AJAX interest broadens

Due to the growing popularity of Web applications, AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) is the emerging international programming lingua franca, according to a report released today by Evans Data.

Titled 2006 Emerging Markets Development Survey, Evans Data surveyed more than 400 developers in emerging markets.

According to the study, AJAX adoption is generally higher in emerging markets such as India, Brazil, China, and Eastern Europe than it is in North America. Leading the pack is Brazil, where 25% of all developers use AJAX. China has the lowest adoption rate at just 16%, while North America's level is around 18%.

"While we see strong adoption of AJAX globally, our latest research indicates the developer community in the emerging markets is embracing this programming model most aggressively," said John Andrews, president of Evans Data, in a written statement. "Given that these developers are spending a majority of their time developing Web applications, we only see this trend continuing."

AJAX-driven Web applications are indeed becoming increasingly popular. Google just today announced a package of Web-based apps aimed at SMBs, with plans for a more feature-rich package geared toward the enterprise. Microsoft, Adobe, Oracle, Sun, and many other companies are also studying and using the programming language.

Not surprisingly, tools for AJAX development are multiplying and maturing.

According to the study, PHP is used most widely in Eastern Europe at a rate of 39%. India and Brazil have an adoption rate of just over 31%. 35% of North American developers use PHP while 21% of those in China do.

The study also found that 42% of the respondents are using Flash, which Evans says is higher than that found in North America.

Additionally, Linux is increasingly becoming the embedded OS of choice across all regions. China leads the way with 39% adoption.

Finally, 90% of all developers in the emerging market develop on a Windows platform.