Study: Eclipse users find the tools make or save money

Eclipse users now appear to be squarely focused on business uses

While Eclipse tools may have first appeared in some companies after grass-roots efforts by individual developers working on isolated projects, the open-source developer community is now squarely "business-oriented," according to the results of a recent survey released Tuesday.

The online survey of Eclipse community participants, conducted by the Eclipse Foundation and IDC in August and September, found that 91 percent of Eclipse users are employed by an organization or are self-employed and 84 percent use Eclipse for work-related reasons. In addition, 64 percent of the more than 1,000 respondents to the survey said that they use Eclipse to make money or save money.

Of the respondents at organizations using Eclipse to make money, 40 percent said they are pursuing multiple business models. The most common model was to build applications, and the second most common model involved embedding Eclipse in their applications.

A majority of those responding to the survey (72 percent) noted that they are building server-centric software with Eclipse tools; however, between 35 percent and 45 percent are building desktop or rich Internet applications. While some organizations are using Eclipse for cross-platform development, Windows is the most popular development platform, with 74 percent of the respondents naming Windows as their primary development platform. Linux was next, cited by 20% of the respondents as their primary development platform.

The most-used Eclipse projects are Java Development Tools, used by 88 percent of the respondents; Web Standard Tools, used by 56 percent; JEE Standard Tools, 44 percent; Rich Client platform, 42 percent; Eclipse Modeling Framework, 37 percent; and Mylyn (tools for collaboration among teams), 36 percent.

New Eclipse users seem to be gravitating toward projects that involve embedded and mobile applications, the survey noted. Among Eclipse users with less than one year of experience, 29 percent are developing embedded software and 17 percent are developing mobile client applications. In comparison, among those with more than three years of experience, 12 percent are developing embedded software and 8 percent are developing mobile client applications.

Finally, the survey noted that 96 percent of the respondents reported that they are either increasing or maintaining their use of Eclipse.

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Heather Havenstein

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