Surprising findings in developers' open source usage

Windows usage is declining, MySQL usage is gaining, and Enterprise JavaBeans and Spring usage are tied

Results from the 2010 Eclipse User Survey reveal interesting trends surrounding open source usage and opinions. Although it would be a stretch to say that these results from the 1696 respondents represent the overall market, they do provide an interesting picture of development decisions being made by companies that are oriented to open source adoption.

The following conclusions will be of most importance to IT organizations.

[ InfoWorld's Paul Krill reported this week that developers are growing more fond of desktop Linux. | Keep up on the current open source news and insights with InfoWorld's Technology: Open Source newsletter. ]

Windows use on developer desktops declining, flat on servers

The survey shows a troubling trend for Windows on developer desktops. Usage of Windows by developers declined from 64.3 percent in 2009 to 58.3 percent in 2010. The decline of Windows is mirrored by a nearly equivalent growth in Linux usage on developer desktops. Linux usage on developer desktops grew from 26.9 percent to 32.7 percent. Of desktop Linux users, Ubuntu's share grew slightly from 54 percent to 56 percent.

The news is better for Windows as a deployment server operating system. Both Windows and Linux usage remained flat at 41 and 43 percent, respectively, in 2009 and 2010.

If your company is evaluating a secondary or primary operating system for developer usage other than Windows, Ubuntu Linux remains the leading choice of survey respondents.

MySQL unaffected by Oracle's control

MySQL database usage has grown 27.7 percent in 2009 to 31.8 percent in 2010. At the same time, usage of Oracle's database fell from 27.3 percent in 2009 to 21.8 percent in 2010.

The data demonstrate that fears surrounding Oracle's control over MySQL have not resulted in lower use of MySQL in favor of an alternative open source database. This data should be helpful in cutting through the FUD as your company makes future open source database usage decisions.

Application server selection decisions unchanged

The 2010 data show little real change in application server usage patterns from 2009 to 2010. The 2010 data revealed a 6.3 percent increase, to 33.5 percent, in respondents who either did not use an application server or did not know which application server their company used. This increase resulted in an across-the-board decline in reported usage percentages of application servers such as Apache Tomcat, JBoss, WebSphere, WebLogic, and Glassfish. Apache Tomcat remained the leading choice for respondents at 33.8 percent usage in 2010.

Interestingly enough, specifically for companies using Java application servers, the use of Enterprise JavaBeans versus Spring is virtually tied at 18.6 percent for EJBs versus 19.7 percent for Spring in 2010; based on the 457 respondents to this particular question. These results suggest a shift toward open standards versus de facto standards.

How do these results align with your company's usage of open source? Let our readers know.

Follow me on Twitter at SavioRodrigues. I should state: "The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies, or opinions."

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Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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