NeXTStep VS. Other Development Environments

"This report summarizes the key findings from a Booz·Allen & Hamilton, Inc. study comparing developers’ and programmers’ experience with NeXTstep to their experiences with Sun!, Macintosh!, and other desktop application development environments. The study had five key objectives:
1. Assess the completeness of the NeXTstep development environment relative to environments on other platforms;
2. Assess the impact of NeXTstep on the time to develop applications relative to development experience on other platforms;
3. Assess the effects of NeXTstep development on application quality;
4. Assess the impact of developing with NeXTstep on application maintainability;
5. Assess the technical risk of developing NeXTstep applications.

Over 82% of the developers and programmers surveyed ranked NeXTstep higher than other environments they had used (Sun, Macintosh, MS DOS) in all major areas - development environment completeness, application quality, application maintainability, and development time.

Developers believe that NeXTstep applications are higher quality with regard to such critical factors as software maintenance, application integration, and end-user satisfaction.

Developers and programmers with Sun and NeXT" workstation development experience consistently rated NeXTstep a significantly better software development environment than Sun.

100% of the respondents with Sun and NeXT workstation development experience stated that the ease and speed of software development using NeXTstep was better than their experience with Sun workstations.

Over 91% of the developers and programmers surveyed found the NeXTstep software development environment more complete than development environments on other platforms.

The average NeXTstep application was reported to take approximately half the time to develop compared to similar applications written on other platforms. Respondents reported time savings as high as 90% (NeXTstep development 9 times as fast.)
Respondents report that programmers write 83% fewer lines of code using NeXTstep.

Over 91% of the developers surveyed ranked the quality of NeXTstep applications to be higher than the quality of other applications developed on other platforms.

Over 92% of the developers surveyed rated the applications developed using NeXTstep as more maintainable than applications developed using other development environments. The combination of significantly reduced development time and significantly reduced maintenance time indicates that overall life cycle cost savings of NeXTstep applications versus other applications would be substantial.

Over 75% of the respondents reported that NeXTstep software development is "low risk". This, in Booz·Allen’s opinion, compares favorably to the riskiness of software development on other platforms.

Portability was a primary concern among the developers surveyed regarding NeXT and NeXTstep. Many of them expressed a strong desire to be able to develop NeXTstep applications which could be run on other hardware platforms. It is Booz·Allen's understanding that NeXT's decision to port NeXTstep to the i486 platform will help address this concern.

Several respondents also mentioned the need for database tools. It is Booz·Allen’s understanding that NeXT’s Database Kit (scheduled for early 1992 release) will address the need for database tools.

When asked their overall opinion of the NeXTstep environment, developers and programmers gave consistently positive responses such as:
"By far the best out there."
"The reason we bought the machine."
"Dynamite, unbelievable, rewarding."
"Fantastic, the most advanced and productive environment."
"The best thing you can find. Nothing compares - certainly not Sun."
"Top notch."
"Fastest platform I have ever developed on."
"I won't work with anything else (but NeXTstep) except under duress."
"Best I’ve ever used in 17 years."

Over one hundred software developers and in–house programmers experienced with the NeXTstep" development environment and other development environments (Sun, Macintosh, and MS DOS) were surveyed by telephone. Among the organizations surveyed were Eli Lilly, TRW, AT & T Labs, Boeing, Phibro Energy, First National Bank of Chicago, Bozell, Stanford, MIT, Union Bank of Switzerland, Aldus and WordPerfect.

Those surveyed had an average of 10.4 years of software development experience. The respondent's experience was dispersed between Sun, Macintosh and an array of PC platforms.

NOTE: Throughout this report, "survey respondents," "developers," and "developers and programmers" are terms used interchangeably to represent the surveyed population."

For the full report see: