.NET Making Gains Against Java, Survey Says
- By Stephen Swoyer
- September 30, 2008
Who's ahead: Microsoft Corp.'s .NET or Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Java Platform
Enterprise Edition (Java EE)?
Five years in and counting, the battle still rages with no clear victor. However,
according to a new survey, .NET appears to be widening its lead over Java EE,
as the latest revision of the erstwhile Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) specification
is now called. Given the volatility of the .NET/Java EE match-up, that could
Last year, for example, a survey from development consultancy Evans Data Corp.
identified a clear trend in favor of Java development, even though .NET still
retained a narrow lead. Thirty-one percent of developers said they planned to
tap .NET as their platform
of choice for SOA development; 28 percent cited Java.
Evans Data flagged a steep decline in the percentage of developers who expressed
a preference for using .NET as a platform for their SOA activities, citing a
20 percent drop in just a six-month period.
This year, the reverse seems to be the case.
According to a new survey from Evans Data, .NET is once again outpacing Java.
The survey, which polled 350 developers at enterprise shops with 1,000 or more
employees, found that three-fifths (60 percent) of respondents indicated that
their .NET investments were growing; fully half said they planned to add additional
.NET development personnel.
"These survey results confirm that .NET applications are pervasive in
large enterprises and their acceptance and dependability is continuing to increase,"
said Mike Allen, director of product management for CA Wily Technology, in a
statement. CA Inc. -- which markets application performance management (APM)
tooling (and which claims that the Evans Data results underscore the importance
of effective APM programs) -- is a sponsor of the survey.
There might be something to CA's claims. What's surprising is how much enterprise
IT organizations are spending on their next-gen application architecture investments
-- particularly for .NET products. More than half of respondents said they're
spending about a quarter of their IT application budgets on .NET development
or support, while a staggering one-fifth of respondents say they're spending
between 75 and 100 percent this way.
Also surprising is the non-partisan heterogeneity of today's enterprise application
architectures. Many shops are supporting mixed .NET and Java EE deployments,
Evans Data said. A clear majority of respondents said their organizations maintain
both .NET and Java groups, for example.
It's a sign of the times, according to industry veteran Jasmine Noel, a principal
with consultancy Ptak, Noel & Associates.
"An increasing number of enterprises are realizing the benefits of deploying
applications built on both .NET and Java. However, with those benefits come
the challenges of managing a heterogeneous environment coupled with the unique
issues of both development architectures," Noel said in a prepared statement.
Elsewhere, .NET developers are far more likely than Java coders to blame changes
-- at both the application level and in the back-end -- for slowdowns. Java
users, on the other hand, disproportionately cite memory leaks and out-of-memory
conditions as triggers for application failure.
.NET users were also more likely to cite issues with connectivity to back-end
transaction systems, including mainframe systems. Java users, conversely, seem
to generate or encounter more bugs. They're also more likely to find fault with
JVM or architecture issues than are .NET users (with the .NET CLR, that is).
Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.