Apache Ant site Apache Ant logo

the Apache Ant site



At Ant's website

Starting with the release of Ant 1.4 the Ant's FAQ is bundled with the distribution, the most recent version can always be found at the website.

FAQ: http://ant.apache.org/faq.html


jGuru hosts an interactive Ant discussion forum and FAQ system

Forum: http://www.jguru.com/forums/home.jsp?topic=Ant
FAQ: http://www.jguru.com/faq/home.jsp?topic=Ant

FAQ about Borland Application Server tasks

Benoit Moussaud, the original author of the Borland Application Server specific EJB tasks has put together a FAQ for this specific subtask.

FAQ: http://www.moussaud.org/ejbjar.html



The ASF provides a Wiki farm for Apache projects.

Main page: Apache Wiki Farm
Ant Wiki: Ant Wiki


The most recent books come first

Ant in Action

Published April/May 2007, and covering Ant 1.7.

This is a major rewrite of the first edition; still 600 pages long.

This book moves up from Ant1.5 to Java1.5 and 1.7, with a near-complete rewrite of the applied-ant section, covering new topics such as antlibs, repository management with Ivy, Xml Schema validation, EJB3.0/Java EE development and advanced deployment using SmartFrog. The ant coding section looks at AntUnit, antlib authoring and scripting languages, while the beginners chapters, the first third of the book, still shows developers how to build, test, package and redistribute a Java application.

If you are one of the 20,000+ owners of the first edition, it is now obsolete. Sorry :)

Author: Steve Loughran and Erik Hatcher
Publisher URL: http://www.manning.com/loughran/
Book URL http://antbook.org/
Source code repository http://sourceforge.net/projects/antbook

Available from:
Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | Book Sense | Powells.com

Ant: The Definitive Guide, 2nd edition

Published April 2005, and covers Ant release 1.6.1.

This is a complete rewrite of the first edition; this book is now 290 pages and so covers Ant in more depth than its predecessor.

It also mixes reference information (tables) with text explanation on how to use the tasks. Contents includes JUnit, CVS, execution, basic deployment, Web application development and XDoclet. There is also coverage of XDoclet, and a chapter on how to extend Ant in Java.

Author: Steve Holzner
URL: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/anttdg2/

Available from:
Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | Book Sense | Powells.com

Pragmatic Project Automation

How to Build, Deploy, and Monitor Java Applications. Published: July 2004 ISBN: 0-9745140-3-9

This is not a reference guide to Ant, but a book on how to automate the build process. The core build, continuous integration, reporting and release management are all covered. Ant is of course central to this. This is a fun read!

Author: Mike Clark
URL: http://www.pragmaticprogrammer.com/sk/auto//

Available from:
Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | Book Sense | Powells.com

Extreme Programming with Ant

This book shows how to implement an XP project using Ant 1.5.3, and many other 3rd party tools. Covers:

Authors: Glenn Niemeyer and Jeremy Poteet
URL: http://www.sams.com/catalog/product.asp?product_id=%7BFB825A48-BC04-4C55-BD8C-DF93C6BBF920%7D

Available from:
Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | Book Sense | Powells.com

Ant. Das Java-Build-Tool in der Praxis

A German language book on Ant that covers Ant 1.5. This is the original description:

        Das Build-Tool Ant ist das Open-Source-Werkzeug, das den Entwicklungsprozess einer Java-
        oder J2EE-Anwendung wesentlich vereinfacht. Gesteuert durch XML-basierte Skripte f�hrt es
        nahezu alle Aufgaben aus, die nach dem Kodieren einer Anwendung anfallen.

Some topics:

The book is available in English as "Ant: The Java Build Tool in Practice"

Authors: Bernd Matzke
URL: http://www.addison-wesley.de/main/main.asp?page=home/bookdetails&ProductID=13459

Available from:
Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | Book Sense | Powells.com

Java Development with Ant

Published 2002. This book covers Ant 1.5, including:

Also available in Korean and German editions

Authors: Erik Hatcher and Steve Loughran
URL: http://www.manning.com/antbook/

Available from:
Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | Book Sense | Powells.com

Ant: The Definitive Guide, 1st edition

Published 2002, Covers Ant release 1.4.1.

Authors: Jesse E. Tilly and Eric M. Burke
URL: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/anttdg/

Available from:
Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | Book Sense | Powells.com

Ant. Kurz und Gut.

A German language short reference for Ant that covers Ant 1.4. This is the original description:

  Ant kurz & gut enthält eine vollständige Referenz der Built-in Tasks
  und ihrer jeweiligen Attribute sowie kurze Beispiele für ihre Verwendung.
  Daneben bietet das Buch eine knappe Einführung in die Arbeit mit Ant und
  eine Erläuterung der Ant-Basiselemente (Projekte, Properties, Targets und Tasks).
  Behandelt werden außerdem grundlegende Konzepte wie Filesets, Patternsets und
  Pfadstrukturen, das Schreiben eigener Tasks, die Aufruf-Syntax und Optional Tasks. 
Author: Stefan Edlich
URL: http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/3897212412/

Available from:
Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | Book Sense | Powells.com

Java Tools for eXtreme Programming

This book covers the following XP subjects:

Authors: Richard Hightower and Nicholas Lesiecki
URL: http://www.wiley.com/cda/product/0,,047120708X,00.html

Available from:
Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | Book Sense | Powells.com

Articles and Presentations

The following sections list articles and presentations written about Apache Ant. If you've written something that should be included, please post it to one of the mailing lists.


Extending Ant Input Abilities

The contents of this document is the following:

Author: Ivan Ivanov
URL: https://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=103509 (Download ZIP+PDF from Sourceforge)

Keep the Ant, Hold the XML

Key G. Gauthier talks about writing "buildfiles" in Java.

Author: Key G. Gauthier
URL: http://www.ftponline.com/javapro/2004_06/magazine/features/kgauthier/

Ant 1.6 for Task Writers

This article talks about XML namespace handling, Ant libraries and the newly introduced type polymorphism.

Author: Stefan Bodewig
URL: http://otn.oracle.com/pub/articles/bodewig_taskwriters.html

Managing Build Complexity with Apache Ant 1.6

As Apache Ant is applied to increasingly difficult tasks, its users are creating more complex and less legible build files. This is due, in part, to the limited tools for decomposition and code reuse within previous versions of Ant.

Author: Geoffrey Wiseman
URL: http://www.sys-con.com/story/?storyid=45078&DE=1

New Ant 1.6 Features for Big Projects

This article describes the <macrodef>, <import> and <subant> tasks in detail and shows how they help in building bigger systems.

Author: Stefan Bodewig
URL: http://otn.oracle.com/pub/articles/bodewig_ant1.6.html

Programmieren für Ant

This article describes the main topics of programming your own tasks. Description is done on five examples.

This article is written in German and published in Java-Spektrum 5/2004.

Author: Bernd Matzke
URL: http://www.sigs-datacom.de/sd/news/document?PID=216

Ant in Anger: Using Ant in a Production Development System

This document describes strategies and some basic examples of how to use Ant in larger team development projects.

Author: Steve Loughran
URL: http://ant.apache.org/ant_in_anger.html

Ant Task Guidelines

This document describes how to write custom Ant tasks, and how to submit them to potentially be included in Ant.

Author: Steve Loughran
URL: http://ant.apache.org/ant_task_guidelines.html

Build a Better Robot with Ant

This article describes the gory details of writing custom Ant tasks.

Author: Erik Hatcher
URL: http://www.fawcette.com/javapro/2003_02/magazine/features/ehatcher/l

Automating the build and test process

This article demonstrates an approach to the automated build and test process. Working with Ant 1.3 and the JUnit test framework, it shows how to automate a process that captures pertinent information about each test suite run, generates an attractive report, and e-mails the report.

Author: Erik Hatcher
URL: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/java/library/j-junitmail/

Incremental development with Ant and JUnit

This article explores the benefits of unit testing with Ant and JUnit, detailing how to develop automated unit tests and integrate them into your build process.

Author: Malcolm Davis
URL: http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/library/j-ant/?dwzone=java

Automate your build process using Java and Ant

This article provides an introduction to using Ant with some basic examples and by highlighting some of the important tasks.

Author: Michael Cymerman
URL: http://www.javaworld.com/javaworld/jw-10-2000/jw-1020-ant.html

Short tutorial in Cactus' (formerly J2EEUnit) documentation

There is a short tutorial on how to use Ant in Cactus' documentation. It has a slant towards build files that will be used with Cactus.

Author: Cactus development team
URL: http://jakarta.apache.org/cactus/howto_ant_primer.html

Developing custom Ant tasks with VisualAge for Java

This article outlines how to integrate Ant into VisualAge for Java, and how to write and debug custom tasks using the IDE and the integrated debugger.

Author: Glenn McAllister
URL: http://www7.software.ibm.com/vad.nsf/data/document2366?OpenDocument&p=1&BCT=1&Footer=1

Automated builds with VisualAge for Java and Ant

This article shows how you can perform command line builds with a VisualAge for Java repository.

Author: Glenn McAllister
URL: http://www7.software.ibm.com/vad.nsf/Data/Document4366?OpenDocument&p=1&BCT=3&Footer=1

Ant: A Build Tool from the Jakarta Project

This article is from the "Best Practices" section of Sun's Dot-Com Builder Site.

Author: Laura Geele Wang
URL: http://dcb.sun.com/practices/profiles/ant.jsp

Making a Mountain Out of an Anthill

This article is from the June 2001 issue of the Java Developer' Journal. You need to be a registered JDJ subscriber to view this article.

Author: Neal Ford
URL: http://www.sys-con.com/java/archivesa.cfm?volume=06&issue=06

Using Ant and Weblogic EJBs

This article describes how to use Ant to create Weblogic EJBs, and some workarounds for issues you may encounter.

Author: Jesse E. Tilly
URL: http://www.onjava.com/pub/a/onjava/2001/06/25/antejb.html

Using JavaScript with Ant

A tutorial about using JavaScript and XSLT with Ant.

Author: Dylan Schiemann
URL: http://www.sitepen.com/ant/javascript.html

Building with Ant

Series of articles that describe a framework for web application development based on Ant and JUnit.

Author: Alex Chaffee
URL: Introduction: http://softwaredev.earthweb.com/sdtech/article/0,,12065_989631,00.html
Directory Structure: http://softwaredev.earthweb.com/sdtech/article/0,,12082_994991,00.html
Deployment and Distribution: http://softwaredev.earthweb.com/sdtech/article/0,,12077_998241,00.html

Developing with JAXB and Ant

Series of articles that shows how to use Ant together with the Java API for XML Binding (JAXB).

Author: Joseph Shelby
URL: http://www.onjava.com/pub/a/onjava/2002/03/06/jaxant1.html


Ant Build Tool

A PowerPoint presentation on Ant 1.2. It provides a basic overview of Ant's capabilities.

Author: Patrick Chanezon
URL: http://people.netscape.com/chanezon/tech/ant/ant_preso.ppt


A detailed Ant 1.3 PowerPoint presentation, made at the St. Louis Java Users Group meeting in March 2001. Includes a detailed build file and basic descriptions of all the built in and optional tasks. Updated for Ant 1.4 in October 2001. Available in PDF format now.

Author: Mark Volkmann
URL: http://www.ociweb.com/jnb/files/Ant.pdf

Modern Development Crises

This presentation is an overview of the state of software development in 2001. There are a couple of slides that briefly cover Ant.

Author: Steve Loughran
URL: http://www.iseran.com/Steve/modern_development_processes.html

When Web Services Go Bad

A presentation from the Web Services DevCon in March 2002.

Author: Steve Loughran
URL: http://www.iseran.com/Steve/papers/when_web_services_go_bad.html