Evans Data 2008 Survey Ranks Application Servers
October 6, 2008 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Market researcher Evans Data has carved out a nice little niche for itself keeping track of the popularity and usage for application development tools, compilers, and such, but it talks to end user companies about their application servers, too.
This summer, Evans Data did a survey of 700 developers and IT managers to assess their opinions on various application servers that they have actually had some experience with. Based on the survey results, Evans Data put together a report ranking eight application servers. You probably know all of their names: Adobe ColdFusion, Apache Geronimo, Oracle WebLogic Server (which came to Oracle through its BEA Systems acquisition), IBM WebSphere, Red Hat JBoss, Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (hey, isn’t that an operating system, and isn’t the tying of one product to another by a monopoly illegal?), SAP NetWeaver, and Sun Microsystems Java System Application Server/GlassFish. Oracle’s Application Server was missing from the list, for reasons explained below.
Anyway, you can see the Evans Data application server report right here if you want to read it in its entirety. The upshot, which Big Blue is obviously thrilled with, is that its 10-year-old WebSphere Application Server, a product it created to host the Nagano Olympics, is now the top-rated product by IT shops, narrowly beating out Apache Geronimo and beating the integrated app server in Windows and Cold Fusion by a bit more in the overall rankings. WebLogic and NetWeaver came in last, but the variance in the rankings is not huge. So how much of a differentiation this really is remains to be seen. What you can see from the data is that WebSphere was ranked higher than the other seven app servers in 10 out of 21 categories, which suggests a certain level of happiness on the part of users.
Then again, Geronimo is a fairly new app server, and it climbed right into the second spot in the rankings, and a lot of the reason why is that IBM is a strong backer of Geronimo. (IBM’s WebSphere Application Server Community Edition is based on Geronimo, in fact.)
Three years ago in the Evans Data ranking, WebLogic came out on top, and this time around it fell quite a bit. That might be because the survey was conducted after Oracle bought BEA Systems, but before it said it was ditching its own Application Server for WebLogic.