IBM Rational IDE tops survey

Other players, including Visual Studio, rated highest in other categories, but the Evans Data survey found that IBM's RAD was tops in overall user satisfaction

Despite trailing rivals in several individual categories, IBM's RAD (Rational Application Developer) nonetheless had the highest user satisfaction rates among several IDEs rated in an Evans Data study released on Wednesday.

Users of RAD scored it higher than users of other IDEs had rated their own development platforms of choice. Some of the other entrants included Oracle JDeveloper, Microsoft Visual Studio, and NetBeans.

"It's safe to say that RAD's users love their IDE and tools as well as the support and care they get from IBM," the Evans report, known as the company's "IDE Scorecard," said.

There were 1,200 developers worldwide who were involved in the study, which was funded by Evans. The company calculated user satisfaction based on user rankings in 15 different categories. RAD scored 170 points based on Evans' rating system, but only about five points separated it from the third-place finisher, Visual Studio.

Ranked in descending order were: RAD, JDeveloper, Visual Studio, Sun Studio, Adobe Creative Suite, Delphi, NetBeans, and MyEclipse. The seventh- and eighth-place finishers were the only open-source IDEs included in the study. Originally, 15 IDEs were rated but the number was pared down to eight.

Even with the growing prominence of SaaS, IDEs still are critical, said John Andrews, Evans president and CEO. "They still remain very, very important and core," Andrews said.

"There's still a huge amount of development [that] is contingent upon IDEs," he said.

Missing from the survey, though, was the base open-source Eclipse IDE, which instead serves as the basis for other IDEs rated in the study, such as MyEclipse and RAD.

"It's really not an out-of-the-box IDE. It's an IDE that you've got to assemble, whereas [the] others are out-of-the-box IDEs," Andrews said.

In other categories pertaining to individual characteristics of IDEs, RAD did not fare so well. It was ranked seventh out of eight in ease of use, last in its editor capabilities, and fifth in availability of third-party tools to work with it. RAD did finish tops in the application modeling tools, quality of technical support, make/build functions, sample applications, and profiler categories.

Other winners in individual categories included:

  • Visual Studio, for its debugger, editor, and size and quality of its user community.

  • Delphi, for ease of use, compiler performance, ability to integrate third-party tools, and availability of third-part y tools.

  • Adobe Creative Suite, for Web design tools.

  • Sun Studio, for performance of resulting applications.

  • JDeveloper, for documentation.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

InfoWorld staff

Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?