Maven is a build tool.
It is declarative build tool whereas ant is a procedural build tool. You can then change the build process by changing the process not the declaration. Most of the project declaration takes place in the Project Object Model file.
The building steps where Maven can help are:
maven has several execution unit:
- the execution
- the goal
- the phase
An execution is the definition of a goal (a function) and its parameters
- A phase is an execution unit that group together goal
- Most of the phases have goals bound to them by default
- A goal can also be bound in a plugin execution definition