Survey Finds Java, .NET in Wide Use for Web Services

A survey of IT professionals released at JavaOne by Compuware Corp. found that almost two-thirds of all enterprise development shops are already using J2EE, .NET or some modeling techniques to build web services, and many are using both -- this, despite recent analyst research that predicts web services will be limited by tight budgets, a lack of standards and unproven technologies.

Tags: Response, Survey, Web Services, Competitors, Patterns, Modeling, Compuware,

Despite recent reports from analyst firms indicating web services projects are being constrained by budget constraints, a lack of standards and not-ready-for-prime-time technologies, a just-released survey of IT professionals by Compuware Corp. found that almost two-thirds of all enterprise development shops are now working on some web services initiative.

"This is not a gauge of planned projects; these are in the works today," Dan Schoenbaum, VP of Strategy at Compuware, told IDN. "One of the outcomes from this study is that application developers and integrators should be in the same space, and that .NET and J2EE are becoming the platform where integration happens."

Earlier this spring, Compuware surveyed 200 IT professionals, ranging from CIO to departmental developer, to determine their current concerns and current project work, and what they need for the near-term future. The self-administered survey was completed over a two-week period in May 2003 and delivered via mobile devices through the My AvantGo service. Respondents were self selecting.

The survey, compiled into the Compuware 2003 IT Professionals Survey on Application Development, found that developers consider "slow development cycles" their top challenge; yet that concern isn't preventing them from investing in new projects, particularly web services.

Moreover, Compuware found that developers, architects and other app dev professionals have an increased interest in -- and use of-- patterns and models to create the build-out of applications. Pattern-based modeling can speed application development and facilitate reuse of components; in the case of web services, it allows services to be more readily shared and accessed by other applications and services, Schoenbaum said.

"From the survey, there is a paradigm shift going on," he added. "Developers are less focused on developing in a silo, so to speak, and are more concerned with the ability to have their applications and business rules communicate with other applications. This, in turn, is helping fuel the interest in patterns-based modeling."

Other 2003 Survey Highlights
  • Nearly half of those surveyed (41 percent) say their company's development costs are in line with those of competitors, while 23 percent believe their company's development costs are lower than those of competitors.

  • Almost a third of respondents (31 percent) stated their number one development challenge is slow development cycles. The second biggest development challenge reported (24 percent) is that applications are too costly to build and maintain. Almost three-quarters (72 percent) said speeding the application development process is important or critical to their organization.

  • More than half of the respondents (51 percent) report their organization now has the position of software architect.

  • When it comes to development standards, 43 percent of IT professionals report that it is mandatory to adhere to them. What is surprising to note, however, is that over half of respondents (56 percent) rely on vendor websites to learn about industry standards, followed by more traditional resources, including the IEEE, ANSI and the OMG.

  • Nearly half of respondents (45 percent) "agree" or "strongly agree" with the statement that adopting modeling and pattern-based development can provide companies with competitive development advantages.

  • Some three-quarters of respondents (76 percent) reported their organizations are moving to adopt or to review modeling and pattern-based development.

Inside the Compuware Survey: Questions and Results
Following is the 12-question, multiple-choice survey, along with the results for each response.

  1. What is your role in the development organization?
    CIO -- 14%
    VP Development -- 5%
    Software Architect -- 13%
    Project Manager -- 30%
    Programmer -- 19%
    Other IT Professional -- 20%
    No response -- 1%

  2. How many developers are in your organization?
    Over 100 -- 21%
    50-100 -- 10%
    25-49 -- 8%
    24-10 -- 17%
    Under 10 -- 43%
    No response -- 3%

  3. Does the position of software architect exist within your organization?
    Yes -- 51%
    No -- 47%
    No response -- 3%

  4. How would you rank your company's development costs?
    Much higher than competitors -- 8%
    Higher than competitors -- 11%
    In line with competitors -- 41%
    Lower than competitors -- 23%
    Much lower than competitors -- 14%
    No response -- 4%

  5. What is your company's #1 application development challenge?
    Development cycles are too slow -- 31%
    Applications are too costly to build and maintain -- 24%
    Technology is too complex -- 4%
    Technology isn't meeting business needs -- 16%
    Other -- 20%
    No response -- 6%

  6. How important to your organization is speeding the application development process?
    Critical -- 29%
    Important -- 43%
    Not currently a problem -- 22%
    No response -- 5%

  7. How important is it that your application development initiatives adhere to standards?
    Mandatory -- 43%
    Important -- 36%
    Not critical -- 15%
    No response -- 7%

  8. What resources do you use to learn about industry standards? (Check all that apply.) (Total percentages will exceed 100% due to multiple responses)
    Object Management Group (OMG) -- 24%
    IEEE -- 41%
    ANSI -- 34%
    IETF -- 17%
    OASIS -- 12%
    NIST -- 12%
    ATSI -- 6%
    Vendor sites -- 56%
    None -- 16%

  9. Adopting modeling and pattern-based development can provide companies with competitive development advantages.
    I strongly agree -- 11%
    I agree -- 34%
    Neutral -- 43%
    I disagree -- 2%
    I strongly disagree -- 0%
    No response -- 11%

  10. What are your company's plans for adopting modeling and pattern-based development?
    Adoption is underway -- 14%
    Adopting within six months -- 6%
    Adopting within one year -- 4%
    Under review -- 62%
    No response -- 15%

  11. What are your company's plans for adopting J2EE?
    Adoption is underway -- 28%
    Adopting within six months -- 3%
    Adopting within one year -- 5%
    Under review -- 52%
    No response -- 14%

  12. Is your company currently undertaking any of these initiatives? (Check all that apply) (Total percentages will exceed 100% due to multiple responses)
    J2EE -- 39%
    J2ME -- 12%
    .NET -- 46%
    MDA -- 13%
    Web services -- 63%
    Other -- 2%

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