Java EE Pros Surveyed About the Technologies They're Using

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Java EE Pros Surveyed About the Technologies They're Using

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A survey of 1,101 IT pros, with a focus on Java enterprise developers, was released this week by Replay Solutions, a company that offers a replay debugging tool (Think DVR for enterprise Java applications, but more than just video).  Some interesting highlights in the survey, conducted last month, reveal the Java community's level of interest in cloud computing along with the most used Java EE Application Servers, IDEs, and operating systems.

The vast majority of respondents were in the US and Canada.  Only 6 respondents were from Europe and one was from South America.  56 respondents had unknown origins, but a representative for Replay Solutions said that number was also mainly US respondents.  There was also a $100 Amazon gift card prize drawing for an incentive.  

Each question in the survey allowed multiple answers and each graph contains a "Multiple Answers" percentage to find out how many organizations are using a combination of similar technologies.  The first question on the survey asked "Which app servers will you use in 2010?"  Tomcat was the clear winner at 50% with IBM's WebSphere in second place:

Credit: Replay Solutions, Inc 2010

It seems like a pretty competitive market for application servers with commercial and open source products holding their own. Nearly half of the respondents used more than one solution, so there's also a lot of diversity in the kinds of app server deployments for Java enterprise applications.  18% was a pretty big percentage for the "Other" category.  My best guess is that most of the "Other" respondents are using GlassFish.  Any other possibilities?

Cameron McKenzie, the new Editor in-Chief of The Server Side, thought the JBoss percentage was a bit low for what he expected, and I would tend to agree.  However, if you look closely, there are two answer choices that include JBoss.

Here was the question as it appeared on the survey along with answer choices:

Credit: Replay Solutions, Inc 2010

Replay Solutions must've thought that a JBoss with Tomcat deployment was a common one, and they were right.  It got a respectable 15%  The addition of that answer choice might have caused some to check only "JBoss+Tomcat", even though the instructions said to "check all boxes applicable."  I can see how someone would interpret the answers and think that they don't have to check JBoss if they check JBoss+Tomcat.  If my theory is correct, the real number of JBoss users could have been closer to 30%.  Replay Solutions is getting back to me about this question and this article will be updated as soon as they do.

But enough of the app servers.  Next Replay Solutions asked developers which IDE was the most important for them in 2010.  Of course, Eclipse won by a landslide 66%, but let's not forget that the US and Canada were virtually the only participants in this survey.  IDEs like NetBeans and IntelliJ have significant popularity over in Europe.  Also, one-fifth of developers used more than one IDE.

Credit: Replay Solutions, Inc 2010

Other parts of the survey asked about Cloud and Virtualization plans.  On virtualization, the bulk of respondents were split into thirds with 31% saying they wouldn't deploy any JEE apps on VMs in 2010, 32% saying they were just experimenting (minimal), and 29% saying they were increasing VM deployments 2x to 10x.  For cloud deployments in 2010, 22% said they were testing and debugging using the cloud, 12% were deploying parts of their apps into the cloud, but the vast majority, 62%, were not planning any cloud deployments in 2010.  Those who were going to use cloud providers favored Amazon which had 13% of the vote (note that 66% said they would use none).  6% said they would use Azure and 3% said they'd use Rackspace.

For individuals that are migrating apps to Java, .NET and C++ were the most common apps being ported.  74% of respondents said their apps would use JavaScript in 2010, showing that web interoperability is a key component of most enterprise apps.  About one-third of those respondents said they would use jQuery with JavaScript.

Here are the stats for operating systems:

Credit: Replay Solutions, Inc 2010

You can see that Windows has the highest percentage, but general Linux could have been just as high there was a more diverse selection to choose from and no option simply for "Linux".  We can't add those percentages together to find the Linux total because some respondents checked more than one form of Linux, so we'd end up counting them twice if we did that.  Almost half of the respondents used more than one OS.

About a quarter of the respondents deployed multiple JVMs, and Sun's HotSpot took the highest share of users (64% said they used 1.5 or higher).  IBM's JVM is used by 21% of the respondents, while JRockit was only used by 6%.

Finally, we have have a hodgepodge of Java EE services and frameworks that were voted on - the question was simply, "Key Java EE Services / Frameworks?":

Credit: Replay Solutions, Inc 2010

Spring and Hibernate were about even at the top of the chart while there was less interest in JPA.  I asked Jonathan Lindo, the CEO of Replay Solutions, about his company's motivations for this survey.  He said, “Due to our focus and commitment to the Java community, we conducted this survey to learn more about Java technology trends, and to share the results with the Java community.  While the survey confirmed our focus on JBoss, Tomcat, WebLogic, and WebSphere application teams, we were surprised by the high percentage of enterprise Java teams actively testing or deploying cloud infrastructure this year."

The survey results can be downloaded here.

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