But Windows Server is beat out by a candidate from the open source community: Geronimo, from the Apache Software Foundation. "As an open source program, Geronimo might have been burdened by the perception amongst users of a lack of support," says the report, because open source software is often criticized by developers for its tech support qualities (or lack thereof). "However, this was not the case with Geronimo, and much of that has to do with IBM. IBM has provided resources and support in a variety of ways to Geronimo and the Apache Software Foundation, including technical support." As a result, Geronimo earned second place marks for quality of support, right behind IBM WebSphere. It also gets top marks from developers for performance and database connectivity.
Another open source success, JBoss, was marked as delivering the best value to cost ratio, the best compatibility with other software and the best security -- all of which matter particularly for enterprise software development.
Adobe ColdFusion has a long history. Originally introduced by Allaire, it was acquired by Macromedia, then became part of Adobe in yet another acquisition. ColdFusion version 8.0 was released in July 2007, featuring Microsoft .Net integration, integration with Adobe Acrobat forms, and enhanced performance. ColdFusion scored best with developers for its scalability, support and security.
Like ColdFusion, WebLogic is the child of many acquisitions. Originally founded in 1995, WebLogic, Inc. was acquired by BEA; BEA was acquired by Oracle in the spring of 2008. The latest iteration, version 10 R3, was announced in August. Says the report, "Over the ten years that BEA published WebLogic, it evolved from one of the first Java application servers into one of the most capable application servers designed with large enterprise SOA in mind." Developers value most Oracle WebLogic's scalability, performance, and server infrastructure, according to the survey.
But developers don't value those features with quite the same fervor as in the past. In the 2006 version of this report, BEA WebLogic earned the best application user scores, but today, virtually all of WebLogic's rankings are down compared to '06 results; it's second from the bottom, winning out only over NetWeaver. Evans Data judges this to be a result of Oracle acquisition of BEA (which happened during the time the survey was fielded), resulting in some uncertainty about the product's future. In the short term, that spells opportunity for the company's competitors, Evans Data concludes.
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This story was updated on Oct. 22, 2008.