Apache Ant
Apache Ant is a software tool for automating software build
Build Automation
Build automation is the act of scripting or automating a wide variety of tasks that software developers do in their day-to-day activities including things like:* compiling computer source code into binary code* packaging binary code* running tests...

 processes. It is similar to Make but is implemented using the Java
Java (programming language)
Java is a programming language originally developed by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems and released in 1995 as a core component of Sun Microsystems' Java platform. The language derives much of its syntax from C and C++ but has a simpler object model and fewer low-level facilities...

 language, requires the Java platform, and is best suited to building Java projects.

The most immediately noticeable difference between Ant and Make is that Ant uses XML
Extensible Markup Language is a set of rules for encoding documents in machine-readable form. It is defined in the XML 1.0 Specification produced by the W3C, and several other related specifications, all gratis open standards....

 to describe the build process and its dependencies,
whereas Make uses Makefile format.
By default the XML file is named build.xml.

Ant is an Apache
Apache Software Foundation
The Apache Software Foundation is a non-profit corporation to support Apache software projects, including the Apache HTTP Server. The ASF was formed from the Apache Group and incorporated in Delaware, U.S., in June 1999.The Apache Software Foundation is a decentralized community of developers...