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Android Gradle – Android development tool

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In this article, we’ll study the Android Gradle plugin. We’ll see what’s Gradle in Android Studio and why it’s necessary.

What is Android Gradle?

Gradle is really an open-source build system. it’s a tool that automates building, deployment, etc of a project. This tool is usually used for Java Virtual Machine languages like Java, Scala, or Groovy. it’s configured to try to various tasks like testing, running, creation of documents, etc. Its strength is the flexibility that it provides to the developer.

For example, consider the task of copying a file from one directory to a different. This task is often performed by Gradle build script even before the particular build process will happen.

What is a build tool?

There could be an issue in your mind “what is that this build tool”?

A build tool is nothing, but a group of programs that are wont to automate the creation of executable applications from their source codes. Here creating the executable applications includes the task of compiling, testing, deploying, linking, and packing the codes into a usable form.
The build process here works as depicted within the following image:

gradle process
image by dataflair

What is the role of Gradle in Android?

See you recognize that each single android application development tool must compile resources, source codes, libraries then combine them to an APK. Right? So, Android needs a build system to try to these tasks and run the app. that’s where the Android Gradle. build system comes into play. it’s the responsibility of the Gradle to perform the task of compilation, testing, deployment, and conversion of the code into a .dex file.

How Android Gradle works?

Another thing that might arise in your mind would be, “How does Gradle actually add Android”?

So the answer to the present is that the Android System supports Gradle because it builds automation tools out of the box. The build system of Android compiles the resources, the java ASCII text file then packs them into an Application Package. This package are often tested, deployed, signed, and distributed by you.

Features of Gradle in Android

In Android, Gradle brings some really robust features to create android applications. a couple of of these powerful features are listed below:

  • Dependencies: These are often categorized as local or remote. Here local dependency is pertaining to the local file of the system. And remote dependency is pertaining to the remote server.
  • Sensible defaults: Gradle implements the concept of convention over configuration. meaning Gradle features a set of sensible default configurations that are pre-defined.
  • Manifest Entries: Every project of Android Studio consists of a manifest.xml file that’s related to it. it’s all the small print about the appliance .
  • ProGuard Tool: Android Studio has support for the ProGuard tool. This tool optimizes the Java byte code and makes it efficient and powerful.

Gradle files

There are certain important files of Android Gradle that you simply must know. the subsequent are a couple of them.

what are gradle files
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Types of Gradle.build

Gradle.build scripts are often of two types, that are as follows:

  • Top-Level build.gradle
  • Module-level build.gradle

We’ll now see this one by one-
1. Top-Level build.gradle

This type supports various build configurations such as:

  • a. Build script: It configures the repositories and dependencies for Gradle.
    classpath ‘com.android.tools.build:Gradle:3.0.1’
    This line will add the plugin as a classpath dependency for Gradle 3.0.1.
  • b. All projects: during this block, you’ll configure all the third party libraries or plugins.
  • c. Task clean(type: Delete): Its task is to delete the file whenever the project runs.

2. Module-level Gradle.build

It supports the subsequent sorts of configurations:

  • android: It configures the precise build option:
  • compileSdkVersion: It defines the API level of the appliance.
  • default config: it’ll have the subsequent configurations details:
  • application: it’s the unique Id for app
  • minSdkVersion: It defines the minimum API version for the app.
  • targetSdkVersion: It defines the API level used while testing the app
  • versionCode: It defines the version code of the appliance.
  • versionName: It defines the version name of the appliance.
  • build types(release): it’s two things:
  • minifyEnabled: It enables code shrinking for release
  • proguardFile: It specifies the proguard setting files.
  • dependencies: It specifies the dependencies that we’d like for the project.

Summary

In this Android tutorial, we’ve learned tons of things about Gradle in Android. allow us to recall them during a nutshell. We saw what’s Android Gradle, why Gradle is required, its role, and the way Gradle works in Android. Then we saw the important files of Gradle. We also went through the features that it brings in Android. In the end, we saw the important sorts of Gradle.build which will be used.

I hope you liked it and that I hope that you simply understood it. don’t forget to share your feedback within the comment section.

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