Gradle automates building, testing, and deployment of software from information in build scripts.

gradle basic 1

Gradle core concepts

Projects

A Gradle project is a piece of software that can be built, such as an application or a library.

Single project builds include a single project called the root project.

Multi-project builds include one root project and any number of subprojects.

Build Scripts

Build scripts detail to Gradle what steps to take to build the project.

Each project can include one or more build scripts.

Dependency Management

Dependency management is an automated technique for declaring and resolving external resources required by a project.

Each project typically includes a number of external dependencies that Gradle will resolve during the build.

Tasks

Tasks are a basic unit of work such as compiling code or running your test.

Each project contains one or more tasks defined inside a build script or a plugin.

Plugins

Plugins are used to extend Gradle’s capability and optionally contribute tasks to a project.

Gradle project structure

Many developers will interact with Gradle for the first time through an existing project.

The presence of the gradlew and gradle.bat files in the root directory of a project is a clear indicator that Gradle is used.

A Gradle project will look similar to the following:

project
├── gradle                              (1)
│   ├── libs.versions.toml              (2)
│   └── wrapper
│       ├── gradle-wrapper.jar
│       └── gradle-wrapper.properties
├── gradlew                             (3)
├── gradlew.bat                         (3)
├── settings.gradle(.kts)               (4)
├── subproject-a
│   ├── build.gradle(.kts)              (5)
│   └── src                             (6)
└── subproject-b
    ├── build.gradle(.kts)              (5)
    └── src                             (6)
1 Gradle directory to store wrapper files and more
2 Gradle version catalog for dependency management
3 Gradle wrapper scripts
4 Gradle settings file to define a root project name and subprojects
5 Gradle build scripts of the two subprojects - subproject-a and subproject-b
6 Source code and/or additional files for the projects

Invoking Gradle

IDE

Gradle is built-in to many IDEs including Android Studio, IntelliJ IDEA, Visual Studio Code, Eclipse, and NetBeans.

Gradle can be automatically invoked when you build, clean, or run your app in the IDE.

It is recommended that you consult the manual for the IDE of your choice to learn more about how Gradle can be used and configured.

Command line

Gradle can be invoked in the command line once installed. For example:

$ gradle build
Most projects do not use the installed version of Gradle.

Gradle Wrapper

The Wrapper is a script that invokes a declared version of Gradle and is the recommended way to execute a Gradle build. It is found in the project root directory as a gradlew or gradle.bat file:

$ gradlew build     // Linux or OSX
$ gradle.bat build  // Windows