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Java Tools and Technologies Landscape for 2014

Build Tools

Our mission is to be the next generation build system for all major software platforms. This survey by RebelLabs is important evidence that points to how well Gradle is on its way. Gradle’s momentum is enormous across Java, Android and C/C++. The overall number of Gradle downloads has surpassed 3 million, with more than 330,000 downloads just in April 2014. Exciting times for all of us.
      – Hans Dockter, Founder of Gradle & CEO Gradleware

Java tools and technologies landscape 2014 build tool used most often graph

The build tools segment of the industry is quite mature, having been more or less stable for the last few years. In the past, Maven (64%) and Ant + Ivy (16.5%) have been more or less neck and neck. Indeed, we believe that many developers often use both in different ways on complex projects – in 2012, 67% of respondents used Maven and 48% used Ant.

This year we asked about the build tool used most often, and forced a single selection. Considering Maven’s ubiquitousness and activity in Maven Central, for example, and these numbers aren’t too surprising. What is interesting is the relatively rapid disappearance of Ant, which is a powerful tool until Ivy slowly creeps into the situation for dependency management and makes everything seem a lot more leisurely. Regardless, Ant with or without Ivy is only one-third as commonplace as it was reported in 2012.

The rapid increase of Gradle (11%) is also interesting to witness. Since 2012, Gradle use has more than doubled, which is probably due to its being chosen by Google as the future official build tool of the Android OS (which two-thirds of you out there are using, according to this report).

Java tools and technologies landscape 2014 which build tool would you like to learn more about graph

Gradleware, the enterprise solutions company led by the founder of Gradle, has helped along a uniquely active community for this market – indeed, when we asked: “Which build tool would you like to learn more about”, 58% of developers selected Gradle, which appears to be the most interesting single tool we asked about. Incidentally, SBT (2.5%), was selected by 1 in 10 respondents as the tool to learn more about. This reflects the popularity and interest in Scala we saw previously, even though we are reminded by Typesafe that the tool can be used for Scala and Java projects alike.

For further reading, check out Java Build Tools Part 1 as well as Part 2, which go deeper into using and benefitting from Maven, Ant & Ivy and Gradle