An Introduction to EasyAnt

EasyAnt, a new build system based on Apache Ant and Apache Ivy

This section will walk you through basic concepts of EasyAnt.

  1. Phases: An EasyAnt build process is typically split up into multiple phases, similar to Maven. Each phase has a distinct purpose, and functionality. Technically, a phase is very similar to a target. These are the points of difference from a regular target:
    1. A phase has no body. It does not contain any build logic. It only exposes a hook where you can plugin your additional build logic. A phase will execute at a particular point of time during the build. If you want to add any additional logic at this point, you can assign your target to a phase, and it is guaranteed to execute in the assigned phase.
    2. However, if there are (which most likely there will always be) multiple targets associated with a particular phase, then the order of execution of these targets is not fixed or guaranteed.
  2. Build Types: A build type is a defined import of set of build plugins. Each of these plugins defines a set of functionalities in form of targets and hooks them to different build phases. So, when a build type is invoked, it simply invokes the entire set of targets (/phases) sequentially, resulting in the complete build. There are a set of such standard build types that come packaged with EasyAnt. E.g. build-webapp-java. You can also write your own build type.
  3. Build Plugins: A piece of functionality that can be plugged into or removed from your build. This plugin could actually perform a piece of your regular build, e.g. compile java classes during build of a complete war. Or, do a utility action, e.g. deploy your built web application onto a packaged Jetty server!"
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