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Wireless Developers Use Diverse Toolset

According to a recent survey by Evans Data, wireless developers are not loyal to any particular toolset and would switch tools to mobilize more easily. Of the nearly 500 wireless developers surveyed, 56 percent would consider changing programming languages or tools to mobilize applications more easily. In addition, 78 percent of wireless developers are writing new applications from the ground up, while 58 percent are extending legacy applications.

These findings indicate that the platforms are still evolving and emphasize cross-platform compatibility. On average, wireless developers are developing for six different platforms, according to company officials.

“Developers are very comfortable with switching tools if they need to add functionality,” explains Albion Butters, senior analyst. “If there’s something specific that they need to do, that’s their primary reason for switching tools.”

The results also show that developers are generally satisfied with most of the tools that are important to them. But these same results also imply that there is a certain level of dissatisfaction with what tools are out there, specifically mobile device emulators.

All of this, according to Butters, points to a dynamic market with an evolving future. “The market is not really sewed up,” he acknowledges. “The fact that so many developers are switching tools means that it continues to be very much of a dynamic market. People are not set in their ways yet.”

The survey revealed that three-quarters of wireless developers build solutions that are extensions for mission-critical applications. More than half of those are extending more than half of their mission-critical applications to mobile devices.

Almost a quarter of wireless developers prefer the use of XML/SOAP/XML-RPC to ADO.NET or messaging to connect back-end applications to wireless applications. In addition, voice XML usage by wireless developers has doubled in the last six months to 23 percent.

“We’re finding that voice over IP has also experienced a real surge in the last six months,” Butters contends, noting a 53 percent increase in VoIP. “There’s a lot of competition in the market when it comes to VoIP, and it’s driving growth,” Butters adds. “Adoption among wireless developers is matching that.”

The future for wireless developers is still being written. “The future holds that there are going to be a lot of innovations still coming on the market: new devices, new platforms, new levels of infrastructure,” Butters says. Also, he continues, “the future holds greater adoption in the enterprise sector.” He anticipates new applications, new types of applications and more VoIP, RFID and FLASH usage. “We’re on the verge of going through a powerful growth cycle,” he predicts.

About the Author

Lana Gates is a freelance writer based in Mesa, Arizona. She can be reached via e-mail at freelancewriter@gates-works.com.

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