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- Snippet from Wikipedia: Apache Maven
Maven is a build automation tool used primarily for Java projects. Maven can also be used to build and manage projects written in C#, Ruby, Scala, and other languages. The Maven project is hosted by The Apache Software Foundation, where it was formerly part of the Jakarta Project.
Maven addresses two aspects of building software: how software is built and its dependencies. Unlike earlier tools like Apache Ant, it uses conventions for the build procedure. Only exceptions need to be specified. An XML file describes the software project being built, its dependencies on other external modules and components, the build order, directories, and required plug-ins. It comes with pre-defined targets for performing certain well-defined tasks such as compilation of code and its packaging. Maven dynamically downloads Java libraries and Maven plug-ins from one or more repositories such as the Maven 2 Central Repository, and stores them in a local cache. This local cache of downloaded artifacts can also be updated with artifacts created by local projects. Public repositories can also be updated.
Maven is built using a plugin-based architecture that allows it to make use of any application controllable through standard input. A C/C++ native plugin is maintained for Maven 2.
Alternative technologies like Gradle and sbt as build tools do not rely on XML, but keep the key concepts Maven introduced. With Apache Ivy, a dedicated dependency manager was developed as well that also supports Maven repositories.
Apache Maven has support for reproducible builds.