Satisfaction with current reusage levels is almost evenly divided: 44 percent of respondents say they are satisfied and 41 percent say they aren't. But exactly what kind of reusability are they talking about? Interestingly, 69 percent say "shared libraries" (.dll, .so, Java classes, and .Net libraries) have high reusability benefit, whereas only 42 percent say "components" (COM objects, JavaBeans, and so on), this despite the fact that virtually all software companies now tout component-based development as the Holy Grail of reusability.
Reusability is not a concept normally associated with scripting languages, but 21 percent believe dynamic language (for example, Python, Perl, and so on) modules have high reusability benefit, with 46 percent saying they have some benefit.
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What Developers Really Want
No matter what languages or tools they use, developers of all stripes are feeling the heat from the business side to respond quickly to business needs. At the high end of application development, Web services and the movement toward SOA (service-oriented architecture) promise to deliver application components that can be recombined ad infinitum with minimal development time. But analysts agree that enterprise adoption of SOA will take many years. Meanwhile, programmers are finding their own way, often using simple scripting tools, to develop the Web applications they need fast.
Such development efforts may not always follow the rules. But as Borland's Shelton says, simply getting the job done using rapid development tools -- sometimes over the objections of IT -- can be viewed as a healthy trend. "It creates a competitive pressure in the IT environment," he says. "It forces IT to remember that it's in the customer service business."