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UPDATE: The survey is closed. The results are published: Ajax survey 2009: jQuery and MS Ajax are almost tied.

After 3 days and a half, with a weekend and a public holiday in between, the survey about Ajax adoption among .NET developers already received 1047 responses. Here some quick stats:

  • an incredible (in my eyes) 5% claims he is not doing Ajax development at all;
  • the most used web frameworks is pretty obviously WebForms (89%) followed by ASP.NET MVC (38%);
  • the most used JavaScript library is jQuery with 76%, followed by Ajax Control Toolkit (58%) and ASP.NET Ajax (48%). And still a good 8% is hand-crafting javascript and ajax calls;
  • among the ones using ASP.NET Ajax, the vast majority is using the UpdatePanel control (88%) and 58% is using the ASP.NET Ajax client library and talking directly to Json/XML services.

We are still at the point were these answers reflect mostly the readers of my blog, so probably still a bit biased toward the ALT.NET kind of developers. Bertrand Le Roy published a link to the survey on his blog so maybe I’ll receive less biased answers in the next days.

If you haven’t already, please take the survey. And if you have a blog, I’d love if you could republish the link:

http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/?p=WEB22973CYKW2H

More answers means more understanding of how people are using Ajax in .NET, and maybe can help steering the future of Ajax on .NET.

I’ll post a more complete analysis of the results and compare it with the results I collected at the end of 2007 once the survey is closed.

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posted on Monday, May 25, 2009 11:05 AM

Comments on this entry:

# re: Survey on Ajax adoption: some quick stats

Left by Jake Scott at 5/26/2009 3:42 AM

hmm maybe you should of randomised the frameworks alphabetically? I am suprised that YUI is not more prominent..

# re: Survey on Ajax adoption: some quick stats

Left by Simone at 5/26/2009 10:42 AM

@Jake: I ordered the framework in alphabetic order to make it easier to people to find the one they are using.
YUI at the moment is used by 6% of the users and surprisingly the libraries with most users are the one at the bottom of the list, so I don't think that the at the bottom are being penalized for that.

# re: Survey on Ajax adoption: some quick stats

Left by Anthony Wykle at 5/28/2009 5:53 AM

To be perfectly honest, I detest AJAX. I think it is even uglier than JScript.NET. I am primarily a VB.NET developer, although I am familiar with JavaScript, JScript.NET, C#, Java, and C++. I don't know about anyone else, but I find AJAX to be absolutely ugly and totally beyond my ability to comprehend. On the bright side... LOVE THAT UPDATE PANEL! Interesting survey and thanks for the information. I have to wonder how many more like me are out there who wouldn't use AJAX at all if it weren't for the update panel?

# re: Survey on Ajax adoption: some quick stats

Left by Simone at 5/28/2009 10:08 AM

@Antony:
Well, ajax and jscript.net are two different things: one is a client-side technology (the sum of many other things, like JS, DOM, XmlHttpRequest, webservices), the other is a server-side language.
I agree that the dynamic-ness of JS, together with DOM manipulation might seem a bit complex at first, but with the help of one of the many JS libraries things get better.
The UpdatePanel is a nice hack.. I pretty sure you are right: many people will not be doing Ajax development if it wasn't introduced.

# re: Survey on Ajax adoption: some quick stats

Left by Andrei Rinea at 5/28/2009 10:11 AM

@Anthony Wykle:

I detest JavaScript altogether, not just AJAX. But I have to work with it... so I do.

# re: Survey on Ajax adoption: some quick stats

Left by Ian at 5/28/2009 10:12 AM

I only use AJAX when FORCED to do so, it is more often then not part of the problem rather then the solution.

If a web page is simple enough and the page cycle is fast enough then I have found I can create websites that user's like without any need for AJAX.

As most web applications are in house and only work with IE anyway, why not just use clickOnce and winforms?

# re: Survey on Ajax adoption: some quick stats

Left by Rotem at 5/28/2009 12:35 PM

There is a framework called Visual Web Gui, with a lot of users. In our part of the world, Italy, it becomes very popular. It is not a pure AJAX, you do not erite AJAX, the framework does that for you - but the result is AJAX. I think it should be included.

# re: Survey on Ajax adoption: some quick stats

Left by Simone at 5/28/2009 12:48 PM

Funny... I'm from Italy and I never heard about it :)
I cannot add other option while the survey is running or the results will be not reliable any more, but two people entered it as "other" framework already

I'm not really sure it can be classified as "Ajax Framework", from a quick look it seems like it's a complete stack, that is based on ASP.NET and Ajax (or SL), but it abstracts them away.

# re: Survey on Ajax adoption: some quick stats

Left by ben at 5/28/2009 11:50 PM

We were excited when atlas came out and followed it into asp.net ajax 1.0. We found that the controls from the ajaxtoolkit were bloated and did not work well within other browsers. The update panel was especially problematic and we ran into serious performance issues with production code. Using WCF / web services in combination with json serialization and jQuery has proved to be far more useful and scalable.

# re: Survey on Ajax adoption: some quick stats

Left by Andres at 5/29/2009 8:21 PM

Any survey that does not have a random sample is completely useless... why bother?

# re: Survey on Ajax adoption: some quick stats

Left by Brian at 5/30/2009 1:55 AM

I too despise ajax and javascript. I avoid it as much as possible.

Visual WebGui is interesting, but it's slow and doess't scale.

In my opinion, all client side ria html/javascript technologies are a hack and a nightmare to maintain/debug, especially in large enterprise applications.

I'm waiting for the Silverlight platform to mature a bit, then I'll be ready to jump on to the ria bandwagon...possibly as early as Silverlight 4.

# re: Survey on Ajax adoption: some quick stats

Left by GH at 6/4/2009 11:41 AM

I can't believe some people are saying they detest JavaScript - to me those are words of people who don't appreciate the power of it and the far richer user experience it can bring. Anyone who can't easily debug a JS file using Visual Studio clearly hasn't used the IDE enough!

The AJAX Control Toolkit I do feel is totally OTT for most applications, and also a tad bug ridden in .Net 2.0; for this reason I prefer to write my own custom code rather than libraries - for me, most libraries never do quite enough and you end up having to hack around them, which seems pointless...

Update Panels are, however, the bane of my existence - I far prefer building the content on the fly myself rather than having to run through the entire page lifecycle every time I want to update one small area of the page!

# re: Survey on Ajax adoption: some quick stats

Left by JW at 6/8/2009 5:00 PM

Detest JavaScript? Well... I guess I didn't like it much either when I didn't know/understand it. After being forced into it a few years ago, after our UI guy left the project, I've grown to absolutely love it. Debugging/Maintaining it is not an issue either. You can debug JS very easily with Firebug for Firefox or with the new Safari (and if you're an IE guy you can use the web developer tools for IE). JS is a different style of language, compared to c# or Java, and it's very easy for one to write sloppy harder to maintain code (placing everything in the global namespace etc.). But this is true for any language.
I would make a bet that the people complaining about JS don't really know the language that well...

# re: Survey on Ajax adoption: some quick stats

Left by JKL at 6/15/2009 4:24 AM

When are you going to release the results of the ajax survey? Thanks.

# re: Survey on Ajax adoption: some quick stats

Left by Simone at 6/15/2009 11:22 AM

@JKL: I'll release the results in a few days
Thank you for asking

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