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The Relative Importance of Web Development

If you follow the evolution of software development on Internet, you may have the impression that every new development is Web based and that the main areas of concern are whether you should develop new application with Ruby on Rails or if you should choose Flash rather than Ajax for the interface. However, if you ask developers, you may find that the Web is not as ubiquitous in their work as you may think.

The last Methods & Tools poll investigated the percentage of new applications that are developed using a Web interface. The question was: "What part of your new developed applications are Web-based (using a browser as user interface)?" We run a similar poll at the end of 2004. The results of this previous poll are displayed below in the second collumn.

The answers were:

Proportion 2007 2004
We do not develop Web-based applications 13% 15%
25% or less of the new applications  14% 10%
26% to 50% of the new applications  7% 11%
51% to 75% of the new applications   12% 14%
75% to 99% of the new applications 25% 29%
100% of the new applications 29% 21%

Number of participants: 397 (181 in 2004)

Ending date: May 2007

We can observe that there is a clear majority (54%) of participating organisations that develop 75% or more of their new applications with a Web-based technology. However, the proportion of participants that will use a browser as the interface for new development has not fundamentally changed since 2004. The total for categories "above 50%" has increased only 2%. It seems therefore that in 2004, the Web interface was already been adopted by a majority of its possible users. Secondly, this means that there is still a large portion of developers that are working today for operating contexts that are outside the Web world, like embedded software or Windows applications. There is however a visible change in the population of the respondents that do develop Web-based applications. The percentage of respondents that develop 100% of their applications for the Web has increased 8% to reach 29%. This means that organisations that could develop for a possible Web context are shifting their efforts towards developing only Web-based applications.

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