Originally posted by Naren Chivukula: Can anyone tell me what all we can do using Ant that can't be done using batch files?
Nothing, in the same sense as that you can't do anything in Java that couldn't be done using Assembler instead.
The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny - it is the light that guides your way. - Heraclitus
More accurately, there's a whole raft of things that are trivial in Ant that are difficult or even impossible in that rather feeble scripting language used for Windows batch files (I'm assuming that's what you meant and not the more powerful Unix shell scripting, though Ant has advantages even there).
Just aside from providing an intelligent and extensible build environment for Java, Ant scripts also have minimal OS dependency. If you want to create or delete a directory, for example, the same Ant task works under both Windows and Unix.
I have, in fact, some ant buildfiles that allow me to do development under Windows, then export the entire project to Solaris, where I rerun them and they detect the Solaris OS and build Solaris install packages. One of my projects also understands that when it's running under Linux, it's supposed to build an RPM.
An IDE is no substitute for an Intelligent Developer.