Methodology: VARBusiness Application Development Survey

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VARBusiness' 2004 Application-Development survey explores the business and IT environments among IT solution providers who are currently, or plan to, be involved in application development and/or customization. The respondents to this Web-based survey are personally involved in application development in at least one of four ways: developing custom applications; influencing the decision as to which development languages, platforms and/or vendors to use; selecting partners for the development of custom applications; and/or working for an independent software developer.

The application-development survey's objectives included an assessment of technology trends, the nature of vendor-partner relationships with the platform players, identification of opportunities for solution providers regarding custom-application development, integration work, as well as open-source technologies and commercial software business prospects.

VARBusiness developed the application-development survey instrument. The survey was then conducted on the Web during the fourth week of May 2004 with the help of InsightExpress, an online market research firm. In addition, VARBusiness partnered with ARC Research, a Cranford, N.J.-based business-intelligence and market research firm, for data processing, questionnaire review and the analysis portion of this study.

Qualifying survey participants were randomly selected from VARBusiness' circulation list of 75,000 individuals involved in the software and application-development arena. A total of 472 solution providers completed this survey, yielding a margin of error +/- 4.5 percent at a 95 percent confidence interval. The respondent mix of IT managers included executive management, corporate management and technical management. Responding reseller firms, based on their business activities, included traditional total solutions VARs, IT consultants, custom and proprietary software solution developers, independent software developers, ISVs, service providers, ASPs, MSPs, ISPs, SSPs, xSPs and others.

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