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Official Gradle Logo
Developer(s) Hans Dockter, Adam Murdoch, Szczepan Faber, Peter Niederwieser, Luke Daley, Rene Gröschke, Daz DeBoer, Steve Appling
Stable release 2.2[1] / 10 November 2014 (2014-11-10)
Development status Active
Written in Java, Groovy
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Build Tool
License Apache License 2.0

Gradle is a project automation tool that builds upon the concepts of Apache Ant and Apache Maven and introduces a Groovy-based domain-specific language (DSL) instead of the more traditional XML form of declaring the project configuration.

Unlike Apache Maven, which defines lifecycles, and Apache Ant, where targets are invoked based upon a depends-on partial ordering, Gradle uses a directed acyclic graph ("DAG") to determine the order in which tasks can be run.

Gradle was designed for multi-project builds which can grow to be quite large, and supports incremental builds by intelligently determining which parts of the build tree are up-to-date, so that any task dependent upon those parts will not need to be re-executed.

The initial plugins are primarily focused around Java, Groovy and Scala development and deployment, but more languages and project workflows are on the roadmap.

Example Java project[edit]

Consider the case where the Maven directory structure is used for Java sources and resources. These directories are: src/main/java, src/main/resources, src/test/java and src/test/resources.


apply plugin: 'java'

Running gradle build will result in

> gradle build:compileJava

The Java plugin emulates many of the expected Maven lifecycles as tasks in the directed acyclic graph of dependencies for the inputs and outputs of each task. For this simple case, the build task depends upon the outputs of the check and assemble tasks. Likewise, check depends upon test, and assemble depends upon jar.

For projects that do not follow the Maven conventions, Gradle allows the directory structure to be configured. The following example would support a project that contains source files in src/java rather than the src/main/java convention enforced by Maven.


apply plugin: 'java' = ['src/java']

Example Ant migration[edit]

Gradle has a very tight integration with Ant, and even treats Ant build files as scripts that could be directly imported while building. The below example shows a simplistic Ant target being incorporated as a Gradle task.


  <target name="">
    <echo message="Running!"/>


ant.importBuild 'build.xml'

Running gradle will result in

> gradle
[ant:echo] Running!

Version history[edit]

Version Date
0.7 2009-07-20
0.8 2009-09-28
0.9 2010-12-19
1.0 2012-06-12
1.1 2012-07-31
1.2 2012-09-12
1.3 2012-11-20
1.4 2013-01-28
1.5 2013-03-27
1.6 2013-05-07
1.7 2013-08-06
1.8 2013-09-24
1.9 2013-11-19
1.10 2013-12-17
1.11 2014-02-11
1.12 2014-04-29
2.0 2014-07-01 [2]
2.1 2014-09-08 [3]
2.2 2014-11-10 [4]

Past versions are available from Gradle's download page.

See also[edit]



External links[edit]