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UPDATE: I setup a survey focused only on .NET development here.

Ajaxian, blog focused on everything related to Ajax development and JS libraries, last week announced a survey about the state of Ajax usage among developers and in the enterprise. The questions were simple:

  1. Are you currently using Ajax?
  2. Which programming language/web framework are you using Ajax in conjunction with?
  3. Which Ajax toolkit, framework or JS library are you using?

Yesterday they published the results of the survey, which has been answered by 2618 people.

dec2007top10_2 Before giving some thoughts on the data collected we just have to remember that the survey has been mainly advertised on the Ajaxian website so might be a bit biased toward the usage of Ajax and toward PHP/Java developers (46% the firsts, almost 30% the seconds).

Richard Monson-Haefel of the Burton Group, the one that set up the survey, also wrote some thoughts on the data.

Among the most used libraries are still Prototype and, which maintain the lead over the past three years, but more libraries are gained market share only the last year (jQuery and Ext JS).

It's interesting to notice that the 4 more used libraries are separated by less that 12 percentage points, which means that there is not a clear winner yet.

Another interesting thing to notice is that the usage of raw Ajax felt down from almost 40% of 2 years ago to just 13% of 2007.

But I wanted to analyze the data about what I care the most, which is the MS development world: only 14,6% of the people that answered the survey use ASP.NET. So I dove into the survey's results and worked to produce some stats.

Among the 381 ASP.NET developers that answered the survey the results are as follows:

Library used


ASP.NET Ajax + Atlas 36,3
Prototype 34,6
jQuery 34,4
Ext JS 29,7 23,4
Raw Ajax 21,3
Mootools 19,2
YUI 15,5
JSON 14,2
Ajax.NET Professional 11,3

What does this mean? That ASP.NET Ajax is the most used Ajax/JS library in ASP.NET development, but a considerable amount of these developers use also server agnostic JS libraries. Again, I just want to remember that this survey has been announced mainly on Ajaxian, so probably the users, even the ones that use ASP.NET, are leaning more toward the usage of pure JS libraries compared to the standard ASP.NET developers: which, in my opinion, means that probably among the majority of ASP.NET developers the usage of the MS ASP.NET Ajax framework is even higher. Also, 35% of these developers also used PHP and 14% used Java, so the figures above might include libraries they used in conjunction with those other server side frameworks.

I setup a survey on the state of Ajax only in the .NET space here.

kick it on

posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2007 9:56 AM

Comments on this entry:

# re: ASP.NET Ajax usage floats around 35%

Left by todayimquiteannoyed at 12/18/2007 11:44 AM

MS doesn't seems to be interested in having their users (dev) understand *what* Ajax is, and using ASP.NET Ajax simply let the typical MS devs to have some Ajax-like effects (like partial page updates) without understing what they're using.
It make sense at all, since WebForms itself has take this approach from the beginning, being write to let vb6 "developers" do "web stuff" without really understanding what the web really is.
I'm talking after personal experiences, where a lot of collegues were coding quite big web apps, without knowing what an tag was...

# re: ASP.NET Ajax usage floats around 35%

Left by todayimquiteannoyed at 12/18/2007 11:51 AM

Ehy Simone, just two notes:
1) with my comment I was trying to say that usually who use jQuery, MooTools & co *knows* what they are using and why, whereas who use ASP.NET Ajax usually (not always, obviously) use it just because it's a *cool* and *web2.0* thing that came from mother microsoft, so it's "normal" to use it as a no brainer;
2) the live preview of the comment in SubText *seems* buggy: in the post before I've wrote <a> and in the preview area it showed as text, instead when posted it has been used as html source, making it a link. It's a bug or what?


# re: ASP.NET Ajax usage floats around 35%

Left by Simone at 12/18/2007 12:00 PM

todayimquiteannoyed, I totaly agree with you: ASP.NET Ajax, or better, the magic update panel and the partial rendering thing, is just a trick to make the VB6 devs happy and empower them to do fancy 2.0 things, and do it without too much effort.
And about the preview panel... the code in the js preview and the code that renders tags on the server side are not coherent, one of the 2 is a bug :)

# re: ASP.NET Ajax usage floats around 35%

Left by James at 12/19/2007 3:22 PM

I am a strong advocate of jquery. Sometimes the action I am trying to accomplish would be easier with ajax and the ajax control toolkit, but I've noticed serious performance hits when I go down that route. I can just get faster response times and less overhead with jquery.

# re: ASP.NET Ajax usage floats around 35%

Left by todayimquiteannoyed at 12/19/2007 5:01 PM

@James: that's probably because some of the decisions made about the ASP.NET Ajax Client Library implemenation (not talking about the entire client+server framework) has been made because of the implementation of the JScript VM inside... guess what? IE. Or at least that's what I've heard in some interviews to the dev team if I'm not wrong, where they say that there could have been better implementations for some method (extension of native objects and so on) but the ones choosen had betetr performances under MS' browser, even if they were not that good.
Wow, I

# re: ASP.NET Ajax usage floats around 35%

Left by jstengel at 12/19/2007 6:15 PM

"It's interesting to notice that the 4 more used libraries are separated by less that 12 percentage points, which means that there is not a clear winner yet."

The chart does not reflect a measure of "usage" but rather the likelihood that a given library is in a developer's "toolbox".

I selected 5 different libraries. However, the survey does not know that I use one library about 95% of the time.

Still, an interesting survey. Just thought I would clarify that one point.

Comments have been closed on this topic.