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Gradle logo.png
Developer(s)Hans Dockter, Adam Murdoch, Szczepan Faber, Peter Niederwieser, Luke Daley, Rene Gröschke, Daz DeBoer
Initial release2007; 14 years ago (2007)
Stable release
6.8.3 / 22 February 2021; 8 days ago (2021-02-22)[1]
Preview release
6.8 RC5 / 4 January 2021; 57 days ago (2021-01-04)
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inJava, Groovy, Kotlin
TypeBuild tool
LicenseApache License 2.0

Gradle is a build automation tool for multi-language software development. It controls the development process in the tasks of compilation and packaging to testing, deployment, and publishing. Supported languages include Java (Kotlin, Groovy, Scala), C/C++, JavaScript.[2]

Gradle builds on the concepts of Apache Ant and Apache Maven, and introduces a Groovy- & Kotlin-based domain-specific language contrasted with the XML-based project configuration used by Maven.[3] Gradle uses a directed acyclic graph to determine the order in which tasks can be run, through providing dependency management.

Gradle was designed for multi-project builds, which can grow to be large. It operates based on a series of build tasks that can run serially or in parallel. Incremental builds are supported by determining the parts of the build tree that are already up to date; any task dependent only on those parts does not need to be re-executed. It also supports caching of build components, potentially across a shared network using the Gradle Build Cache. It produces web-based build visualization called Gradle Build Scans. The software is extensible for new features and programming languages with a plugin subsystem.

Gradle is distributed as open-source software under the Apache License 2.0, and was first released in 2007.


As of 2016 the initial plugins were primarily focused on Java,[4] Groovy and Scala development and deployment.

Example Java project[edit]

In this example, 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.

File build.gradle[edit]

apply plugin: 'java'

Running the build task (gradle build) results in the console log:

> gradle build


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.

File build.gradle[edit]

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

Example Ant migration[edit]

Gradle is tightly integrated with Ant, and even treats Ant build files as scripts that could be directly imported while building. This example shows a simplistic Ant target being incorporated as a Gradle task.

File build.xml[edit]

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

File build.gradle[edit]

ant.importBuild 'build.xml'

Running the command gradle results in

> gradle
[ant:echo] Running!


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gradle Distributions". Gradle Services.
  2. ^ "Gradle User Manual". Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  3. ^ "Getting Started With Gradle". Petri Kainulainen. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Getting Started · Building Java Projects with Gradle". Retrieved 26 March 2016.


External links[edit]