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Six Years and Counting: Developers Weigh in on the State of the Java Market : Page 6

As part of our comprehensive analysis of the past, present, and future of a breakthrough development technology, we asked Java developers where they stand on the tools and technologies that make Java work for them.


We asked developers to tell us what technologies they used most often in developing their Java apps. JSP/servlets came in highest at 40 percent, with XML next at 30 percent. Developers said within two years they expected XML to overtake any other technology as a Java facilitator, increasing 21 percent in their use of XML over that period. If their predictions hold true, 51 percent of their applications will involve some use of XML for moving data from one location to another. Java-based WAP development is expected to increase from 6 percent currently to 17 percent in two years.

Figure 14. Technologies Used with Java Apps: Percentage of Java applications using certain enabling technologies, broken out by A) current development and B) expected development in two years, by percentage

We figured it would be a nice thing to ask our respondents what it is their Java applications are designed to do. The answer, of course, was just about everything. A whopping 14 of 16 categories garnered double-figure percentages, including Web-based data entry at the high end (63 percent) to ERP apps (12 percent) at the low end (see Figure 15).

What don't you use Java for? The traditional answer to this question is: "You don't develop things like drivers in Java," although Java creator Dr. James Gosling believes otherwise (he discusses this in our exclusive Q&A, coming later in this series).

In particular, database access and management applications (52 percent) were cited most often as the impetus behind non-Java language development (see Figure 16). Database development is simply not as convenient to do in Java as it is in other languages; performance issues and compatibility with non-Java legacy data are factors that play here as well.

Other non-Java apps that were named in Figure 16: Office applications (36 percent), transaction processing (35 percent), and Web-based data entry and retrieval (34 percent). It's noteworthy that 14 percent said they were using languages other than Java for embedded systems development, as opposed to only 9 percent who said they were using Java for embedded systems.

Figure 15. Principal Function of Java Apps: Percentage of Java applications developed for the business function described (multiple responses allowed)
Figure 16. Principal Function of Non-Java Apps: Percentage of non-Java applications developed for the business function described (multiple responses allowed)

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