Runs Apache Ant on a supplied buildfile. This can be used to build
subprojects. This task must not be used outside of a
target if it invokes the same build file it is part
When the antfile attribute is omitted, the file "build.xml" in the supplied directory (dir attribute) is used.
If no target attribute is supplied, the default target of the new project is used.
By default, all of the properties of the current project will be
available in the new project. Alternatively, you can set the
inheritAll attribute to
false and only
"user" properties (i.e., those passed on the command-line)
will be passed to the new project. In either case, the set of
properties passed to the new project will override the properties that
are set in the new project (See also the property task).
You can also set properties in the new project from the old project by using nested property tags. These properties are always passed to the new project and any project created in that project regardless of the setting of inheritAll. This allows you to parameterize your subprojects.
When more than one nested
would set a property of the same name, the one declared last will
win. This is for backwards compatibility reasons even so it is
different from the way
<property> tasks in build
Properties defined on the command line cannot be overridden by
<property> elements. Since Ant
1.8.0. the same is true for nested structures
<ant> tasks: if a build file A
invokes B via an
<ant> task setting a
property with a nested
and B contains an
invoking C, C will see the value set
in A, even if B used a
<property> element as well.
References to data types can also be passed to the new project, but by default they are not. If you set the inheritrefs attribute to true, all references will be copied, but they will not override references defined in the new project.
can also be used to copy references from the calling project to the
new project, optionally under a different id. References taken from
nested elements will override existing references that have been
defined outside of targets in the new project - but not those defined
inside of targets.
|antfile||the buildfile to use. Defaults to "build.xml". This file is expected to be a filename relative to the dir attribute given.||No|
|dir||the directory to use as a basedir for the new Ant
project (unless useNativeBasedir is set to true).
Defaults to the current project's basedir, unless
inheritall has been set to false, in which case it doesn't
have a default value. This will override the basedir
setting of the called project.
Also serves as the directory to resolve the antfile and output attribute's values (if any).
|target||the target of the new Ant project that should be executed. Defaults to the new project's default target.||No|
|output||Filename to write the ant output to. This is relative to the value of the dir attribute if it has been set or to the base directory of the current project otherwise.||No|
|useNativeBasedir||If set to true, the child build will use the same
basedir as it would have used when run from the command line
(i.e. the basedir one would expect when looking at the child
build's buildfile). Defaults to
See the description of the property
These properties become equivalent to properties you define on the command line. These are special properties and they will always get passed down, even through additional
<*ant*> tasks with inheritall set to
false (see above).
Note that the
refid attribute points to a
reference in the calling project, not in the new one.
Used to choose references that shall be copied into the new project, optionally changing their id.
|refid||The id of the reference in the calling project.||Yes|
|torefid||The id of the reference in the new project.||No, defaults to the value of refid.|
You can specify a set of properties to be copied into the new project with propertysets.
since Ant 1.6.
You can specify multiple targets using nested
instead of using the target attribute. These will be executed as if
Ant had been invoked with a single target whose dependencies are the
targets so specified, in the order specified.
|name||The name of the called target.||Yes|
since Ant 1.6.3.
If you set
useNativeBasedir to true, the basedir of
the new project will be whatever the basedir attribute of
<project> element of the new project says (or
the new project's directory if the there is no basedir attribute) -
no matter what any other attribute of this task says and no matter
how deeply nested into levels of
<ant> invocations this task lives.
If you haven't set
useNativeBasedir or set it to
false, the following rules apply:
The basedir value of the new project is affected by the two
attributes dir and inheritall as well as
<ant> task's history. The current behaviour
is known to be confusing but cannot be changed without breaking
backwards compatibility in subtle ways.
<ant> task is in a "top level" build
file, i.e. the project containing the
has not itself been invoked as part of a
task "higher up", the following table shows the details:
|dir attribute||inheritAll attribute||new project's basedir|
|value provided||true||value of dir attribute|
|value provided||false||value of dir attribute|
|omitted||true||basedir of calling project (the one whose build
file contains the
|omitted||false||basedir attribute of the
If on the other hand the
<ant> task is already
nested into another invocation, the parent invocation's settings
affect the outcome of the basedir value. The current task's dir
attribute will always win, but if the dir attribute has been omitted
an even more complex situation arises:
|parent dir attribute||parent inheritAll attribute||current inheritAll attribute||new project's basedir|
|value provided||any||any||value of parent's dir attribute|
|omitted||true||true||basedir of parent project (the one whose build
file called the build file that contains
|omitted||true||false||basedir of parent project (the one whose build
file called the build file that contains
|omitted||false||true||basedir of calling project (the one whose build
file contains the current
|omitted||false||false||basedir attribute of the
If you add even deeper levels of nesting, things get even more complicated and you need to apply the above table recursively.
If the basedir of the outer most build has been specified as a
property on the command line (i.e.
-propertyfile argument) the value provided will
get an even higher priority. For any
that doesn't specify a dir attribute, the new project's basedir will
be the value specified on the command line - no matter how deeply
nested into layers of build files the task may be.
The same happens if the basedir is specified as a
<property> of an
task. The basedir of build files started at deeper levels will be
set to the specified value of the property element unless the
corresponding Ant tasks set the dir attribute explicitly.
<ant antfile="subproject/subbuild.xml" target="compile"/> <ant dir="subproject"/> <ant antfile="subproject/property_based_subbuild.xml"> <property name="param1" value="version 1.x"/> <property file="config/subproject/default.properties"/> </ant> <ant inheritAll="false" antfile="subproject/subbuild.xml"> <property name="output.type" value="html"/> </ant>
These lines invoke the same build file:
<ant antfile="sub1/sub2/build.xml" /> <ant antfile="sub2/build.xml" dir="sub1" /> <ant antfile="build.xml" dir="sub1/sub2" />
The build file of the calling project defines some
<path> elements like this:
<path id="path1"> ... </path> <path id="path2"> ... </path>
and the called build file (
subbuild.xml) also defines
<path> with the id
path2 is not defined:
<ant antfile="subbuild.xml" inheritrefs="true"/>
will not override
subbuild's definition of
path1, but make the parent's definition of
path2 available in the subbuild.
as well as
<ant antfile="subbuild.xml" inheritrefs="false"/>
will neither override
path1 nor copy
<ant antfile="subbuild.xml" inheritrefs="false"> <reference refid="path1"/> </ant>
subbuild's definition of
<ant antfile="subbuild.xml" inheritrefs="false"> <reference refid="path1" torefid="path2"/> </ant>
will copy the parent's definition of
path1 into the
new project using the id