Evans Data Survey Finds NT-Based Workstations Popular

Database developers are turning to Windows NT kernel-based workstation operating systems for an increasing share of their development work.

That's according to a new Evans Data Corp. survey that also found database security breaches are remarkably common and that the database software in use by developers remains remarkably heterogeneous.

Use of workstations based on the Windows NT kernel -- in other words Windows NT Workstation, Windows 2000 Professional and Windows XP -- went up from 58 percent of all developers' workstations in 2000 to 65 percent of all developers' workstations in 2001.

Windows 2000 usage drove that growth, with developers identifying Windows 2000 as their primary development operating system in 42 percent of the cases in 2001 compared with 21 percent in 2000. When the survey was conducted in December, about 3 percent of developers were using Windows XP.

The survey, conducted in December, reached 700 database development managers at large enterprises and at software development companies. Evans Data, a division of American Science Corp., conducts the survey twice a year.

When asked what operating system they expect to be doing their development work on next year, the percentage on the Windows NT-kernel rises to 69 percent. Of those, 14 percent expect to be on Windows XP, 41 percent on Windows 2000, and 14 percent on Windows NT.

At the same time, the percentage of developers using the Windows 9.x kernel is falling sharply. They were 21 percent of all developers in 2000, 16 percent in 2001, and are a projected 9 percent in 2002.

"Microsoft's goal is to eventually have all its operating systems on a common kernel, and this survey reflects movement in that direction," says Joseph McKendrick, an analyst for Evans Data.

On security, 12 percent reported their databases suffered a security breach in 2001. The industry hardest hit by security breaches was banking and financial services, with 27 percent of respondents reporting breaches last year. The medical/healthcare industry and the telecommunications industry also logged higher than average rates of targeting, each with 18 percent.

"The results of this survey illustrate the importance of security in the database as well as the surrounding network," McKendrick says.

According to the developers, causes for the breaches in descending order of occurrence were computer viruses, deliberate hacking and internal human error. The most common defenses deployed against security breaches of the database were network authentication/firewall technology, operating system security features and regular password changes.

As for the most common databases in use, the Evans Data survey found SQL Server on top and growing fast, but the field remains wide open because few companies are exclusive about database technologies.

"Seventy percent of the companies we looked at had two or more vendors' databases within their organization," McKendrick says.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.


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