Idera, Inc. is one of the largest privately held US software companies. We focus on providing Best-on-class Technology Productivity tools for development, database management, and testing. We carefully monitor industry developments to ensure that our products continue to evolve and provide excellent value to out thousands of customers across the world. Our Developer Tools business had a big year in 2017. Delphi continues to gain incredible momentum across the world. While we have seen historical headwinds in the US, as companies adopt more open and flexible approaches based on "merit," Delphi will continue to gain market share. Our C++ Builder is also regaining recognition through the powerful VCL and FMX frameworks for native cross-platform development. In August, we acquired Sencha (ExtJS), combining the leading commercial JS framework and tool-set for enterprise web app development into our portfolio.
As 2018 gets into full swing, it’s a good time to revisit the application development trends that shaped our industry in 2017 and make some predictions. After all, developers will rule the world!
The largest trend in the space is that core infrastructure providers are working to claw their way up the developer food chain. Three of the five big vendors are providing their own public clouds, and the next step is vertical integration of the developer-DevOps food chain, allowing them to distance themselves from a pure ops play and embrace more of a developer play. Microsoft's success in gaining Cloud share is an excellent testament of the importance of a good developer strategy.
The key to adoption is to make things so easy that developers can just push a button and have an integrated tool-chain. Where disparate tools were once used to fulfill disparate requirements, big vendors (with the luxury of big market share) now aim to replace them, targeting smaller, cost-conscious web developers with their ease-of-use message.
Large enterprises are being forced to decide between best of breed tools and putting everything in one vendor’s hands. Because most big companies want to maintain control, independent tools players focused on enterprises will survive for the foreseeable future.
At the same time, QA and dev teams are moving away from the mammoth application lifecycle management solutions in favor of more nimble, easy-to-install-and-use point solutions that integrate with adjacent tools in the testing ecosystem. Automated testing is getting and more and more part of daily live.
In 2018, the dev tools landscape isn’t going to change very much. Smaller vendors will continue to differentiate themselves from the big boys, while continuing to ensure they easily integrate with them.
This year, we’ll also start to see progressive web app (PWA) technologies gain mainstream adoption with updates in mobile browsers. Web developers will quickly adopt PWA technologies such as service workers, notifications and background sync, and create modern PWA web apps that are as fast and reliable as native apps.
Also, companies will search for a balance between fast development on many platforms versus native experience. Web frameworks like React Native (and ExtJS) will continue to grow in popularity, but so will more native frameworks, such as Xamarin and FireMonkey (FMX). Android and iOS native tooling will also continue to improve.
We’ll see a return of object oriented programming IDEs that have lost some momentum as web languages relied exclusively on rudimentary text editors. Tools such as Sublime Text will increase their sophistication, adding more and more third-party components, but also developing more productivity features of their own. IDEs will have more cloud services components with easy deployment and integration options.
The bottom line is that developers have more choices today than ever, and that trend is only going to grow in 2018. Idera, Inc.’s Developer Tools offer the world’s best solutions to help developers build amazing things. I’m excited to see what they do with them in the new year.