Gradle vs Maven – What’s the Difference ? (Pros and Cons)

Gradle vs Maven – What’s the Difference ? (Pros and Cons). This article introduces two project management automation tools. The first tool is Gradle. Basically it is used to automate compilation for software development in multiple languages. Additionally, it controls the development process in compilation and packaging tasks for testing, deployment and publishing. Moreover, it is supported languages include Java, C/C++ and JavaScript. On the other hand, we have Apache Maven. In summary, a project management tool that features automation along with building software on the Java platform. The various functions of Maven are implemented through plugins that are automatically downloaded the first time they are used.

Follow this article, Gradle vs Maven – What’s the Difference ? where we introduce both tools and make in depth comparative analysis against each other.

What is Gradle?

Well, Gradle is developer productivity and automation tool primarily used for building, testing, and deploying Java applications. Open source and designed to be flexible and easy to use, as well as being capable of performing a wide range of software building tasks. Additionally, Gradle is based on a Domain Specific Language (DSL) based on Groovy and uses a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) to determine the order in which tasks are executed. In turn, this makes it highly efficient, flexible and easily handles complex build scenarios.

Overall, Gradle is a powerful and widely used tool that assists developers automate many of the tasks involved in building and deploying software.

Gradle Use Cases

Some of the Gradle use cases scenario’s are:

  • Integration with other tools and processes, such as continuous integration CI CD servers and code coverage tools.
  • Building and deploying applications to various platforms, such as Android, iOS, and websites.
  • Compiling and packaging code into jar, war, and other types of files.
  • Resolving dependencies and downloading required libraries.
  • Running tests and generating test reports.
  • Support for different IDEs, which provides a better user experience as different people prefer to work in different IDEs.
  • Provides a command line interface for features such as Gradle tasks, command line completion, and more for users who want terminal work.
  • Well known for being highly customizable when it comes to different projects involving different technologies.
  • Use Gradle in several ways: Java projects, Android projects, and Groovy projects.


Dependency management – Besides, Gradle, has notable strong points for dealing with dependencies. It solves dependencies from special reassets inclusive of neighbourhood repositories, far off repositories (e.g., Maven Central), and documents at the filesystem. It additionally helps transitive dependencies. 

Excellent IDE integration – Integrates seamlessly with popular IDEs such as IntelliJ IDEA, Eclipse, and Android Studio, making it easy to use Gradle projects in these environments

Multi project builds – Supports building multiple projects as part of a single build. Particularly useful, if you have a multi module project where each module is created individually but needs to be integrated with other modules. 

Build customization -Provides a rich API that allows you to customize builds to suit your specific needs. Also, allows you to create your own tasks, customize build logic with plugins, and automate repetitive tasks using build rules.

High performance – By scheduling the output of previous runs, Gradle gets the job done quickly. Although jobs run in parallel, only the input data changes. Moreover, this avoids unnecessary work and ensures higher efficiency.

Pros and cons of Gradle


  • Supports a Domain Specific Language (DSL) based on Groovy. Moreover, DSL language allows engineers to automate build tasks that are too difficult to maintain or modify.
  • The file method is very flexible. Thanks to this, it minimizes the amount of code you must write to copy, move, or expand a zip or tar file.
  • Gradle wrapper is a big pros, as it allows you to use Gradle without installing it.
  • Provides support for Groovy and the latest versions as well as supporting Kotlin.


  • Performance was thought to be an issue in the past, but the latest version addressed the issue.
  • Documentation is available online, and it is quite comprehensive. However, more real life examples could be useful.

What is Maven?

Secondly, Apache Maven is a project management and comprehension build automation tool. Based on project object model (POM), primarily used for creating Java based projects. Maven aims to simplify the build process by providing a single build system and declarative configuration.

Not to forget, Maven defines assemblies in a file called pom.xml which represents the “Project Object Model“. The pom.xml file specifies the project’s dependencies, build options and other information needed to build the project. Simply put, Maven uses this file to create build plans that run to build your project.

What is Maven used for?

Designed for ease of use and provides a single build system for developers to create and maintain their projects more efficiently. With Maven, developers create create new projects with ease, manage dependencies, build, test, and deploy projects and manage the entire project lifecycle

Because a declarative approach is used, developers specify what they want to do and Maven takes care of the implementation details. That’s why allows developers to focus on writing code instead of worrying about the build process.

It also provides a rich set of plugins and integrations that allow developers to extend their capabilities and tailor the build process to their specific needs.


Maven is popular because it comes loaded with many valuable and useful features. Here are some of Maven’s more notable features:

Repositories – Use a central repository to store artefacts such as libraries and dependencies required by your project. Also makes it easier for developers to manage dependencies and share artefacts between projects.

Build life cycle – Defines a standard build lifecycle that covers the most common build tasks such as compile, test, and deploy. Developers use a common set of commands to build projects of any project type.

IDE integration – Integration with popular integrated development environments (IDEs) such as Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEA. Well, it makes it easy for developers to use Maven in their preferred development environment.

Declarative configuration – Uses a declarative approach, where developers specify what they want to do and Maven handles the details of implementation. Additionally, allows developers to focus on writing code instead of worrying about the build process.

Reporting – Provides a variety of reporting options, including the ability to generate reports on project status, code quality, and test results.

Pros and cons of Maven


  • Makes it easy for the developer to build a project in different environments without worrying about the dependencies, processes, etc.
  • Downloading Jar files and other dependencies is done automatically.
  • Helps to manage all the processes, such as building, documentation, releasing, and distribution in project management.
  • In Maven, it’s easy to add new dependencies by writing the dependency code in the pom file.
  • Provides easy access to all the required information.


  • If the Maven code for an existing dependency is unavailable, you cannot add that dependency using Maven itself.
  • Better IDE integration. 

This is the central part of our article Gradle vs Maven – What’s the Difference ?

Gradle vs Maven – What’s the Difference ?

Plugin system Comparison

Gradle and Maven both have plugin systems that allow users to extend the functionality of their build tools. However, Gradle has a more flexible plugin system that allows users to create their own plugins or use plugins written in other programming languages.

Build Configuration

Maven takes a “rules for configuration” approach, meaning that it has predefined rules for directory structure, filenames, and build steps. This makes setting up new projects easier, but may not be as flexible if your project doesn’t follow the conventions. On the other hand, Gradle is more flexible and allows users to define their own rules.

Community support

Because Maven has a larger user base and has been around longer, it has a more established community and a wider range of plugins and integrations available. Oppositely, Gradle is a modern build tool, but it has gained popularity in recent years and has a growing community.

Dependency management

Gradle and Maven both support dependency management, but take different approaches. Maven uses a central repository to store dependencies, whereas Gradle allows users to specify dependencies in build scripts or use external dependency management tools.


Google has chosen Gradle as the official build tool for Android. Not because build scripts are code, but because Gradle is modelled in such a way that it can be extended in the most basic way. The Gradle model is also be used for basic C/C++ development and can be extended to cover any ecosystem. For example, Gradle is designed to be injected using the Tooling API.

Maven provides a very rigid model that makes customization tedious and sometimes impossible. This makes certain Maven builds easier to understand if you don’t have specific requirements, but it’s not suitable for many automation tasks.

Main Differences Table in Gradle vs Maven

Table comparison Gradle Maven
Gradle works better than Maven because it's optimized to track only currently running tasks. In other words, it only works with modified operations to improve performance.
Build times are slow because Maven doesn't use the build cache. This means that it does not create local temp files during software builds, so it uses plenty of time.
Highly customizable and offers extensive IDE supported builds. Also use Gradle for native C/C++ development.
Provides a limited number of parameters and resources. It serves a limited number of developers and has very little customization.
Focus on application development by adding more features.
Focus on developing applications on time.

Thank you for reading Gradle vs Maven – What’s the Difference ? We shall conclude the article. 

Gradle vs Maven – What’s the Difference ? Conclusion

We hope by now you are well acquainted with understanding Gradle and Maven. Summing up, Gradle is a graph with task dependencies. Whilst, Maven is based on a fixed and linear model of phases. Performance with Gradle is better than Maven due to it being optimized for tracking only current running task. Lastly, Maven is primarily based on developing pure Java language and Gradle develops domain specific language projects.

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Avatar for Kamil Wisniowski
Kamil Wisniowski

I love technology. I have been working with Cloud and Security technology for 5 years. I love writing about new IT tools.

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