Ant is a Java-based, open source tool provided by the Apache Foundation to automatically implement a sequence of build actions defined in an Ant build script. The Ant functionality is similar to the more well-known UNIX make and Windows nmake build tools; however, instead of using shell-based commands, like make, Ant uses Java classes.
The configuration files are XML-based, calling out a target tree where various tasks get executed. Each task is run by an object that implements a particular task interface. Ant can be used for both software and document builds.
DITA Open Toolkit provides Java code and a set of XSLT transform scripts for producing different types of output, for example XHTML, Eclipse help, JavaHelp, and PDF. Ant build scripts build DITA output by controlling the execution of the DITA Open Toolkit Java code and the XSLT transform scripts.
Ant must be installed in your DITA processing environment for DITA Open Toolkit to function.