According to a recent survey by Evans Data Corp, Microsoft .NET was voted the best overall framework by the developers who use it, beating out Google App Engine, Ruby on Rails and others.

By the Developers Who Use It

Evans Data Corp, a research and analyst firm focused on IT, recently conducted a User's Choice Survey on Frameworks. Developers were asked to rate their development framework on ten different attributes. The rating included not just the framework they use now, but have also used in the past.

The frameworks included in the survey were:

  1. Apache Axis
  2. Apache Struts
  3. Google App Engine
  4. Google Web Toolkit
  5. Java Server Pages
  6. Microsoft MFC
  7. Microsoft .NET
  8. Microsoft Win32
  9. Oracle ADF
  10. Spring
  11. Rails
  12. Zend

Of the 12 included, Microsoft .NET came out on top with Google App Engine and Google Web Toolkit coming in close behind -- this was based on overall satisfaction with 10 different framework aspects:

  • Ease of Use
  • Extensibility
  • Lightweight
  • Performance
  • Flexibility
  • Program Flow
  • Simplicity
  • Object Inheritance
  • Community Support

"The purpose of a framework is to make development easier by supplying prebuilt 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 developed applications, so users rated it high." said Janel Garvin, CEO of Evans Data. "Rails, on the other hand was rated surprisingly low, with its users unhappy in a variety of areas but especially in the area of a support community.”

What is Important to Developers?

Along with rating the frameworks, developers were also asked to rate which of the attributes listed above were most important. Ease of Use came first, while object inheritance came in last.

The need for development frameworks that are easy to use goes without saying at a time when time to market has become a critical success factor. Many of the development technologies available today aim to help developers write code faster or write less code and both Microsoft and Google are certainly at the top of the that list.

You can get the full PDF report for US$ 595. A little on the expensive side, but if you are trying to figure out what development platform to put your new application on, it may be worth it.