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10 Minutes Guide to Ant

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10 Minutes Guide to Ant 10 Minutes Guide to Ant Previous Tutorial Index Next Introduction Well for the next 10 minutes get ready to devote to the ant guide. This will make some sence to the ant. Ant is a free tool under GNU Licence and is

10 Minutes Guide to Ant

     

Introduction

Well for the next 10 minutes get ready to devote to the ant guide. This will make some sence to the ant.

Ant is a free tool under GNU Licence and is freely available at http://jakarta.apache.org/ant/ , current version of ant is 1.4.1. Ant allows the developer to automate the repeated process involved in the development of J2EE application. Developers can easily write the script to automate the build process like compilation, archiving and deployment.

For this tutorial I am using 1.4.1 and jdk1.4. I am also using Jboss 3.0 (with tomcat) downloaded from http://www.apache.org to deploy and test J2EE application developed in this lesson. In order to understand this tutorial you should have a solid knowledge of java programming and development of web application using java technologies.

Lesson 1

Downloading and Installing Ant

Before installing Ant make sure you have JDK1.3 or above installed on your machine.

For this tutorial download ant from http://jakarta.apache.org/ant/  and unzip the file into your favorite directory.

Set the class path to the bin directory of the ant.

Let's assume that Ant is installed in c:\ant\. The following code has to be put into autoexec.bat file:

set ANT_HOME=c:\ant
set JAVA_HOME=c:\jdk1.3
set PATH=%PATH%;%ANT_HOME%\bin

Testing Ant

Go to command prompt and issue the following command.

 
C:\anttest>Ant

Buildfile: build.xml does not exist!Build failed

C:\anttest>
  

If every this is installed correctly Ant will give the above message.

Now its time to do some work with Ant.

Ant uses configuration file called build.xml to work. This is the file where you defines the process of compiling, building and deploying.

Writing build.xml file

build.xml is a xml file used by ant utility to compile, build and deploy or run the application.

Now here is code of simple build.xml file which compiles a java file present in src directory and places compiled class file in build/src directory.

 
<?xml version="1.0"?>

<!-- Build file for our first application -->

<project name="Ant test project" default="build" basedir=".">

<target name="build" >

<javac srcdir="src" destdir="build/src" debug="true"

includes="**/*.java"

/>

</target>

</project>
    

First line of the build.xml file represents the document type declaration.  Next line is comment entry. Third line is the project tag. Each buildfile contains one project tag and all the instruction are written in the project tag.

The project tag:

<project name="Ant test project" default="build" basedir=".">

requires three attributes namely name, default and basedir.

Here is the description of the attributes:

Attribute Description
name Represents the name of the project.
default Name of the default target to use when no target is supplied.
basedir Name of the base directory from which all path calculations are done. 

All the attributes are required.

One project may contain one or more targets. In this example there is only one target.

<target name="build" >

<javac srcdir="src" destdir="build/src" debug="true"

includes="**/*.java"

/>

</target>

Which uses task javac to compile the java files.

Here is the code of our test1.java file which is to be compiled by the Ant utility.

 
class test1{

public static void main (String args[]){

System.out.println("This is example 1");

}

}

  

Download the code of this tutorial and unzip it in c:\. files will be unzipped in anttest directory. To run the Ant utility to compile the file go to c:\anttest\example1 and issue ant command. You will receive the following out put.

 
C:\anttest\example1>ant

Buildfile: build.xml

build:

[javac] Compiling 1 source file to C:\anttest\example1\build\src

BUILD SUCCESSFUL

Total time: 4 seconds

C:\anttest\example1>
 

Above mentioned process compiles the file and places in the build\src directory.

In the next lesson I will show you how to use ant to compile, build and deploy your web application to the Jboss 3.0

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Posted on: January 30, 2005

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Comments:11
sarty
August 23, 2011
How to edit Autoexec.bat in windows 7

your ANT tutorial says "Let's assume that Ant is installed in c:\ant\. The following code has to be put into autoexec.bat file: set ANT_HOME=c:\ant set JAVA_HOME=c:\jdk1.3 set PATH=%PATH%;%ANT_HOME%\bin " But how to edit Autoexec.bat in windows 7
Aravinda
June 7, 2013
Any more materials on ANT

Hi,This document is absolutely good..for a beginner like me..and please provide some more information if u have on ANT for Selenium
umesh
November 12, 2011
java-ant

good one...easy to learn and understand
Pankaj Kumar Mishra
December 29, 2011
Verry Fantasitc Ant

This is very simple creative and fantastic ant explanation. Thanks that I learned it here so quickly
manish sharma
February 23, 2012
this is great Ant kick start

this is great contains . i am sure any new user like me can understand how ant works . great Work thanks for this artical
Abhishek kumar
May 2, 2012
Ultimate post for ant

Hi all, I have read the details about the ant script, it is ultimate for beginers.Thanking rose india for this post Thanks Abhishek
Farzad
July 22, 2012
Ant Error

Thanks for The Page. when i type ant in command prompt i saw this : unable to locate tools.jar.expect to find it in c:\program files\java\jre6\lib\tools.jar buildfile:build.xml does not Exist. build failed.
Jagadeesh
November 3, 2012
build error

Hi, When i use ths same code and compile from my system, i get below error. BUILD FAILED C:\anttest\test1\build.xml:9: Unable to find a javac compiler; com.sun.tools.javac.Main is not on the classpath. Perhaps JAVA_HOME does not point to the JDK. It is currently set to "C:\Program Files\Java\jre6" I did set JAVA_HOME in advanced variables and in autoexec.nt. When i searched in internet, some said, The problem was that in the Build Definition Properties, a "javaHome" was set automatically which was pointing to jre instead of jdk. Please let me know do we need to set the java_home explicitey? If so where to set it?
Praveen
January 6, 2013
About Ant

"Lesson1" is the excellent one for beginners
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