Thursday, 28 May 2009


One of the things I have been using lately is Ivy.

In the past I have had to use Maven on various projects - and must admit, I hated it. Whilst it might be really trendy at the moment to use "convention over configuration" to me doesn't sit well in a build system. Several times what I've needed to do hasn't fit into the Maven model and I really dislike having to "wedge things in" to appease a tool.

But one thing I did like was the dependency management.

Well Ivy gives you this, without all the other stuff you don't need. You use it from Ant, its clean and easy to manage dependencies, and it leverages the existing Maven repositories.

And something else neat is the ability to bootstrap it from Ant, so you don't have to rely on someone having Ivy already installed, you can install it from within your Ant build and use it on the fly.

What I do is this, create an install-ivy.xml with the following contents:

<project ivy="antlib:org.apache.ivy.ant">
  <property name="ivy.install.version" value="2.1.0-rc1">
  <property name="ivy.jar.dir" value="${basedir}/.ivy">
  <property name="ivy.jar.file" value="${ivy.jar.dir}/ivy.jar">

  <target name="download-ivy" unless="">
    <mkdir dir="${ivy.jar.dir}">
    <get src="${ivy.install.version}/ivy-${ivy.install.version}.jar" dest="${ivy.jar.file}" usetimestamp="true"/>

  <target name="install-ivy" depends="download-ivy">
    <path id="ivy.lib.path">
      <fileset dir="${ivy.jar.dir}" includes="*.jar">
    <taskdef resource="org/apache/ivy/ant/antlib.xml" uri="antlib:org.apache.ivy.ant" classpathref="ivy.lib.path">

  <target name="clean-ivy">
    <delete dir="${ivy.jar.dir}">

  <target name="clean-ivy-cache" depends="install-ivy">

Then in the build.xml I add an:

    <import file="install-ivy.xml">
Then have a target like:

  <target name="resolve" depends="prepare,install-ivy">
Then its just a matter of setting up your ivy.xml with your dependencies, which could be something simple like:

<ivy-module version="2.0">
  <info organisation="org.apache" module="hello-ivy">
    <dependency org="com.thoughtworks.xstream" name="xstream" rev="1.3.1">
    <dependency org="commons-lang" name="commons-lang" rev="2.4">
    <dependency org="junit" name="junit" rev="4.5">
    <dependency org="org.mockito" name="mockito-all" rev="1.7">

One of the good things I find is that, I work on a variety of machines, and I don't need to install ivy, my build scripts do it for me as and when.

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