Finding What Developers Want

Evans Data names the IDE of choice for developers and learns where most stand on Vista.

When it comes to what developers want, Evans Data does its best to find out. And Evans says what developers want in an integrated development environment is best provided by IBM.

That's right, Big Blue. Just in time for its Rational Software Development Conference, IBM gained top ranking in an Evans Data survey on IDE user satisfaction.

IBM Rational beat out IDEs from Microsoft, Oracle, Adobe Systems, Sun Microsystems and others. The IDEs included in the survey were Adobe Macromedia Studio/Creative Suite 3, CodeGear Delphi, IBM Rational Application Developer, Microsoft Visual Studio, Genuitec MyEclipse, Sun's NetBeans, Oracle JDeveloper and Sun Studio.

Do the new features in Visual Studio 2008 make the grade? Click here for the eWEEK Labs review of "Orcas."

Evans Data conducted its 2008 IDE User Satisfaction Survey in April and polled more than 1,200 developers. The survey called for developers to rank each IDE according to 15 features and capabilities: debugger, editor, make/build functions, documentation, application modeling tools, Web design tools, sample applications, profiler, compiler performance, performance of resulting applications, ease of use, ability to integrate third-party tools, availability of third-party tools, quality of technical support options, and size and quality of developer community.

Rational Application Developer took top scores in multiple categories as well as in combined overall score.

"IBM has created a true development powerhouse in Rational Application Developer," said John Andrews, president and CEO of Evans Data.

Developers ignoring Vista

In a separate survey, Evans Data's North American Development Survey 2008 v.1, the company found that only 8 percent of North American software developers are currently writing applications to run on Microsoft's Vista operating system, while half are still writing programs for XP. And the developers surveyed in that study indicated that they foresee a fragmented Windows market in 2009 with only 24 percent expecting to target Vista and 29 percent expecting to continue with XP.

"Developers have taken a wait-and-see approach to Vista," Andrews said. "The new operating system has had more than its share of problems and the desire to move from XP on the Windows platform is still lagging-that coupled with interest in alternative operating systems is suppressing development activity and that in turn will further erode Vista's acceptance."

Results also indicated that more than half of North American developers presently use agile development techniques and among those in corporate enterprise development that number is expected to increase to two-thirds by 2009.

The survey showed that Microsoft Visual SourceSafe continues to be the most-used commercial ALM (application lifecycle management) software in what Evans Data calls "a still immature and fragmented market." Evans Data also said adoption of Microsoft's Visual Studio Team System languishes behind both Subversion and IBM's Rational Suite.

In addition, the survey showed that two-thirds of North American developers address security issues during the first planning and design stages of a project.