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Ant or Maven? Does it make a difference for web apps?

 
Vasilis Souvatzis
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Hello everyone... All I know about Ant and Maven is that Ant is the default build tool for Netbeans, and that Netbeans has excellent Maven support.

Considering I'm building a JavaEE7 web-app for my uni thesis (vague and broad title but still...), should I go with Ant or Maven? Is one better than the other at web-apps?
 
Jelle Klap
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It depends on what you need, they can both do everything you need and then some. Ant is arguably more flexible, but the price of that flexability is having to script the entire build process yourself, from sratch. There are a lot of custom Ant tasks out there that offer all kinds of functionality that you can integrate into your own scrips. Dependency management can be handled with Ivy, which is very powerful. You don't have the benefit of a uniform build lifecycle across projects, but that is less important in your case.
Maven, on the other hand, offers a host of project archetypes, which are essentially templates that help you get up to speed with new projects quickly. It also offers dependency management out of the box, and defines a standard lifecycle. You can extend the capabilities of Maven with various plugins.

In your case I'd pick Maven.
 
Vasilis Souvatzis
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Thank you for this great info! Yes, I'll be the only one working on my projects so I guess it wouldn't matter which of the build tools I'd choose.

I like the archetypes you mentioned so I'll go with Maven, I may even base my project on an archetype if it suits me.

Thanks again
 
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