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Gradle vs Maven

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by Pooja Mishra
Last modified: April 15th 2021

Software Deployment automation enables us to drive higher product delivery and organization performance. It allows fast feedback on the quality of the software by allowing team members to do comprehensive testing as soon as changes are made. There are several automated deployment tools available in the market. In this article, we would be exploring the most popular ones - Gradle vs Maven

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Gradle vs Maven: Which is the Best Java Build Tool?

In this Gradle vs Apache Maven article, we would be covering the following topics:

So, let us begin with the Gradle definition first, which I am going to talk about in the section below.

What is Gradle?

Gradle is an open-source build automation system. It uses Domain Specific Language (DSL) and it supports multi-project builds. It also allows incrementally adding to build as it knows which section of the project is updated. Gradle supports development and deployment in several languages such as Java, Scala, and Groovy

Benefits of Gradle

  • Gradle allows us to write the build script with Java programing language.
  • Easy to use and maintain.
  • Supports a multi-project structure.
  • Easy to migrate from Maven to Gradle.
  • Supports dependency management.
  • Provides high performance and scalable builds.
  • Gradle integration process is quite easier.

----   Related Article: Gradle Tutorial for Beginners   ----

What is Maven?

Maven is a project management tool based on POM (Project Object Model). It uses XML for project configuration. Maven is written in Java, and it manages projects written in various languages such as C#, Scala, Ruby, and more. 

  • It addresses two aspects while building software
    • It describes how software is built
    • Describes its dependencies
  • Downloads plugins and libraries from several repository and them store them all in the cache of the local machine

----   For More Info: What is Maven   ----

Maven Benefits

  • Maven has enhanced dependency management.
  • Reduces the duplication within projects
  • No need to store the binary libraries (third party) within the source control.
  • Efficient hierarchical dependency tree management.
  • Straightforward debugging process.
  • Provides better co-operation among the plugin, libraries, source code, and the IDE.

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Gradle Vs Maven: Difference between Gradle and Maven

In this section, we would be comparing both Gradle and Apache Maven on various factors. This will help you differentiate them clearly. So, let’s begin...

#1. Languages

Gradle - DSL language

Maven - XML language

#2. Flexibility

Gradle - Very flexible and based on the script

Maven - Rigid

#3. Performance

Maven - Lower performance

Gradle -Faster than Maven

Why is Gradle faster than Maven? - Because Gradle avoids unnecessary compilation if the binary interface of a library has not changed.

#4. Structure

Maven - Fixed and linear model of phases

Gradle - Graph of Task dependencies

#5. User Experience

Maven - Provides IDE support + No support for Command-line-interface

Gradle - Better IDE support + Command-line-interface

#6. Suitable for

Gradle - Suitable for large projects

Maven - Best for small projects

#7. Dependency Management

Gradle

  • Use of substitution rules
  • Custom dependency scope
  • Use of ReplacedBy rules
  • Better metadata resolution
  • Capable of dynamically replacing project dependencies

Maven

  • Handles dynamic dependencies
  • Built-in dependency scope
  • Provides metadata

#8. Java Compilation

Gradle -  Avoids the compilation of Java

Maven -  The compilation is mandatory

#9. Custom Builds

Gradle - Easy with Gradle

Maven - Not possible with maven

Can I use Maven plugins in Gradle? - To do so, you will have to port the Maven plugin to a Gradle plugin. It might be difficult depending on how many Maven APIs the plugin is using.

----   Related Article: Gradle Interview Questions and Answers   ----

Gradle Vs Apache Maven Commands

The given table contains a list of major commands in Maven and Gradle.

Gradle Commands

Maven Commands

gradle assemble

mvn package

gradle clean

mvn clean

gradle -help

mvn -help

gradle test

mvn test

gradle install

mvn install

gradle version

mvn -version

Gradle Vs Apache Maven Build Script Major Elements

The given table contains a list of important Elements in Maven and Gradle.

Apache Maven Elements

Gradle Elements

< version >

Gradle's "version" Element

< artifactId >

Gradle's "baseName" Element

< groupid >

Gradle's "group" Element

What to Choose Between Maven and Gradle?

In this section, we would discuss what to choose between Gradle and Maven. So, let’s find out..

  • Customized Builds - With Gradle, it is easy to define the project metadata and dependencies, but at the same time, customized builds are highly difficult for Maven users. The POM files easily get bloated with project growth and might become an unreadable XML file later on.
  • Dependency Management and Directory Structure - Maven offers simple and effective dependency management. It has a directory structure and some standard layouts for your projects. Gradle also uses directory structure like Maven, but this can be customized. 
  • Plugins and Integrations - Maven supports a wide variety of build life-cycle and integrates with third-party tools such as code coverage plugins, CI servers, and artifacts repository and more. There is more number of plugins available in Maven as compared to plugins in Gradle.
  • Flexibility - Gradle is very flexible, and custom builds are easy to do on Gradle as compared to Maven

----   Related Article: Maven Interview Questions and Answers   ----

Which is better Gradle or Maven?

Both Java build tools have respective strong points and weak points. We would like to say that what you choose totally depends on your requirement. Indeed, Gradle is more powerful but there are times that your project might not require the features and functionalities offered by Gradle. Maven is preferred for smaller projects whereas Gradle is best for bigger projects. In case you’ve been working with Maven and your project has outgrown it, you can easily migrate from Maven to Gradle.

We hope that you found the article informative and useful. Still, if you have any doubts regarding Gradle Vs maven, please drop your query in the comment box.

About Author

author
NamePooja Mishra
Author Bio

Pooja Mishra is an enthusiastic content writer working at Mindmajix.com. She writes articles on the trending IT-related topics, including Big Data, Business Intelligence, Cloud computing, AI & Machine learning, and so on. Her way of writing is easy to understand and informative at the same time. You can reach her on LinkedIn & Twitter.