Antigen (Ant Installer Generator) is a tool to take an Ant build script, combine it with a GUI and wrap it up as an executable jar file. Its primary purpose is to create powerful graphical installers from Ant scripts.
News: the new release is vastly speeded up when you have a lot of data bundled with your Ant script.
The power and elegance of Ant makes it the Java developer's tool-of-choice for writing build scripts, deployment scripts and many other tasks. It's particularly useful for writing application installers, especially if your application's installation process is more complicated than merely copying an executable to the right place.
The only drawback is that the scripts require the user to have Ant installed on their machine, and since Ant is text based, an Ant build.xml script doesn't make a very friendly-looking installer.
Antigen addresses this by wrapping your build script and all the libraries that Ant needs into a single executable jar file. No need for the user to have anything more than Java installed on his or her machine. Additionally, Antigen combines the script with a nice GUI, prompting the user for input with dialog boxes, and allowing the developer to provide the user with information via velocity-driven html-based text pages.
The easiest way to get started is to use Antigen to wrap up your Ant build file. Antigen was itself scripted in Ant, and wrapped with Antigen, and is a good example of the sort of thing you can do.
To get started follow the QuickStart section of the "use" page.
If you want to create an installer as part of your automatic build process rather tha by hand then this is fairly easy to do - you just need to create an executable jar which bundles the core Antigen library ("Antibody"), your Ant script and the Ant jars. See the examples link for skeleton projects built by Maven and Ant.
To install the Antigen source code on your machine for inspection download and run the Source Code Installer.
Antigen is currently undergoing a major rewrite (see the link to the left). If there are features you'd like to see in it, then please log a feature request.