Ant and Maven are two alternative "build tools". Ant allows to write low level build scripts, where each action (copy, compile, zip, etc.) are written explicitly. It integrates well with XDoclet allowing automated EJB-related file generation and deployment.
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JDK 5.0 should be installed
  • Open Total Commander and in one window (either the left or the right one) navigate to the file %CD%\ant\apache ant
  • Double-click the ZIP file; it will open and display the zipped directory apache-ant-1.7.0.Beta
  • Select the directory apache-ant-1.7.0 and press button F5 to copy (i.e. unzip) that directory under c:\tools.
  • Create a new System variable ANT_HOME with the value c:\tools\apache-ant-1.7.0
  • Add a new directory to the Path system variable, namely the %ANT_HOME%\bin directory.

Check the installation:

  • Open a DOS window window somewhere, type "ant -version" and check the response
c:\temp>ant -version
Apache Ant version 1.6.5 compiled on June 2 2005
If you are new to Apache Ant, you may want to test the Ant installation by building some simple Ant project. For example, create a subdirectory c:\temp\src and copy to this directory (see the source text of above). Also create the following file with EditPlus and save it as build.xml in the directory c:\temp
<project name="testproject" default="usage" basedir=".">

    <target name="usage" description="Message on how to use Ant buildfiles">
        <echo>Please use the 'build -projecthelp' to see a list of available build targets.</echo>

    <target name="clean" description="Removes build artifacts">
        <delete dir="build" failonerror = "false"/>

    <target name="init" depends="clean" description="Creates the directory structure for a simple Java project">
        <mkdir dir="build"/>

    <target name="compile" depends="init"
            description="Compiles the sources">
        <echo level="info">Compiling files</echo>
        <javac srcdir="src"

    <target name="run">
        <java classname="Hello" 

Run the following commands in a DOS window:

c:\temp>ant -projecthelp
c:\temp>ant compile
c:\temp>ant run

These should display

  1. a usage message,
  2. a list of all commands availabe in the Ant script,
  3. a message of successful compilation of the file c:\temp\src\,
  4. the message printed out by the Java program.