Apache Ant developed by Apache Software Foundation, is a software tool built for the purpose of automation of software build process. Apache Ant can as well be described as a command-line tool whose aim is to drive process described in build files as targets and extension points dependent upon each other. It plays a significant role in day to day work schedule of both a developer and a tester. It has great deal of power to build development code into deployment until ties. Apache ant is implemented on java, which makes it a perfect choice for building java based project, it can also be used for application built with other programming languages depending on the extended support.
Apache Ant uses XML for build process and dependencies description, and it leverage been open standard, portable and easy to comprehend. Just like the Apache HTTP server software Apache Ant is software is also a free to download and use tool for automating software build processes. As earlier noted the main usage of apache ant is in the development of Java applications. Ant allows its users to develop their own antlibs, these antilibs contains Ants types and task. Apache Ant alongside Apache Ivy is a good choice if you are looking to develop software projects that will combine build tool and dependency management. The main focus of apache ant is for Java based build tool, to achieve this apache ant emphasises simplicity and ease of understanding in its use.
The basic concepts of Ant are project, target, properties and task, a good understanding of these concepts will go a long way in simplifying the use of the software, and will also make its usage easier. The beauty of Apache Ant is that it does not need another code set to be written for it to build its applications, rather the entire process is defined by targets which are none other than XML elements. Some of the benefits you get from Ant include Ease of use, platform independence, and extensibility, while some of its features include compilation of java applications, creations of java doc, creation of war, jar, zip and tar files.
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