Developers Rank Microsoft .NET Ahead of Google and Other Frameworks

Survey findings released today indicate that Microsoft's .NET Framework leads other frameworks and Web application platforms in developer satisfaction. Google's App Engine and Web Toolkit came in a close second and third, but popular Web framework Ruby on Rails fell short, according to a new Users' Choice Survey from market researcher Evans Data Corp.

Evans Data conducted the global survey of 425 developers earlier this month to find out their overall satisfaction with software frameworks and Web platforms. The ranking of the frameworks is based on developers' ratings in nine categories: ease of use, extensibility, performance, lightweight, flexibility, simplicity, community support, program flow and object inheritance. Developers rated ease of use, performance and extensibility as the most important features of a framework, with object inheritance as least important in the survey.

.NET ranked highest in the ease-of-use category. "The purpose of a framework is to make development easier by supplying pre-built generic components and infrastructure so ease of use is obviously important. The .NET Framework provides a full development stack, and it also provides the runtime environment for newly development applications, so users rated it high," said Janel Garvin, chief executive of Evans Data, in a statement.

Google's App Engine (Java and Python) and Web Toolkit (Java) scored higher than .NET in terms of standalone feature implementations. Google App Engine beat out .NET in the lightweight category (less bloat, minimal dependencies) and Google Web Toolkit ranked first in simplicity of framework, just ahead of .NET. Apache Axis (Java platform for SOAP Web services) earned the highest rating in performance, according to the survey results.

The popular Web application framework Ruby on Rails did not come out on top in any category. The developers surveyed are apparently frustrated with Rails, particularly in terms of community support, according to Garvin.

In addition to Microsoft's managed code framework, Microsoft Foundation Class Library, Win32 and Oracle's Application Development Framework are among the platforms whose attributes were ranked by developers on a spectrum that ranged from "very satisfied" to "very unsatisfied." The Users' Choice: Frameworks 2010 survey also examines developers' satisfaction with open source application and Web platforms: Apache Struts, Java Server Faces, Spring and Zend Framework.

About the Author

Kathleen Richards is the editor of and executive editor of Visual Studio Magazine.