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Mastering Application Development with Force.com by Kevin J. Poorman

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The Ant migration toolkit

Anyone familiar with the Java ecosystem will immediately recognize Ant, the stalwart task automation and build tool. While other tools such as Gradle, Maven, and Ivy have recently eclipsed it in popularity, it is an incredibly powerful tool, not just for deploying Salesforce metadata, but also for automating continuous integration builds, packaging, and general workflow automation. Ant is both the name of the tool as well as the language used to define tasks. As crazy as it sounds, Ant is an XML-based programming language, and automated tasks are defined in an XML file. Traditionally, this is called build.xml. The migration toolkit from Salesforce is distributed as a .jar file and defines tasks such as <sf:retrieve>

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