Gradle vs Maven: Goal, Focus, Performance, Languages

If we consider building automation tools, then the first two names that come to our attention are Gradle and Maven. Both of these build automation tools automatically compile the source code into the machine code through a build script. In this article, we shall look at Maven vs. Gradle and figure out which of the two could be a better fit for your project.

What is Maven?

Maven is a popular open-source build tool developed by the Apache Group to build, publish, and deploy several projects at once. The build tool is based on the Project Object Model (POM) and focuses on simplification and standardization of the building process. 

It is written in Java and is used to build projects written in C#, Scala, Ruby, etc.

Java Developers immensely prefer Maven as it helps them build and manage projects in their day to day work. The tool helps in making the code downloading dependencies. 

After you start using Maven downloading dependencies, it is no longer needed to visit each software's official website. It could be quickly done now by visiting ""

After Maven, let's get to know about the second build tool - Gradle.

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What is Gradle?

Gradle is a build automation tool popular for its flexibility to build software. The term "build automation tool" refers to a tool used to automate applications' creation. The building process includes compiling, linking, and packaging the code. This process gains consistency with the help of build automation tools.

Gradle is usually preferred to build automation in languages like Java, Scala, Android, C/C++, and Groovy. The tool supports groovy based Domain Specific Language over XML. It provides building, testing, and deploying software on several platforms.

Gradle resolves all the issues faced on other build tools like Maven and ANT. The tool focuses on:

  • Maintainability
  • Usability
  • Extendibility
  • Performance
  • Flexibility

Both of the two build tools, Maven and Gradle, have some significant differences.

Maven vs. Gradle

Let's understand the differences between Maven and Gradle based on some prominent features.

  • Goal



  • Maven is based on developing Java-based software, and it relates the goal to a project phase.
  • Gradle is based on developing domain-specific language projects. The goal with Gradle is to add functionality to a project.
  • Focus



  • Maven focuses on developing applications within deadlines.
  • Gradle focuses on developing applications by adding additional features.
  • Configuration



  • Maven uses Extensible Markup Language or XML for making the project structure. Maven uses an XML file for declaring the project and its dependencies.
  • Gradle doesn't use an XML file for the declaration of project configuration. Gradle uses Groovy-based Domain-Specific language for making the project structure.
  • Languages



  • Maven supports development in languages like Scala, C#, and Ruby.
  • Gradle supports development in languages like Java, C, C++, and Groovy.
  • Customization 



  • Maven provides a limited number of parameters and resources; it can serve a limited number of developers and is not much customizable. 
  • Gradle is highly customizable and provides an extensive range of IDE support builds. We can use Gradle for native development with C/C++.
  • Performance 



  • Maven has a slower build time since it does not use build-cache, which means it does not create local temporary files during software creation hence uses ample time.
  • Gradle performs better than Maven as we optimize it for tracking only current running tasks, which means it only works on the tasks that have been changed to give a better performance.

Now, when you know Maven vs. Gradle, it sometimes becomes critical to decide which tool would be a better fit for your work.

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How to Choose Between Maven and Gradle?

We know that both Gradle and Maven have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Gradle is undoubtedly the more powerful tool out of the two. Still, it has many functionalities that are not always needed, and dealing with many functionalities is slightly a laborious task.

If you consider both tools, you can see:



  • Maven is great for minor projects.
  • We should use it when dependency management, modularization, consistency, lots of plug-ins, and conventions (over Configuration) are preferred. 
  • Gradle is fantastic for extensive projects.
  • We should use it when flexibility, ease of use, speed, and incremental builds are of importance.

If you have started with Maven and now your project has overgrown, you can switch or migrate from Maven to Gradle at any point in time. 

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By now, you would be well versed with the basics of both the Maven and Gradle. We saw several factors that could be a deciding factor in the Maven vs. Gradle section. The differences will help you choose the build tool that would be a better fit for your software.

Do you have any questions for us? Do let us know in the comment section of the Maven vs. Gradle article. We shall have our experts answer it for you right away.

If you are planning to learn DevOps, consider enrolling in Simplilearn’s DevOps certification training course.  

About the Author

Ishan GabaIshan Gaba

Ishan Gaba is a Research Analyst at Simplilearn. He is proficient in Java Programming, Data Structures, and Project Management. Graduated in Information Technology, Ishan is also passionate about writing and traveling.

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