Updated March 18, 2023
Difference between Maven and Ant
Maven vs Ant is java build tools provided by Apache. Maven vs Ant help in the build process of the project. Jason van Zyl created maven in 2002 for the subproject of Apache Turbine. The languages used were Java and C#. Project Object Model (POM) is used in Maven. It helps in project build and documentation. Maven can also be used in the project dependency. Ant is a Java software tool developed in 2000. It helps to automate software build processes. Ant scripts are written in XML. It is used to manage repetitive tasks, as well.
Head to Head Comparison Between Maven and Ant(Infographics)
Below are the top 34 differences between Maven vs Ant:
Key Differences between Maven and Ant
Let us discuss some of the major key differences between Maven vs Ant:
- Maven is declarative and to be defined in the .xml file; Ant is procedural, and information of project structure has to be provided prior.
- Maven follows a convention of source code, compiling code, etc., while Ant does not follow any convention. We give an order, and Ant executes it.
- Maven is better when compared to Ant in dependency management. Maven is able to identify all types of dependencies.
- Ant requires more configuration settings than Maven.
- In order to build the project, Maven provides a consistent interface, while in Ant, the interface is not consistent.
- In Maven, a central or local repository can be used, and dependencies are automatically downloaded. But in Ant, the directory is used as a repository, and dependencies are not automatically downloaded.
- Maven has a lifecycle, and the steps are executed when mvn install command is run while Ant does not have any life cycle.
- More than a build tool, Maven acts as a project management tool while Ant is just a build tool.
- Maven is used by many companies as a standard Java build tools, while Ant is not that common nowadays.
- Maven can be considered as a framework to run projects, while Ant is a toolbox to build the project.
- Maven scripts and plugins are reusable, while Ant scripts are not reusable.
Maven vs Ant Comparison Table
Let’s discuss the top comparison between Maven vs Ant:
|Maven has a standard project layout.
|Ant does not have a standard project layout.
|Maven is able to create reports based on the dependencies of the project.
|Ant does not create reports on its own, and it can be made to create reports.
|Maven has a predefined structure of project build.
|We need to define everything from the directory, target, project, etc., in Ant.
|Java class files are created in the base directory itself.
|Java class files have to be created as a configuration in Ant.
|Maven provides a common interface.
|Ant does not provide a common interface.
|Dependencies need not be updated manually.
|Dependencies need to be updated manually.
|Maven has standard naming conventions.
|Ant does not have standard naming conventions.
|Maven is more preferred by users.
|Ant is less preferred by users.
|The maven build process is not that strong when compared to Ant.
|Ant is better to consider while doing the build process.
|Maven works on predefined commands, and hence it is not that flexible as Ant.
|Ant provides more flexibility, and hence everything has to be written from scratch.
|Maven works on plugins, and it can be rightly called a plugin execution framework.
|Ant does not provide plugins like Maven.
|A product-like application is easily built-in Maven.
|Legacy projects are built easily in Ant.
|Scripts are not that complicated as Ant, and the project support is assured.
|Scripts are complicated for long term projects, and the support will be less.
|Maven is made to make the task easy for developers.
|Ant, since it is the first build tool, is a bit complex for developers.
|Maven has built-in plugins and commands to build the project.
|Ant takes orders from developers and builds the project.
|Documentation is more in Maven.
|Documentation is less in Ant.
|Team members find Maven as an easy build tool.
|Ant is difficult when compared to Maven to learn.
|The reliability of Maven is not that good.
|Ant is more reliable when compared to Maven.
|We can’t repeat Maven builds.
|Ant builds are repeatable.
|Since plugins are written each for specific tasks, plugins are not reused.
|Plugins are less in Ant, but the tools can be combined for the tasks.
|The directory structure in Maven is better.
|The directory structure is not that great in Ant.
|Maven scripts are simple.
|Ant’s scripts are readable.
|Ant tasks can be used in Maven.
|We can’t use Maven tasks in Ant.
|Conflicts in the same library are not handled well in Maven.
|Conflicts in the same library are handled well in Ant.
|Calculations can be done in Zsh using the scale command.
|Expr and bc external calculator are used in Bash to do calculations.
|It is difficult to customize the build scripts due to dependency management in Maven.
|Since everything starts from scratch in Ant, it is easy to customize build scripts.
|Dependency management is done on its own.
|Ant gets help from Apache Ivy to do dependency management.
|Maven projects are easy to create and maintain.
|Ant projects are not easy to create, and maintenance requires some scripting to be done.
|Maven has a pom.xml file.
|Ant does not have a pom file, but it works with XML scripts.
|Jar files are not stored in the system; rather, they are downloaded to the repository.
|Jar files are stored in the system since Ant does not have any repository.
|Maven’s conventions help users to use the predefined source code.
|There is no predefined source code in Ant.
|Maven uses shell-based commands for files.
|Ant uses XML for files.
|A hierarchical dependency tree can be created in Maven.
|Since Ant does not do dependency management, a hierarchical dependency tree cannot be created.
|Images or other non-compiled files can be integrated into the repository or Jar file.
|Non-complied files are not integrated into the repository or jar file in Ant.
Ant was developed before Maven, and hence Maven is updated more. But the flexibility and dependency can’t be assured together if we either use Maven or Ant. Ant-maven plugins are available to build the project with both tools. The project can be build using any of the tools, depending on the user’s need and the developer’s creativity.
This is a guide to Maven vs Ant. Here we discuss the difference between Maven vs Ant, key differences with infographics, and a comparison table. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more–