Here a brief description of Maven from its Web site:
"Maven is a Java project management and project comprehension tool. Maven is based on the concept of a project object model (POM) in that all the artifacts produced by Maven are a result of consulting a well defined model for your project. Builds, documentation, source metrics, source cross-references and a countless number of reports are all controlled by your POM."
Apache Maven Web site: http://maven.apache.org/
Sea also HowToBuildAndDeployCocoonWithMaven