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Ant vs JDeveloper

 
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Simple question, probably a no brainer, but I couldnt find anything on the search so here goes:

I use JDeveloper 99% of the time. I use it to develop, build and deploy. However I can use Ant within JDeveloper to build .... but why would I?

I know very little about Ant because quite frankly I have never needed it. Thats strikes me as a bad excuse to avoid learning about another tool so I need some motivational ass kicking comments about how and why Ant is useful compared to JDevelopers built in build and deploy functions To be honest I am just itching to go on Amazon and start ordering new books to read and new areas of competance to add to my CV and figured Ant might be the thing to focus on for a few weeks.

I tried searching for any posts with JDeveloper and Ant in it and got only two hits, neither of which discussed pros and cons.
 
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Originally posted by Morgan Bath:
Simple question, probably a no brainer, but I couldnt find anything on the search so here goes:

I use JDeveloper 99% of the time. I use it to develop, build and deploy. However I can use Ant within JDeveloper to build .... but why would I?



Does everybody on your team use JDeveloper? If so, do you all have the exact same configuration? How do you schedule builds to be run automatically by the computer?

Modern IDEs that provide support for Ant give you a way to share one canonical build script across the project, regardless of your IDE choice. This also means that you can schedule a computer to run that build script for you when a developer isn't parked in front of the IDE. So I don't consider the "Compile" button to be a viable build process.

I use Eclipse as my IDE when writing Java code. During development, I compile and test the code using the facilities of Eclipse. That is, I press the equivalent of the "Compile" button. But before I check my code in to version control, I build and test the code using the project's shared Ant build script. This increases the probability that everybody on the project can build and test the code, and indeed that an unattended computer can do the same.

Oh, and to satisfy your Amazon urge, Pragmatic Project Automation teaches you how to quickly use Ant to bake builds that are CRISP: consistent, repeatable, informative, schedulable, and portable.

Mike

[ September 21, 2004: Message edited by: Mike Clark ]
[ September 21, 2004: Message edited by: Mike Clark ]
 
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I know very little about JDeveloper per se, as I've always been enamored with IDEA and Eclipse. Even when using those tools, though, I've always used Ant. Ant allows build logic to exist in one place instead of in many, and the logic is independent of any one development tool. Thus, if each of your team members would like to use the tools that work best for them, or if you plan to abandon a really expensive tool (JBuilder) for a free one (Eclipse), a build system independent of your development tools is a wonderful thing.

I'll let others add their reasons for choosing Ant over a development-tool-specific build system.

Craig
 
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Some of the beauties of Ant (as opposed to running builds directly from within an IDE) include:

- it's not tied to a specific application/IDE. While it's often possible to run Ant scripts from within an IDE, build tasks that are IDE-specific don't necessarily translate to another environment. If your shop suddenly abandoned JDeveloper for another product, you'd have to reimplement your build process. With Ant your build script is portable not just from one platform to another, but from one development environment to another.

- secondly, Ant can run both inside and outside of an IDE. If you need automated builds, Ant really shines.

- thirdly, you can use Ant to create both developer and production builds. The sample introductory chapter of the Pragmatic Automation book gives a perfect example of what happens when one person's build works perfectly within his own environment/IDE, but fails for another person because of a missing file. Using Ant alongside of your own IDE builds helps to ensure that the main project build is also running smoothly.

regards,
Suzanne Israel
 
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Integrate Ant with JDeveloper
 
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Also with good Ant integration, you can sort of "program" your IDE to do things that it normally couldn't.

For example, at work we use Ant to automatically regenerate Java files from XML schemata every time a schema got changed (using JAXB).

At home, I use it to automatically distribute the binary and source packages of an open source project to Source Forge, and to update the homepage with the latest JavaDoc - all with only one press of a button.
 
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Good point Ilja. My IDE of choice, OmniCore CodeGuide, has good Ant intergration which I have toyed with, but probably do not use to full advantage. This should get me off my butt and do some work that will allow me to do less work (if that makes sense).
 
Ilja Preuss
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Originally posted by Bear Bibeault:
This should get me off my butt and do some work that will allow me to do less work (if that makes sense).



Makes much sense!

Reminds me of this guy who used a blunt saw to cut a tree. When asked wether he shouldn't sharpen it, he would answer "with cutting this tree being so time consuming, I can't stand even *more* work!"
 
Bear Bibeault
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Good one! I'll have to use that sometime.
 
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