Tuesday, September 16, 2003 02:01 PM
A build tool is a tool with which the artefacts produced by developers (source code, descriptors, images) can be packaged so that run time environments can use them.
Concretely, one of the most important uses of ant (but not the only one) is to go from java sources to class files, and then from class files to jar/war files.
Build tools are also development tools but not all development tools are build tools. For instance an IDE (JBuilder, IDEA, Eclipse) is a development tool, but not a build tool, although it can contain some build related functionality.
Hopes this helps.