Testing tools show a similar pattern of adoption. Almost 40 percent of all sites expect to increase investment in testing software this year and next, with larger sites disproportionately overrepresented. It’s clear, however, that the adoption of testing as a development practice has a lot farther to go. Forty-five percent of sites still do no automated unit testing at all (with small sites tipping in at 57 percent), while those that do rarely test more than 30 percent of their programs.
Code analysis, load testing, and performance tuning all showed similar numbers, which suggests that sites doing one form of testing tend to do several, and those doing none are wide open to all sorts of avoidable problems.
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But the grim news is actually worse than it appears. When asked what activities were performed by tools at their work site, only 68 percent reported that they used source control, whereas configuration and deployment management clocked in at only 50 percent, issue tracking at 47 percent, and logging and monitoring at 44 percent. Given that many of the necessary tools are available at no cost through open source, this situation results from lack of discipline rather than lack of wherewithal.
It’s clear that raising the quality of software without recourse to elaborate techniques or complex methodologies is still a needed and practical solution. Simple automation of the development, code management, and testing portions, it appears, would deliver tremendous benefits.
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Trends in vogue
The importance of open source development tools to the enterprise is no longer in doubt. On our list of vendors of actively used tools, Eclipse comes in third behind Microsoft and IBM/Rational. Other open source tools collectively garnered a 13 percent share.
Eclipse’s numbers are particularly impressive, as they derive from a single product: the Eclipse IDE. In view of the fact that 71 percent of sites use Java (up from 64 percent last year), however, Eclipse’s success does not support the common perception that Eclipse is steamrolling all the other Java IDEs. Rather, it appears to be the leader but not overwhelmingly so. Open source will likely continue to come up through the ranks, though, pushing past the lower-tier vendors.