Ant or Maven: Which is better for your application
Maven is the new and improved application development tool that is being used now but Ant is its predecessor in exact terms. Maven is very popular nowadays for its wide array of functionalities but Ant is known for its simplicity. Maven is better in the sense that it supports formal convention with a definite set of life cycles which is not available in Ant but Ant is simpler in ways and more easy to use by new programmers and thus it is pretty hard to choose between the two when one is set to develop his application. Here’s a guideline for it:-
- Ant being a procedural language cannot judge the direction of flow of the program and the user has to mention it while Maven being declarative takes care of it on its own.
- Being controlled and utilized with a set of life-cycles , Maven has got a whole lot of declarative statements which can be used while using some definite plug-ins. But such a thing is absent in Ant.
- If one wishes to spend a good amount of time over a certain application development project then it is better that he uses Maven as it will give better results but if the project is a short term one which needs to be done fast, then Ant is the best choice.
- If the development projects have been connected to some external library to extract some of the set of dependencies then Ant is a good and fast tool for use but if the set of dependencies prefers any IDEs then Maven is the way to go.
- Some IDEs like “NetBeans” comes with a set of its own Ant script present inside it which works and co-ordinates with Hudson and therefore Ant is automatically a better choice in such cases. But for any other non-biased IDE, Maven is a better option as it deals with any problem comprehensively.
- If any application is being developed by a big team with a number of people depending on a definite set of dependencies then for such a case, Maven is a much better option but Ant is a good choice when working on a legacy project although it is not that remarkable when working with external dependencies.
- Ant, being a procedural styled tool, has its own set of fixed environment builder which creates and uses the environment present to its best use while Maven customizes its environment according to the user’s needs.
It is very hard to pin-point any one of the two application development tools among Ant and Maven as the superior one and it is completely dependent on the environment and work at hand that decides the one which is to be used. Some specifications or features might give one an upper hand today but as both the developers are toiling hard to ensure dominance of his product therefore an undisputed winner is pretty hard to determine.
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