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December 02, 2005

Evans Study Finds 'Surge' in Client/Server Development

David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor


Developers in North America are making a "dramatic and multi-faceted change" in their development patterns, according to Evans Data's Fall 2005 North American Development Survey.
 
The survey found that client/server application development has surged 30% in the last six months and is the most developed type of software after a three year decline. The survey also found that development for 64-bit architectures increased by 61% from fall 2004.
 
The data also shows a 19% increase in developers spending a majority of their time writing new code.  
 
Not just in North America, either -- a new forum was reported to be launched in mid-November to "encourage adoption of Linux in telephony applications," according to industry observer Daniel Robinson. Participants including Palm OS developer PalmSource and mobile operator France Telecom, Robinson says, "will collaborate on a common framework for developing mobile applications to run on the opensource platform."
 
This is the fifteenth survey in an ongoing series started in 1998 focusing on language, tool and technology adoption and intentions among North American developers. It measures attitudes towards Linux and Linux adoption, trending from 1999.
 
Language use is measured and trended for C, C++, C#, Java, VB, VB.Net, and XML.
 
The survey explores demographics, platform use and migrations, language usage, Web services, security, Linux and open source software, Java development, general internet development, architecture and technology adoption, software development requirements, development tools, development issues and modeling configurations and managing applications.
 
The Linux Phone Standards forum Robinson reported on aims to "establish a standardised platform that developers can target to build applications and services for Linux handsets. The Lips forum will complement efforts by other groups, such as the recently launched Mobile Linux Initiative, which is working on the core Linux code itself."
 
Jean-Marc Holder, PalmSource European marketing director and treasurer of Lips, told Robinson there is "increased interest" in Linux as a standard platform for phones, but warned that there are many challenges ahead. “Lots of work has been done at the kernel level with power management and cutting the code footprint, but not much has been done at the level closest to the applications,” Holder said. He added that "a standard platform for applications and services is a key concern for mobile carriers," in Robinson's words.
 
It was conducted in April 2005 with over 400 respondents.
 
"Taken together, these changes in the development of software indicates substantial movements in how and what gets developed," said John Andrews, President of Evans Data. "With the growth in the 64-bit app development space and the refocus of development time on writing new code over modifying old, it is apparent that software development is undergoing a transformation. With these dynamic shifts in development, it's more imperative than ever to have up-to-date market research."

Other findings from the October 2005 survey of more than 400 developers in North America include the fact that 35% of the respondents indicate that they have suffered at least one security breach, which is a 40% reduction from 58% a year ago.
 
Java is the most commonly used development language, with 48% of developers in North America using it for development. The top three most important features of a Java Development Environment are: Automated code creation, Web services support, and Profilers and optimization tools.
 
Seven in ten developers in North America are developing mobile applications, 27% are developing thin mobile apps for mobile devices, followed by 22% developing slim mobile apps (a combination of thin and rich) and 20% developing rich mobile applications.
 
Much of the effort of the Lips forum will be to produce application programming interface specifications to give developers a standard way to call on services such as messaging and telephony functions. The group plans to deliver the first profiles before the end of 2005, followed by the delivery of the first APIs and other specifications by the end of 2006.
 
David Sims is contributing editor for TMCnet. For more articles please visit David Sims' columnist page.
 

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