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Understanding Ant project layout


Prerequisites

Ant project is opened in Visual Studio. You can find instructions how to create an Ant project in this section.

Actions

When the project is opened, you can browse its contents in Solution Explorer. The content is presented in a tree form, same as for any other project in Visual Studio. An example view of a project (after expanding nodes) might look like this:

You can see several distinct parts. Note that Ant projects are more complex than typical Visual Studio projects for C++ or C# language. IntegraStudio does not hide Ant build file structure. It also does not create any kind of its own project model replacing Ant structures. This allows utilisation of full Ant potential and interoperability with other IDEs. However, IntegraStudio adds some extra nodes of its own in order to make working with projects easier and more "Visual Studio-like".

The first node is the Sources node. It is the root view for Java source directories and files. They appear here as on disk. The source directories to display are taken from compilation (Javac) tasks configured in the project. All the visible folders are equivalent to physical disk folders, as usual in Java IDEs. In other aspects, they work similar to folders and files in C++ or C# Visual Studio project. You can add new elements, rename existing ones or delete them. To open a file for editing, just double-click the name.

The Global Tasks node represents Ant tasks on the top level, not associated with any target. Typically, various properties are set here.

Further nodes represent Ant targets. Ant works in a similar way to the make utility, so it has a set of targets, which can depend on other targets. Target dependencies are run before depending target. You can configure the dependencies via Dependencies special node inside a target. You can add new dependencies by mouse-dragging a target into the dependencies node or using Add / New item... option. You can also remove dependencies or rename them.

Apart from dependencies, each target contains a list of tasks to be executed in sequential order. You can change the order by selecting a task and using buttons on the toolbar:

You can add new tasks to a target, edit properties of existing tasks and remove unneeded tasks. Task nodes frequently display additional information besides the name of the task. Usually these are values of key attributes. Other (non-task) elements display such info as well. This information quickly lets you know what task (or other element) does. If you need more information, open the element's Properties. You will see the values of all attributes:

You can also Set active target using an option from the context menu on target node. The active target is marked by a small arrow next to the icon (like the compile target below) and serves as default target for subsequent builds.

Many tasks and other elements accept further nested elements, like the Path element below. IntegraStudio will automatically filter the elements when adding, showing you only relevant choices in particular context. For detailed description what these elements do, please refer to Ant documentation. IntegraStudio does not change the way Ant operates, hence Ant documentation is perfectly valid.

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