setup and configuration, and generally on every machine.

Recommendations to others considering the product

You can definitely choose this tool, if you have complex build process as it is like xml programming.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

1. I am using this tool for building my java projects

Apache Ant review by Consultant in Information Technology and Services
Consultant in Information Technology and Services
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Automate your project build in an easy way"

What do you like best?

If you are automation champion and not yet using Apache Ant then you are missing something here. Apache Ant is mostly used for building Java projects with ease.

What do you dislike?

Nothing as such. What more you can ask for.

Recommendations to others considering the product

I strongly recommend Apache Ant for developer for automating the build process with ease.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

In most of my Java Projects I use Apache Ant for automating the build process.

Apache Ant review by Consultant in Industrial Automation
Consultant in Industrial Automation
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Powerful but outdated"

What do you like best?

Fit well with Java projects. It runs well with different systems and has a decent example sets

What do you dislike?

Old and seems unmaintained. It's difficult to write large tasks

Recommendations to others considering the product

Use it if only need to perform simple tasks.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Completes the set of things must be performed before or after compiling or distributing your code.

Apache Ant review by Administrator in Transportation/Trucking/Railroad
Administrator in Transportation/Trucking/Railroad
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"helpful but become overtaken"

What do you like best?

- Automatize the build process;

- OS indipendent scripting;

- permits to enstablish a build process also when there isn't any.

What do you dislike?

- Verbosity on simple tasks;

- Issues during build can be tricky to spot due a lot of exception wrapping.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

The main problem solved by and is provide a sort of structured build process when, for instance, the client you're working for doesn't have any determined build process. In those scenarios ANT can be a game changer.

Apache Ant review by Consultant in Computer Software
Consultant in Computer Software
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Ant Review"

What do you like best?

Ease of use.

Easy and fast project build

What do you dislike?

sometimes configuring libraries is a pain while working with eclipse.

Some jars conflict with the project libraries

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I have developed numerous java projects using ANT.

When you have to build the project for different environments, ANT is pretty handy

Apache Ant review by Administrator in Internet
Administrator in Internet
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Apache Ant Lover"

What do you like best?

The best thing about Apache Ant is that it has very simple tags to use, it is very powerful and extremely easy to setup.

What do you dislike?

Because of it easy to use tags, if you need to build more complex logic to build and deploy things, you task can start to be huge.

Recommendations to others considering the product

It is very easy to setup and create your initial automated tasks.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Trying to automate compilation, deployment, file transfer and even some automated tests together with JUnit.

Apache Ant review by Consultant in Computer Software
Consultant in Computer Software
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"It had it's time and place"

What do you like best?

In the early to mid 2000's Ant was where it's at. It had so much promise and helped me automate builds for Java Apps for years.

What do you dislike?

It's old and it's style is very old. There is no dependency management.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Use something newer.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Build management for Java apps.

Apache Ant review by User in Health, Wellness and Fitness
User in Health, Wellness and Fitness
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Ant Build System"

What do you like best?

Can be simple if you know what you want. You have complete control over how everything works

What do you dislike?

No system to automatically include dependencies. Sometimes writing the build configuration can take alot of time.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We had and old script but still use ant to build most of our system. Serves its purpose.

Kate from G2 Crowd

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