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EXCLUSIVES 

IBM, Microsoft, Eclipse and Adobe Vie for IDE Glory at India's Premier Software Developer Awards

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Integrated Development Environments have come a long way since the days of punch card and paper tape entries. IDEs of today are designed to harness a programmer’s maximum productivity potential by providing highly integrated source code editors, compilers, automation tools and debuggers amongst other tightly interweaved components. This trend percolated into all types of programming -- from enterprise application development all the way through embedded development. The key driving force behind this trend was the ever increasing size of the application code.

The need to accelerate time-to-market through automation and the requirement to facilitate training and increase a developer’s productivity also aided in this transformation. This gave rise to the near ubiquitous availability and use of products like Microsoft Visual Studio for Windows application development and the Open Source Eclipse environment for Linux and other platform development. Another popular feature built into the advanced IDEs of today is collaborative development support, fostering code sharing among development team members.

IDE Winner at Great Indian Developer Awards 2009: Pradipta Kumar Sharma, Microsoft Corp (India), receiving the award on behalf of the Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 team

As code size and complexity increases, each of these tasks (and others) becomes more arduous, especially when using only command-line tools. While numerous tools exist to integrate and accelerate the steps above (build scripts and make files, for example), the dominant paradigm today streamlines development by integrating the edit/compile/debug cycle (and other steps) through a point-and-click graphical user interface — an Integrated Development Environment (IDE).

In line with global trends, the democratic Great Indian Developer Awards Season III shortlist votes (see pie diagram representation below from a sum total of 1,16,700 votes that were received in the shortlist stage) indicate that almost 100 percent of all Microsoft Windows application development occurs in Visual Studio and related IDEs. The majority of Java applications development is IDE-based, thanks to tools from IBM, Symantec, Borland, and others. Most modern Web programming development leverages IDEs especially on the Adobe Flash and Flex builder platforms. In the embedded world, systems and firmware developers still prefer command-line interfaces, especially for embedded Linux development. IDEs are however, preferred for SoC code development in conjunction with verification and co-design paradigms.


Embedded applications-code developers, like their enterprise counterparts, tend to leverage IDEs. Linux and other Open Source developers still prefer CLI tools, probably from a decade of CLI-focused history and, until the introduction of Eclipse, because of a fragmented IDE landscape. Tools and OS vendors like to market IDEs because they provide an attractive demonstration vehicle and a more palpable, visible asset for licensing than do CLIs. Managers like IDEs better than line developers, probably because IDEs offer a neat vision of their team's development process; line engineers like CLIs because they afford more control.

 
IDE Winner at Great Indian Developer Awards 2008: Sharad Medhavi, Director of Engineering, Oracle India,  receiving the award on behalf of the Oracle JDeveloper team

Saltmarch Media's annual Great Indian Developer Awards honors software products across 12 categories, based on their productivity, innovation excellence, universal usefulness, simplicity, functionality and most importantly on the ground feedback from India’s software developer ecosystem. In the Development Environment Category, the final shortlist consists of IBM’s Rational Application Developer; Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2010; Adobe’s Flex Builder; Popular open-source IDE – Eclipse and Microsoft’s Expression Studio. Oracle’s JBuilder was the first IDE to win this award in 2008 followed by Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2008 in the 2009 chapter of the same awards.

If there is a particular development environment that you personally endorse to your colleagues or you evangelize about them at the first opportunity you get, here is your chance to vote for it (voting closes April 10 2010) and see it win this prestigious award. Who knows? You could win along with it too. At the end of the voting process, a lucky draw will be conducted and one person will receive a surprise gift from our prize sponsor. So visit the 2010 Great Indian Developer Awards website and cast your vote. It counts!

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