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What We Learned From Our Latest Developer Survey

Accusoft spends a great deal of time working with independent software vendors and in-house development teams to provide the processing, conversion, and automation capabilities their applications require. As part of those efforts, we do our best to stay on top of the latest trends in software development, especially when it comes to learning how developers are working and what tools they’re using.

That’s why we recently reached out to the development community with a survey designed to provide a snapshot of how developers are overcoming challenges across a broad range of industries.

What We Wanted to Know

Apart from getting a better look at what software engineers are working on, we also wanted to understand how they’re doing it. Our customers use our collection of SDKs and APIs to integrate essential image processing, document processing, and automation capabilities into their applications. When dev teams can implement those features quickly and smoothly, they can devote more resources to their innovative products and beat their competition to the market. 

By better understanding how our customers are building their applications, we can build software integrations better suited to their unique requirements. It also reveals existing and potential gaps in how we communicate the value and potential of document processing integrations. Our survey provides a useful snapshot of what today’s development teams value and what software tools they’re turning to to build their applications and cloud services.

Who We Talked To

The majority of survey participants (just over 75 percent) were actively involved in writing code for their applications. They were also likely to be involved in testing that software (48 percent) or designing and architecting it (52 percent). A little more than a third of respondents (36 percent) also helped to manage their development teams, providing us with a useful cross section of organizational roles.

We also heard from people at organizations of all sizes. While 47 percent of participants worked at companies with 100 or less employees, large-scale enterprises were also represented (28 percent of responses). Multiple industries were represented in the survey, with application support for the healthcare sector leading the way (28 percent) followed closely by finance, energy/public utilities, and legal services (23 percent each).

What We Learned

In terms of what applications participants are building, the results were almost evenly split between those working on internal applications, commercial software developers, and custom development for specific clients. Most of their projects were slated for deployment in Linux (64 percent) or Windows Server (60 percent) environments. Since many commercial applications are ultimately managed as part of a SaaS solution, the percentage of respondents who handled deployment was higher than might be expected, with only 23 percent handing installation off to their customers. On the subject of cloud platforms, 48 percent of developers reported using at least one cloud provider in some capacity when it comes time to deploy. 

The use of Docker containers continues to be a popular trend among development teams, with 44 percent of respondents currently deploying them in some capacity. Java and similar JVM languages seem to be the preferred platform for backend programming (71 percent), while JavaScript dominates as the most utilized frontend programming language or library (85 percent). When it comes to managing databases, Microsoft SQL server easily outstrips the competition, with 71 percent of respondents using it in some capacity.

Turning Data Into Action

Now that we’re armed with a fresh set of data points, the Accusoft team is already hard at work looking at ways to make the development process even easier for our customers. One area we’re focusing on right away is making it easier to get our integrations up and running. That’s why we’re increasingly turning to Docker containers as a streamlined way of delivering some of our solutions. The PrizmDoc Editor trial, for instance, comes in a ready-to-run Docker image that includes everything developers need to get started.

We’re also working to make our developer support even more robust. That means building up a detailed catalog of documentation that can provide step-by-step guidance and helpful examples when it comes to implementing key functionality into applications. For organizations that need more hands-on support to ensure a successful integration, we also offer enablement services for PrizmDoc Suite and FormSuite for Structured Forms. Our team of SDK and API experts can work closely with development teams to review application requirements and create an implementation plan for getting software up and running with minimal friction.

Keeping our products up-to-date and continuing to optimize performance is another priority for our engineering team. Whenever possible, we base those improvements on real customer feedback. Throughout 2020, for example, frequent Board of Connectors (BOC) meetings brought our customers and product manager together to identify key areas of need and opportunities for improvement. Over the course of the year, we were able to enhance the capabilities of products like PrizmDoc Viewer to meet clients’ real-world application needs, which allowed them to better serve their customers.

Whether you’re currently using Accusoft’s products or looking to integrate image and document processing features into your applications, our team is working hard to bring you the features, tools, and support you need to develop and deliver solutions faster than ever. Contact us today to tell us all about your unique requirements or to identify which Accusoft solution will be the best fit for your application.