Part 1: What is ANT?
Apache ANT is a Java-based tool which was written originally as a build tool for Java projects. It basically creates .class files from .java files.
As time went on, the functionality was increased to handle more external program calls and now ANT can easily be used to invoke SQL*PLUS or SQL*LOADER. So we can see that once you have the ability to call SQL*PLUS and, hence, run SQL files, you then have the ability to do almost anything on a database that your schema allows.
So how does ANT operate? ANT runs from an XML build file. It is this build file that invokes SQL*PLUS and allows the entire build to take place at the click of a button and/or be fully automated.
The full functionality of ANT is beyond the scope of this website, but all its features can be read here.On to Part 2