If you’re looking for the best software project management tool which will perfectly suit your needs for building automation, then maybe you’ll lose your time from being frustrated and confused with the long list of tools in the market. Most of the time, popular programs come with brand exclusivity will require you to pay for pricey rates that are hard to ignore. Lucky you, some of them are free of charge and also open-source in nature with a large user base. Apache Maven will give you a break from tedious days and extensive problems you may encounter in building project development. But will its popularity and overwhelming good feedback and support from its both users and critics be enough to justify its free services? Find out here.
A comprehensive project management tool available for free
The program is considered as the Swiss army knife of development, a tool which is created for the purpose of the developer’s convenience.
The program’s main goal is to make the comprehension process involving the complete state of development easier and quicker for more convenience. It allows your projects to be built using its project object model (POM) and various sets of available plugins that shared within the software providing a uniform system. This model lets you manage your project’s reporting, documentation, and overall build from a centralized piece of information. Familiarizing yourself with the procedures needed in order to use the full extent of the program is not an easy task. Although once you master it, you can utilize it to save you an immense amount of time when trying to navigate various projects simultaneously.
To know more about Apache Maven, here’s the rundown of its objectives:
- render an easier build process
- deliver a more uniformed build system
- supply quality project info
- provide guidelines for best practices development
- allow transparent migration to new(est) features
- overflowing significant features
The program allows a consistent usage across all projects with no unnecessary ramp-up time for you coming onto a project. It has superior dependency management which includes an instant update and dependency closures or you might also know as transitive dependencies. Its large and continually growing repository of libraries and metadata is one of its unique charms, which makes it really irresistible to countless developers. These libraries and metadata are located inside the largest Open Source projects which give you real-time access with the program’s latest releases. It is considered as one of the most extensible programs in the market which integrates the ability to easily write additional plugins in Java or other scripting languages. It also gives you instant access to new features with little or no configuration at all.
You’re allowed to use Apache Ant for a various number of dependency management and deployment done outside its software. Although, the program encourages its users to utilize central repository of JARs and other dependencies since it has the ability to allow your project’s clients to download any required JARs for building your next project from a central JAR repository such as Perl’s CPAN. This fact lets you reuse JARs across projects but demands you to have constant communication throughout different projects to resolve backward compatibility.
Not an ordinary software management tool
Apache Maven is popular for being a site and documentation tool which uses Ant services such as reusable scriptlets to let you utilize and download dependencies easily on a shorter amount of time. While it does all these things, it also offers a lot of indispensable features which are constantly evolving in the best way possible through the help of its central repositories stored in a local cache. More importantly, it is built using a plugin-based architecture which allows the program to make use of any application controllable through standard input.
Where can you run this program?
Even though Apache Maven is free of charge, you need to have the required Java Development Kit (JDK) in order to execute it after installing it to your PC. The installation steps vary based on your computer’s OS, nonetheless, the program is still compatible for Windows, and Unix-based OS such as Linux, Solaris, and Mac OS X.
Is there a better alternative?
Although Apache Maven offers a neat list of services worthy to be considered, there are other programs that offer the same (or better) features that may be more suitable to your project development needs such as Gradle. It is an open-source build automation system that introduces a Groovy-based domain-specific language instead of the XML form customary to the Maven users and also modeled in a way that is extensible in the most significant ways to cover any ecosystem.
Just like its competitors, this tool provides convention over configuration to support the needs of its users and employs some form of parallel project building and dependency resolution. But the biggest difference of this tool is its built-in mechanisms for work avoidance and incrementality. Its specialized features are making it faster than its competitors including Maven. Most importantly, Gradle provides an interactive web-based UI for debugging and optimizing builds which can be hosted on-premise to allow organizations to collect (and reuse) build history, do trend analysis, compare builds for debugging, and/or optimize build times. Overall, this tool is sufficient enough for developers and ranks higher compared to its similar programs in terms of speed, but it isn’t necessarily better to Apache Maven.
Apache Maven is an extensive and convenient tool which provides dependency tree that helps to store, reuse, and omit unwanted JARs with ease. It’s easy-to-use, reliably fast, and most importantly flexible with a lot of available plugins. You can manage all of your dependencies, group and client projects, while managing your own application built in one single space. Although it’s free of charge, it is not made for new developers’ shortcut or cheap tool instead, it is carefully modeled with an intention to help developers who have a smaller team with fewer funds.
Should you download it?
There’s no real reason for you to not like it. It’s relatively fast and perfectly works with numerous projects while having numerous demands and actions made simultaneously. It solves numerous workspace troubles such as building and configuration automation. It's also free of charge so downloading it to your PCs will not hurt your budget. Although, you can also consider other similar and related programs such as Gradle.