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Evans Data’s 2008 IDE User Satisfaction Survey

Evans Data has released their 2008 edition of their Integrated Development Environments User Satisfaction Survey.  They surveyed actual IDE users and asked them to rate the various features and capabilities.

The IDE’s that were ranked by the survey:

  • Adobe Macromedia Studio/ Creative Suite 3
  • CodeGear Delphi
  • IBM Rational Application Developer
  • Microsoft Visual Studio
  • MyEclipse
  • NetBeans
  • Oracle JDeveloper
  • Sun Studio

They were ranked based on the ratings for the following features:

  • Debugger
  • Editor
  • Make/Build Functions
  • Documentation
  • Application Modeling Tools
  • Web Design Tools
  • Sample Applications
  • Profiler
  • Compiler Performance
  • Performance of Resulting Applications
  • Ease of Use
  • Ability to Integrate 3rd Party Tools
  • Availability of 3rd Party Tools
  • Quality of Technical Support Options
  • Size and Quality of Developer Community

Delphi was rated 6th and Visual Studio was 3rd.  The survey is worth reading because despite Delphi’s mid-pack rating, it scored at the top or near the top for the following features:

  • Debugger
  • Editor
  • Compiler Performance
  • Performance of Resulting Applications
  • Ease of Use
  • Ability to Integrate 3rd Party Tools
  • Availability of 3rd Party Tools

It’s kind of an eclectic mix of IDE’s.  Half of the IDE’s are Java development, Adobe is all about the graphics and Flash development, Sun is C and C++ for their OS.  That leaves Visual Studio and Delphi for the Windows camp.  It does identify what we already know abut the weaknesses of Delphi.  Namely the documentation is still pretty bad.  Documentation has been a moving target for Delphi since Delphi 2006 has been released.  It’s been getting better, but still has a way to go.  I hope the new owner is willing to put in the resources to get it the documentation back up to the level it was at with Delphi 7.  As I noted earlier, the Delphi talent pool is shrinking and Embarcadero needs to decide soon where they want to take Delphi.

Thanks to Roland Beenhakker for posting about this survey on his blog.