Microsoft, however, is not at risk, given its commanding 64 percent presence at developer sites. These numbers represent the use of Visual Studio .Net with the slate of .Net languages, as well as for native C and C++ code. Many sites use Visual Studio .Net for development and testing, due to the quality of the IDE, then port the code to other platforms. This approach represents a significant turnaround from the days when Unix workstations were the preferred platforms for large-scale development.
Still, the Eclipse Foundation is actively expanding its IDE to cover C programming. If it does as good a job with C as it did with the Java IDE, its numbers are likely to improve to the detriment of Microsoft in coming years.
In addition to open source, this year’s survey looked at a few other trendy technologies and discovered that adoption rates among developers surveyed were far below what evangelists would have us believe. Only Web services show true adhesion, and it’s clear that adoption of this technology will grow significantly during the coming years. SOA is on a somewhat slower track, due no doubt to its more ambitious objective and to the fact that sites currently using Web services (41 percent) are the primary candidates for adopting it.
The same relationship that exists between Web services and SOA is mirrored in clusters and grids. Clusters are far more popular and likely to continue advancing, while grids are less favored and will grow more slowly. Like SOA, interest in grids is much higher in companies with more than 10,000 employees than at smaller sites.
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Throughout the data points presented in this article, certain trends are unmistakable. Platform consolidation is occurring rapidly. The preferred deployment frameworks are managed environments, including Java, the .Net CLR (Common Language Runtime), or those associated with dynamic languages. These frameworks run on either Linux or Windows; all other platforms are either footnotes or else are in active decline.
Although development methodologies such as extreme programming and agile methods have inclined developers to reconsider how they design, program, and test software, it’s clear that a fundamental commitment to software quality remains elusive at many sites. These sites choose not to use the established building blocks, such as source code management and bug tracking, that enable a predictable development process and a
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Many emerging technologies compete for managers’ attention, but this year’s survey indicates that Web services and allied technologies (portals, SOA) are gaining significant momentum and are likely to be a standard part of distributed software in the years to come. The tools that will make this all possible will come foremost from IBM, Microsoft, and the open source community. By this time next year, we’ll be in a good position to see how much SOA has changed the architecture of distributed computing and how the leading vendors integrate it into their product offerings.