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Definition: Ant


(1) The primary build tool to automate compiling, testing, packaging and deploying large Java projects. Written in Java and supported by all major Java development environments (IDEs), Ant executes a file of XML-based commands. It was created by James Davidson to automate compilations of the Apache project's Tomcat servlet engine. Ant was later used to build all Apache programs and migrated to the Java community.

Phing is an Ant version for PHP, and NAnt is a version for the .NET framework. MSBuild is a Microsoft build tool that was modeled after Ant. See build and make.

(2) (ANT) (Advanced Network Technology) A wireless protocol for ultra low-power sensor networks from Dynastream Innovations Inc. that operates in the 2.4GHz frequency band over a distance of 50 meters. ANT is widely used in the fitness industry, with Nike being one of the early customers.

ANT and Bluetooth LE
ANT is similar to Bluetooth LE but with lower overhead. Both support peer-to-peer and star topologies, but ANT adds tree, mesh and cluster modes. Using a master-slave architecture, ANT allows complex connections. For example, any node can be a master for one channel and a slave in another.

ANT+ (ANT Plus)
ANT+ adds functionality for specific device profiles such as heart monitors, speed sensors and remote controlled equipment. See Bluetooth LE and fitness tracker.




ANT+ and Bluetooth LE (Smart)
Geared to the active user, Garmin's fenix 5 smartwatch supports both low-power communications, witness this excerpt from the spec sheet. Bluetooth LE is also known as Bluetooth Smart. For more information, visit www.garmin.com.