Build tools are programs or libraries that automate the creation of executable applications from the source code. Building incorporates compiling, linking and packaging the code into a usable or executable form. Basically, build automation is the act of scripting or automating a wide variety of tasks that the software developers perform in their day-to-day activities like:
- Downloading dependencies
- Compiling source code into binary code
- Packaging that binary code
- Running tests
- Deployment to production systems
There are various build tools available based on programming language or framework. For example, NAnt is a build tool for .NET Framework, MSBuild is a build tool for C# and Ant, Maven and Gradle are build tools for Java. In this article, you get to delve deeper into Gradle, Gradle project set-up and involvement of Gradle in automation.
Gradle – An Open Source Build & Automation Tool
Gradle is an open-source build and automation tool for java-based projects. By using Gradle, you can reduce project development time and increase productivity. Gradle is available as a plug-in along with Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA. Gradle is highly customizable, fast and powerful. The main motto of Gradle is “Make the impossible possible, make the possible easy, and make the easy elegant”.
Gradle does not use XML. Instead, it has its own DSL based on Groovy (one of JVM languages). As a result, Gradle build scripts which tend to be much shorter and clearer than those written for Ant or Maven. Initially, Gradle used Apache Ivy for its dependency management. Later on, it moved to its own native dependency resolution engine.
Advantages of Gradle over Ant & Maven
Nowadays, all the projects are using Gradle as a build tool. Gradle provides the following advantages compared to Ant and Maven.
- Easy to use and enables implementation of custom logic in the project.
- Expressive, declarative, and a maintainable build tool.
- Supports dependency management.
- Provides standard project layout and lifecycle, and is flexible. You have the option to fully configure the defaults. This is where it proves to be better than Maven.
- Provides very scalable and high-performance builds.
- Supports the project structure that consists of more than one project to build deliverable.
- Easy to integrate existing Ant/Maven project with Gradle.
- Easy to migrate from existing Ant/Maven project to Gradle.
Gradle combines most of the popular build tool plus points into a single build tool. In simple terminology, Gradle is built by the accumulation of the positives from Ant, Maven, Ivy and Gant.
When you develop a software, you write, compile, test, package, and finally, distribute the code. You can automate these steps by using a build system. Gradle is one such build system and a tool for build automation. With Gradle, you can automate compiling, testing, packaging, and deployment of your software or any other type of project. It is flexible and already used by large open source projects.
In the recent years, Gradle has gained the status of being one of the powerful build tools. Gradle supports a lot many features for all the developers, based on their requirement.
This article aims to emphasize on the importance of Gradle in terms of Automation.
To know more about the important steps to set up and execute Gradle project in Automation, please click here
Test Architect, RapidValue