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Gradle and Maven are the first two names that come to mind when thinking about creating automation tools. Both of these build automation technologies utilize a build script to automatically convert the source code into machine code. In this article, we’ll compare Maven vs Gradle to see which one could work better for your project.


What is Maven ?

Maven is a tool for managing projects that deals with distribution, releases, builds, and dependencies. A software build in this context refers to the procedure used to turn source code into a standalone form that can be executed on a computer.

Maven also enables team collaboration, documentation, distribution, and compilation. A directory of packed JAR files with pom.xml files is also included in the Maven repository. It possesses the configuration data necessary to complete the project. JAR refers to a package in this context that unifies various Java class files and associated resources into a single file for distribution.

Additionally, Maven dependencies are present in the repository. Local, central, and remote repositories are the three types. Maven looks through the local repository first, followed by the central and remote repositories. On the computer is a local repository. Central and distant repositories are available online, nevertheless. Maven simplifies the creation and management of projects overall.


Features of Maven ?

  1. Simple project setup that adheres to industry standards.
  2. Consistent usage across all projects.
  3. Dependency management, including automated upgrading.
  4. A huge and expanding collection of libraries.
  5. It is extensible and makes it simple to create plugins in Java or scripting languages.
  6. New features are immediately available with minimal or no additional configuration
  7. Model-based builds – Maven may build any number of projects into output kinds that have already been predetermined, like jar, war, and metadata.
  8. Coherent site of project information − Using the same metadata as the build process, maven may produce a website and a PDF with comprehensive documentation. 
  9. Release management and distribution publication − Maven will automatically integrate with your source control system, such as CVS, and manage a project’s release without any additional configuration.
  10. Backward Compatibility − Multiple modules of a project can be readily transferred from Maven 2 to Maven. It can also support earlier versions.
  11. Automatic parent versioning − In the sub module, the parent does not need to be specified for maintenance.
  12. Parallel builds − It allows you to create schedule modules in parallel and examines the project dependency tree. You can gain performance improvements of 20–50% using this.
  13. Better Error and Integrity Reporting − Maven enhanced error reporting and gives you a link to the Maven wiki page where you may find a detailed explanation of the mistake.


Advantages of Maven ?

  1. Building a project is an easy and well-organized procedure.
  2. The process of getting Jar files and other dependencies is carried out automatically by Maven.
  3. By writing the dependent code in the POM file, Maven may quickly add new dependencies.
  4. It makes it simple to access all the important data.
  5. It is easily extendable, and plug-ins written in Java and other scripting languages are simple to create.


Disadvantages of Maven ?

  1. Installation is required on a functioning system.
  2. If the Maven code for an existing dependence cannot be retrieved, we cannot implement a dependency using Maven.
  3. Maven is a very slow project execution tool.


What is Gradle ?

An open source build automation system is called Gradle. It makes use of Apache Ant and Apache Maven principles. Its main purpose was to support builds that included several projects. Whereas Gradle utilizes a Directed Acyclic Graph to decide the order in which to execute the jobs. Within a short time, Gradle gained popularity. For instance, Google made Gradle the standard build tool for the Android OS.

Additionally, Gradle is built on the DSL platform (Domain Specific Language). It doesn’t employ XML. because it was created to address a particular issue. Additionally, it enables the entire software life cycle, from compilation to testing and statistical analysis to packaging and deployment.

Gradle also has a number of benefits. It enables the build process to incorporate typical design principles. It aids developers in creating well-organized, maintainable builds for various projects. It also offers a variety of methods for managing dependencies.

Gradle resolves all the issues faced on other build tools like Maven and ANT. The tool focuses on:

  • Maintainability
  • Usability
  • Extendibility
  • Performance
  • Flexibility


Features of Gradle ?

  1. Declarative builds and build-by-convention – 

1.1. There is a separate Domain Specific Language (DSL) for Gradle that is based on the Groovy language. It offers the components of declarative language. 

1.2. These components also offer Java, Groovy, OSGI, Web, and Scala build-by-convention compatibility.

  1. Language for dependency based programming – The declarative language lies on top of a general purpose task graph, which can be fully supported in the build.

  2. Structure your build – You can use Gradle to incorporate common design ideas into your build. It will provide you with the ideal framework for your construction so that you may plan a clear, easily maintained and comprehensible build.

  3. Deep API –  By using this API, you can monitor and customize its configuration and execution behavior to the core.

  4. Gradle scales – From small, single-project builds to massive, enterprise-wide multi-project builds, Gradle may effectively enhance productivity.

  5. Multi-project builds – Both multi-project builds and partial builds are supported by Gradle. Gradle takes care of building all the dependent subprojects when you build a subproject.

  6. Different ways to manage your builds – Gradle supports different strategies to manage your dependencies.

  7. Gradle is the first build integration tool – For your ANT tasks, Maven, and ivy repository architecture for publishing and retrieving dependencies, Gradle is fully supported. Additionally, a converter for converting a Maven pom.xml to a Gradle script is included.

  8. Ease of migration – Gradle can easily adapt to any structure. Therefore, you can always develop your Gradle build in the same branch, where you can build a live script.

  9. Gradle Wrapper – Gradle Wrapper allows you to execute the Gradle builds on machines, where Gradle is not installed. This is useful for continuous integration of servers.

  10. Free open source – Gradle is an open source project, and licensed under the Apache Software License (ASL).

  11. Groovy – The build script for Gradle is created in the Groovy programming language. Gradle was created with the intention of being used as a language rather than a strict framework. You can create your own script using Groovy and some abstractions. The whole Gradle API is fully designed in Groovy language.


Why choose Groovy for Gradle ?

The Groovy programming language is used to create the whole Gradle API. An internal DSL has this advantage over XML. Gradle is a multifunctional build tool with a primary focus on Java projects. As a result of the team members’ extensive Java experience, it is preferable for a build to be as clear as possible to everyone on the team.

The best languages for building frameworks are Python, Groovy, or Ruby. Groovy was chosen because it provides Java users with the best level of transparency by a wide margin. Groovy and Java have a similar fundamental grammar, but Groovy offers a lot more advantages to consumers.


Advantages of Gradle ?

  1. Its highly customizable feature. The tool is adaptable to several technologies and tasks.
  2. Gradle operates in a quick and effective manner. It is roughly twice as fast as Maven.
  3. Gradle is a versatile instrument used for plug-in development.
  4. It offers a large selection of IDEs for an improved user experience.


Disadvantages of Gradle ?

  1. Using Gradle to construct tasks requires a high level of technical knowledge.
  2. It lacks an inbuilt ant project framework.
  3. Gradle’s documentation is fairly comprehensive.
  4. XML is to be used to create Ant build scripts. A significant amount of logic must also be written in XML files in order to automate a challenging job.


Differences between Maven and Gradle ?


Based on Gradle is based on developing domain-specific language projects. Maven is based on developing pure Java language-based software.
Configuration It uses a Groovy-based Domain-specific language(DSL) for creating project structure. It uses Extensible Markup Language(XML) for creating project structure.
Focuses on Developing applications by adding new features to them. Developing applications in a given time limit.
Performance It performs better than maven as it is optimized for tracking only current running tasks. It does not create local temporary files during software creation, and is hence – slower.
JAVA Compilation It avoids compilation. It is necessary to compile.
Usability It is a new tool, which requires users to spend a lot of time getting used to it. This tool is a known tool for many users and is easily available.
Customisation This tool is highly customizable as it supports a variety of IDE’s. This tool serves a limited number of developers and is not that customizable.
Languages supported It supports software development in Java, C, C++, and Groovy. It supports software development in Java, Scala, C#, and Ruby.
Build Scripts Gradle scripts are shorter and cleaner Maven scripts are not in comparison to Gradle


Choose between Maven and Gradle ?

We are aware that Gradle and Maven each offer a unique set of benefits and drawbacks. Without a doubt, Gradle is the more potent of the two tools. Nevertheless, it includes a lot of functionalities that aren’t always necessary, and managing a lot of functionalities is a little challenging.


Maven excels at handling small projects. It should be used when conventions (rather than Configuration) are preferred, along with dependency management, modularization, consistency, and lots of plug-ins.


Gradle is excellent for large projects. When adaptability, simplicity, speed, and incremental builds are crucial, we ought to employ it.


Conclusion :

You should be familiar with the fundamentals of both Maven and Gradle by this point. In the Maven vs. Gradle comparison, we saw a number of aspects that might be decisive. You can select the build tool that is more appropriate for your software with the aid of the differences.


In a nutshell, the key distinction between Maven and Gradle is that Maven is an open source build automation tool with a performance and flexibility focus, while Gradle is a build management and comprehension tool that controls project builds, reports, and documents.


Saumya Saxena

Saumya Saxena

iOS enthusiast with 3+ years of experience in the IT industry.
As an iOS developer, I have a strong passion for developing applications. Apart from being into Mobile development, I have been constantly working towards Technical Writing. Working for my passion provides up thrust to me and aids me in pursuing the same as my future career. I believe in working hard.

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