Eclipse users focus on Java development

Greetings from EclipseWorld 2007. I’m delighted that the conference gets better every year. If you’re here, of course, you know what I’m talking about. If you weren’t able to make it, all I can say is: Bummer. Mark your calendar now for EclipseWorld 2008, Oct. 28-30, in Reston, Va.

Earlier this week, International Data Corp. released a fascinating study of the Eclipse community. The IDC study, completed on Oct. 26, revealed what many of us suspected (and which BZ Research has determined independently): Eclipse is primarily used for Java development.

According to the study, by the three most popular Eclipse projects, after the IDE itself, are the Java Development Tools at 88 percent, followed by the Web Standard Tools at 54 percent, and the Java EE Standard Tools at 44 percent. Nearly 3 out of 4 respondents said they were building server-centric applications.

Interestingly, the study showed that 71 percent of respondents works for an IT solutions providers – a software company, a hardware company, VAR or systems integrator. Only 29 percent were enterprise developers. Why is this? Three obvious possibilities:

1. Eclipse users are predominantly associated with the member companies that most actively support the Foundation, such as IBM.

2. The study is skewed toward employees of companies that have business ties to the Eclipse market.

3. Eclipse users are indeed nearly 3/4 IT solutions providers, and only 1/4 enterprise.

The IDC report says that only a small percentage of respondents were from member companies, so I think the correct answer is #2.

Respondents for the IDC were recruited via links posted on Eclipse.org and on the Eclipse newsgroups. Enterprise developers, one might assume, don’t watch Eclipse.org as closely as the employees of organizations with a profit motive for monitoring the Foundation.

You can read a summary of the study at Eclipse.org. The entire IDC Eclipse Community Study, 92 pages long, is also available for download.

BZ Research conducts an annual Eclipse study, and we’ll be gearing up for it in early December. Our latest findings were reported in SD Times last January.

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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.