Status report on Java app servers, IDEs

After the heady euphoria of last week’s JavaOne conference in San Francisco, I’ve been inspired to release some data from BZ Research’s sixth annual Java Use and Awareness Study, which was completed in December 2006.

The study, which we’ve been doing since 2001, asked a wide range of questions to 758 software development managers. (I’m the research director for BZ Research.)

Among other things, the study showed that Java usage continues to increase. In 2003, 72.2% of respondents said they used Java, and in 2006, 74.0% said they would. However, the percentage of those who said they either use Java now, or expect to begin using Java in the next year, decreased a statically insignificant amount from 83.3% in 2003 to 83.1% in 2006.

One of the data points that many people follow is the use of specific of commercial Java application servers. This year saw a slight reversal of fortune for JBoss, slipping into second place. Last year’s number-two, WebSphere, also declined in market share – but not as much. And so, it moved into first place. Here are the top five since 2004:

1. IBM WebSphere
2006: 36.9%
2005: 37.2%
2004: 33.9%

2. JBoss App Server
2006: 32.0%
2005: 37.0%
2004: 34.8%

3. BEA WebLogic
2006: 23.7%
2005: 27.2%
2004: 28.7%

4. Oracle App Server
2006: 22.4%
2005: 27.2%
2004: 22.0%

5. Sun Java Enterprise Server
2006: 19.0%
2005: 19.7%
2004: 13.8%

Another popular data point is the installed base of Java integrated development environments. Eclipse maintains its whopping lead – but Sun’s NetBeans moved into the number-two position, pushing IBM down to third place. Here are the top five, again since 2004:

1. Eclipse IDE
2006: 69.6%
2005: 65.1%
2004: 56.2%

2. Sun NetBeans
2006: 23.3%
2005: 17.9%
2004: 18.1%

3. IBM WebSphere Studio Application Developer
2006: 22.1%
2005: 20.0%
2004: 21.5%

4. IBM Rational Application Developer
2006: 19.5%
2005: 10.8%
2004: n/a

5. Oracle JDeveloper
2006: 19.0%
2005: 15.0%
2004: 16.5%

There’s tons more data available in this study, which is available for purchase for US$1,495, or for $1,795 with a full listing of verbatim comments. The study covers app deployment stages, the types of applications developers are building, the APIs/JSRs in use, performance, and more. There are also comparisons to our most recent .NET Use and Awareness Study. Check out the table of contents for more detail.

5/15:07: I should add that the audience for this study was drawn exclusively from BZ Media's platform-neutral sources, including subscribers to SD Times, Software Test & Performance and our News on Monday/Thursday newsletters. To minimize potential for bias on the IDE question, we do not include subscribers to our EclipseSource newsletter as a survey source for our Java studies. However, many EclipseSource subscribers also subscribe to our other publications — as do users of the other IDEs.


Nicholas Gilman said...

What is the geographical scope of the study, just USA or global?

Anubrata said...

How do you get to the percentage? Total comes out to be more than 100. Or I am not smart enough to understand the obvious?

Alan Zeichick said...

The study is worldwide in scope.

The reason the sums for both the Java app server and IDE questions go above 100 is that most respondents reported having more than one Java app server installed in their organization, and that they/their team use more than one IDE.

Gavin said...

I belive NetBeans has been undergoing a minor resurgance, with developers expressing more interest and using it in addition to Eclipse. I've written more here: http://sku.typepad.com/omedia/2007/05/redefining_netb.html

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Co-founder and editorial director of BZ Media, which publishes SD Times, the leading magazine for the software development industry. Founder of SPTechCon: The SharePoint Technology Conference, AnDevCon: The Android Developer Conference, and Big Data TechCon. Also president and principal analyst of Camden Associates, an IT consulting and analyst firm.