What is Apache Ant?

ANT – Another Neat Tool

Ant is a tool developers use to package up an application to hand over to deployment.  Any application of a reasonable size is made up of several files.  These files are of varying types.  When deployed, these files need to be located in specific places on the environment.  The ANT tool allows a developer to move from the source code for the application to the deploy-able package.

What exactly does ANT do?

ANT is basically a scripting language.  It is a set of instructions which are processed in order.  You can call other programs such as a compiler to compile you code.  You can manage files and directories, so you can move files around into folders and then compile the files in a specific folder or add them to a runnable JAR file.

ANT allows you to automate a process that you could do manually.  The advantage of using the tool is it speeds up the process so each time you need to do another build you can do it quickly.  It also ensures that each time it is done the same way so providing build consistency.

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