Architecture & DesignWinners of the's Product of the Year 2008 Are Announced

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The votes have been tallied for the Product of the Year 2008 and in nine of the eleven categories the winners easily stood out amongst their peers. The voting was so close (with a difference of less than 2%) in one of the categories that we named a winner and a runner-up.


The finalists were:

  • Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX)
  • Service Oriented Architecture
  • Rich Internet Applications (RIA)
  • W3C® Semantic Web
  • Web 2.0

And the winner is AJAX for the third year in a row! Considering the connection AJAX has to Web 2.0 and RIAs (Rich Internet Applications), I guess this shouldn’t be much of a surprise.


The finalists were:

  • Hibernate
  • Java SE 6
  • Microsoft® .NET
  • Ruby on RailsTM
  • Spring 2

And the winner is Sun Microsystems’s JavaTM Platform, Standard Edition 6 JDK. Java SE 6 also received the largest number of votes when all categories were put together. Highlights of this new release include:

  • New parsing and XML to Java object-mapping APIs allows developers to build Web Services.
  • More Desktop APIs
  • Easier to monitor and manage
  • Sun has made Java SE 6 easier to secure with XML-Digital Signature (XML-DSIG) APIs, (PKI) and cryptographic services, and (Java GSS) and Kerberos services

Development Tool

The finalists were:

  • IntelliJ 7
  • MyEclipse
  • NetBeans IDE
  • Nexaweb Studio
  • Subversion

And the winner is NetBeans IDE. It makes sense that if Java SE 6 is the most popular framework that the NetBeans IDE would follow along those same lines.

Comments from a few of the nominators were:

  • Integrates all tools from developer, UML, Web Server, Servlet Container, Deploy, and now Ruby
  • Eases development with the best out-of-the box experience and management
  • Supports Java desktop, mobile, enterprise, and web application development as well as Ruby, C/C++, and JavaScript

Development Utility

The finalists were:

  • Apache Ant
  • Eclipse Business Intelligence Reporting Tools
  • Eclipse Mylyn
  • Firefox®
  • Parasoft SOAtest

And the winner is Mozilla’s Firefox®. At first, we were surprised that Firefox was nominated into this category and that it ended up winning. After going back and reviewing the definition we gave for this category, we see how Firefox fits in. Development utilities are not used to create applications. They are used to support tools and utilities. Because so much is done in the browser these days, it is not a stretch to see why Firefox won this category.

Web Service Development Tool or Add-in

The finalists were:

  • EBayTM Developer’s Program and API
  • Salesforce’s®
  • GoogleTM Maps API
  • Project jMaki
  • Microsoft® Windows Communication Foundation

And the winner is GoogleTM Maps for the second year in a row. This is still a very popular service and can be implemented in so many different ways.

Wireless/Mobile Development Tool or Add-in

The finalists were:

  • Dreamweaver® CS3
  • Microsoft® SilverlightTM
  • NetBeans Mobility Pack
  • Nokia Carbide
  • Sun Java Wireless Toolkit

And the winner is NetBeans Mobility Pack.

Comments from one of the nominators were:

  • Integrated UI for CLDC/MIDP development
  • Visual Mobile Designer for rapid development and prototyping
  • Target mobile applications for multiple devices
  • On-device debugging completes the scene of building and deploying to devices
  • New game builder

Database Tool or Add-in

The finalists were:

  • Hibernate
  • Java DB
  • MySQL
  • Oracle Database 10g
  • PostgreSQL

And the winner is PostgreSQL. This one surprised us and taught us something about our audience base. We need to do a better job of covering this topic! touts this product as “The world’s most advanced open source database” and after seeing the votes, they may just be correct.

Java Tool or Add-in

The finalists were:

  • Eclipse IDE
  • Java Applet plug-in
  • JRuby
  • Maven
  • NetBeans IDE

And the winner is NetBeans IDE but it does not stand alone. This is the category where the product with the next highest number of votes was less than 2% behind the winner.

Comments from a few of the nominators regarding NetBeans were:

  • Eases development with the best out-of-the box experience and management
  • Supports Java desktop, mobile, enterprise, and web application development as well as Ruby, C/C++, and JavaScript
  • Innovative features such as JRuby/Ruby on Rails and .Net support
  • Most improved tool compared to last version

Runner-up: Eclipse IDE

Comments from a few of the nominators regarding the Eclipse IDE were:

  • Best all around Java development environment/IDE. Also works well with other technologies—ANT, and so forth
  • One of the best pieces of software out there with an outstanding number of developers using, developing, and extending for the greater good of all

JSR (Java Specification Request)

The finalists were:

  • JSR 223: Scripting for the Java Platform
  • JSR 241: The Groovy Programming Language
  • JSR 249: Mobile Service Architecture 2
  • JSR 277: Java Module System
  • JSR 318: Enterprise JavaBeans 3.1

And the winner is 223: Scripting for JavaTM Platform. One of the nominators selected it because:

  • Extends the Java platform with scripting technology
  • Standard API between Java and conforming scripting languages
  • Basis for JRuby, Quercus, and so on

.NET Tool or Add-in

The finalists were:

  • Enterprise Library for .NET Framework 2.0
  • Glassfish Web Services Interoperability Technology
  • Microsoft® Expression BlendTM
  • Microsoft® SilverlightTM
  • Visual SVN

And the winner is Glassfish Web Services Interoperability. The Web Services Interoperability within Glassfish allows data interoperability between .NET and Java. Considering how Java technologies has dominated this process, it is not surprising that this tool would win the .NET category.

Open Source Tool

The finalists were:

  • Apache Wicket
  • Java SE 6
  • JBoss Application Server
  • NetBeans IDE
  • Subversion

The winner is Subversion. Comments from a few of the nominators were:

  • Ease of use, the ability to support distributed teams without any administration headaches, and enterprise-class scalability have made Subversion the preferred solution for many distributed projects.
  • Works remotely and can integrate with ActiveDirectory security
  • Stability, Flexibility, Multiplatform support, great user base support/Community Suport, feature Rich, and has a great front end.
  • Security feature is amazing.
  • Just introduced advance merge tracking is simply awesome.
  • Can be used to version all data, not just source code
  • Subversion can be used by the strong and skilled professionals as well as by complete beginners.

Finalists are listed in alphabetical order and do not signify their ranking within the category.

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