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Maven and Ant are both build tools. Both can compile, obtain dependencies from a repository, and create .war files. Ever wondered which is better among these two?

ant vs maven

This article will compare Ant vs Maven on various basis. We will compare it by definition, conventions, project structure, dependency and many more. So without any further ado, let’s get started!

Apache Ant

Apache Ant stands for Another Neat Tool. It is commonly used to build Java apps. Ant provides many built-in tasks that make it possible to assemble, compile, test and run Java programmes. It is a better substitute for the Make build tool of Unix. We can also use Apache Ant to build non-java apps.


About Apache Ant:

  • It functions with the command line and integrates with IDEs.
  • Since it is a platform-independent tool, it can be used on any system.
  • The three building blocks in Ant are ‘tasks’, ‘targets’, and ‘extension points’.
    • The actions which are to be performed are referred to as a task.
    • A target can be identified as the sum of all the tasks.
  • Direct invocation of the target is possible from the Ant.
  • We use Apache Ant to do jobs and build apps quickly and easily.

Some key factors of Apache Ant are:

  1. It has an extensible architecture that results in high performance for the platform.
  2. It provides backward compatibility.
  3. It has a large community which provides constant support if you are a new learner.
  4. It is a versatile tool that automates processes using different computer languages.
  5. Although it is complex, it is a useful tool for repetitive activities.

Advantages of Ant

Some Advantages of Ant are:

  • Ant can be used independently or in conjunction with any commercial or open-source IDE.
  • Making the source code executable is beneficial.
  • You may quickly build any quantity of files thanks to it.

Disadvantages of Ant

Some Disadvantages of Ant are:

  • When compared to more modern tools like Gradle, Maven, etc., it is an older build tool.
  • Everything in Ant must be defined, including the source directory, build directory, etc.
  • When compared to Maven lately, it is less used.


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Apache Maven

Apache Maven is a software project management tool. Maven can manage a project's report, build and doc from a single data source. It uses the idea of a project object model (POM) to do so.


About Apache Maven:

  • The code in Maven is packed into a distributable library, but the build tool enables the creation of libraries similar to the jar file.
  • As a dependency management tool, it changes how we obtain and manage dependencies and how we generally handle them.
  • It has a project management functionality which is superior to that of competing project management software. 
  • It has a standardised approach to creating software. Maven's projects all preserve consistency, which boosts productivity.
  • It would perform a series of actions to build the project because it is a command-line tool requiring all instructions to be supplied through the command prompt.

Some key factors of Apache Maven:

  1. It has a huge, ever-expanding collection of user libraries.
  2. It utilises best practices to build up projects quickly.
  3. It has a dependency management technique.
  4. It is capable of working with older versions.
  5. It has robust reporting methods for errors and integrity.

Advantages of Maven

Some Advantages of Maven are:

  • Maven can automatically add all the dependencies needed for the project by reading the pom file.
  • Maven makes it simple to convert a project to a jar, war, etc., based on the need.
  • A new dependence can be added very quickly. You need to write it on the pom file.

Disadvantages of Maven

Some Disadvantages of Maven are:

  • Maven requires a maven installation on the computer for it to function and a maven plugin for the IDE.
  • If the existing dependency code is unavailable, one cannot add a dependency using maven.
  • Apache Maven is comparatively slow sometimes.

Ant vs Maven Feature Comparison

Following is a brief comparison between Ant vs Maven: 




Based on definition It is a framework-based tool. It is a Java library and command line toolbox.
Conventions Built-in conventions for source code, compiled code etc. No formal conventions.
Project Structure No need to provide info in the POM file. The info must be provided in the XML file.
Lifecycle Have a lifecycle. No lifecycle.
Nature Declarative Procedural
Type Project Management build tool Build tool
Dependencies Self-download dependencies No built-in support for dependencies.
Reusability Reusable plugins Non-reusable scripts
Preference More preferred Less preferred
Complexity More complex Simple and reliable
Flexibility Less flexible Flexible and maintainable

Frequently Asked Questions

What advantage does Maven have over Ant?

When it comes to dependency management, Maven outperforms Ant. For example, you don't have to worry about transitive dependencies when using Maven. If your project depends on library A, add a direct dependency on A and let A handle its own dependencies.

Can we use Maven and Ant together?

To use the AntRun plugin, we must define executions like any other Maven plugin. Because we specified that our plugin should run during Maven's package phase, running Maven's package goal will execute the plugin configuration described above.

Does Ant have pom XML?

Yes, using maven ant tasks, Ant creates pom.xml.

Is Pip the same as Maven?

Pip installs Python packages at the system and project levels. Maven manages Java project dependencies and the build process.

What are the Maven life cycles?

The standard Maven lifecycle has eight steps: validate, compile, test, package, integration test, verify, install, and deploy.


This article briefly compared Ant vs Maven on various basis. We now know all the key differences between Ant and Maven. To sum things up, Maven focuses on conventions and offers predefined commands, whereas Ant allows freedom but mandates that everything be written from scratch (goals). Use the one which you prefer according to your problem, but after an overall comparison, Ant is slightly better than Maven. Thus, we now conclude our comparison between Ant vs Maven. 

We hope this blog has helped you compare Ant vs Maven briefly. If you like to learn more, you can check out our articles: 

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Topics covered
Apache Ant
Advantages of Ant
Disadvantages of Ant
Apache Maven
Advantages of Maven
Disadvantages of Maven
Ant vs Maven Feature Comparison
Frequently Asked Questions
What advantage does Maven have over Ant?
Can we use Maven and Ant together?
Does Ant have pom XML?
Is Pip the same as Maven?
What are the Maven life cycles?