Part 1. Introducing Gradle

Efficient project automation is one of the key enablers for delivering software to the end user. The build tool of choice shouldn’t stand in the way of this effort; rather, it should provide you with a flexible and maintainable way to model your automation needs. Gradle’s core strength is that it provides you with easy-to-understand but powerful tooling to automate your project end-to-end.

In chapter 1, we’ll discuss the benefits of project automation and its impact on the ability to develop and deliver software in a repeatable, reliable, and portable fashion. You’ll learn the basic concepts and components of a build tool and how they’re implemented with Ant and Maven. By comparing their pros and cons, you’ll see the need for a next-generation build tool.

Gradle draws on lessons learned from established build tools and takes their best ideas to the next level. Chapter 2 introduces you to Gradle’s compelling feature set. You’ll install the Gradle runtime and explore how to write and execute a simple build script from the command line.

Simple build scripts only go so far. Chapter 3 introduces a real-world Java-based web application. You’ll learn the configuration needed to compile, unit-test, package, and run the sample. By the end of part 1, you’ll have a feel for Gradle’s expressiveness and flexibility.