How many IDEA registered users ?

Hi,

I wonder how many registered (i.e. paying) IDEA users there are.

I am actually a freelance software consultant, and I tend to advice my customers to use IDEA, as I think it is a brilliant product.

However, they almost always ask me this:

1) Why pay whereas Eclipse is for free (I would be grateful for any link related to first point) ?

2) Given growing Eclipse popularity, how to be sure that IntelliJ will still be there in two years ?

To answer latter one, knowing the user base size would help.

Regards,

J-F

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Here is a recent article on OSNews that somewhat answers question number 1.

http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=9380

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I consider point 1 analogous to asking:

"Why buy a BMW when Kia's are less expensive?"

Or anything along those lines. That the product is not free, and that there is a market demand for it corroborates its quality and effectiveness. Those that recognize its capabilities can understand this easily, I think. So per the above, I usually identify something that the asker is skilled at doing. Let's say golf. Then I'll rephrase the above statement to say, "why by new graphites when 1950 iron clubs still work?", and he will usually understand quickly.



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Fred Faber wrote:

I consider point 1 analogous to asking:

"Why buy a BMW when Kia's are less expensive?"

Or anything along those lines. That the product is not free, and that there is a market demand for it corroborates its quality and effectiveness. Those that recognize its capabilities can understand this easily, I think. So per the above, I usually identify something that the asker is skilled at doing. Let's say golf. Then I'll rephrase the above statement to say, "why by new graphites when 1950 iron clubs still work?", and he will usually understand quickly.


That analogy is a bit problematic but understandable.

IntelliJ came about when there were either pitiful free tools or very
expensive professional tools to choose from.

IntelliJ started as a refactoring plug-in to JBuilder 4 as far as I
remember, and eventually became a full blown IDE with 1 major strength -
code understanding, something that the other IDEs (free but also high
end expensive ones) lacked.

With a price of ~500$ it was a great tool to buy, as it introduced base
functionality that was much more important (at least to us) than
natively integrating with this or that tool. Until today I still run
Jetty as a servlet container without any special integration, and either
use remote debugging or simple one. Upto recently I didn't compile apart
from Ant.

As in many cases with a small product that goes into a niche that the
big players didn't deem important, products tend to move towards the
right top corner in the feature vs price chart (i.e. become more
expensive and have more features). With IntelliJ it is a bit hard to say
it ever was low end as it had very unique capabilities compared to the
other players. But it can be deemed low end when considering features
like enterprise design with UML (as an example). It all depends on the
characteristics you look at.

In 2005, the market is very different than 2002. All the tools have at
least some level of the uniqueness of IntelliJ - refactoring, real time
code problem, code helping tools, etc. Open source is light years from
where it was 3 years ago, and thus the market changed.

Everybody seems to have expanded up hill or down hill, depending on
where they started. The very expensive tools have gotten better in what
was once IntelliJ only turf and so did the open source tools (all is
fair in love and soft-war).

Once moving to IntelliJ was considered the move to the cheap solution,
now I am sure people who once moved to IntelliJ from more expensive
tools are looking at open source. What is surprising to me, and is yet
to be seen, is if the big expensive players can keep their positions and
not stop developing their tools altogether, like happend in the hard
drive industry, where many of the players in the 14 inch hard drive
market went under because they didn't think 8 inch drives would catch
on. Same happend with the move to 5.25" and 3.5" hard drives a few years
later.

I think the big players contingency plan is to expand into more turf,
hence the purchases of recent years - IBM buys Rational, Borland buys
TogetherSoft, and also their tenticles into open source (Eclipse is just
one example). JetBrains also understand that by only residing in the
development tools turf they corner themselves, hence the other products
they create. Judging from my former employer, Mercury Interactive, with
which I've been for 8 years, when you're too small to buy others you
create technology by yourself, eventually if you were smart enough to
succeed and grow with your own technology you have money to buy others,
which is not always better or faster than developing technology from
within - sometimes integration and direction alignment hurts your
in-house products, acquired technology and even the ability to produce
new technology, which is more investment upfront than buying but seems
to be less suceptible to disaster.

So is the Kia of yesterday the BMW of today? may be, but what does this
make the BMW of yesterday? An untouchable Rolls Royce? Not a good place
to be, especially when the software version Kia today costs nothing (at
least upfront), and TCO calculation is a complete hand waving science by
itself.

As we all know (and quite sadly), it is not always the technically
superior who "wins" at the end, and the most important thing to remember
is that in this industry there is almost no way of winning the war, only
a battle. Whoever forgets that, ends up blissfully digging their own
business grave.

Amnon

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Michael Garza wrote:

Here is a recent article on OSNews that somewhat answers question number 1.

http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=9380


On the whole, that article is not convincing at all, since it is
completely unfair to Eclipse. However, that doesn't change the fact that
IDEA actually is the better Java IDE. ;)

--
Rob Harwood
Software Developer
JetBrains Inc.
http://www.jetbrains.com
"Develop with pleasure!"

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You've hit the nail on the head, Amnon. It is very much an example of
disruptive innovation. We disrupted the big guys like JBuilder, and,
hard to admit, but true, Eclipse is disrupting IDEA.

Unfortunately, the strategy "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" won't work
for us here, since Eclipse is free and too similar to IDEA (lack of
differentiation in many people's minds). However, we've got a few tricks
up our sleeves yet. Expanding our product line and improving IDEA's
visibility (i.e. showing why it is still the better Java IDE) are two
obvious tactics.

The only way to really compete with disruptive technologies (if you
can't join 'em) is to disrupt the disruptor. My personal opinion is that
this is what will happen with MPS and LOP.

If you've read any Clayton Christensen (or check this great audio talk
http://www.itconversations.com/shows/detail135.html ; there's a pdf
slideshow too), he talks about Interdependent (or Integrated) vs.
Modular architectures. That's basically what we're experiencing now with
Java IDEs. For a while, integration was key, because the IDEs weren't
'good enough'. That's when Intellij IDEA hit the scene with the
best-integrated tool. Now, all IDEs are integrated (more or less), and
modularity appears to be the new key, because most IDEs are 'good
enough' for most users (because they don't know what they're missing
;-). That's why Eclipse is taking off, because it's the most modular.
However, as Christensen points out, there's no money in modularity,
which is especially good for Eclipse since it's free, and typical IDE
vendors can't really compete with free (assuming the 'good enough'
factor). The 'new' integration is in specialized plugins, or integrated
suites of plugins, and we see that some money can be made there.

So essentially, we are seeing the 'disintegration' of 'integrated'
development environments.

What MPS has the potential to do is make the IDE even more modular than
Eclipse, while opening up markets for highly integrated languages and
editors. Essentially, languages will replace plugins (among other
things, like class libraries/APIs). We will very probably find a way to
make the core MPS open source, and build a set of integrated languages
for sale. This is my personal opinion; Sergey Dmitriev has some
different ideas, though open source is also part of it.

--
Rob Harwood
Software Developer
JetBrains Inc.
http://www.jetbrains.com
"Develop with pleasure!"

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Thanks for sharing, Rob.

That's both revealing and interesting.

The trick is always not to be lagging behind the current trend, not even
to keep up with it, but to create it.

Disruptive innovation is exactly what small agile companies have on
their side, and what large corporations ever so often fail to recognize
and endorse until it's too late.

In some cases a large company deep pocket fills in the gap, but in other
cases the company buys a bunch of products and technologies that never
get integrated into the company apart from marketing material, while in
house development gets nipped in the bud.

Combine that with buzzword compatibile executives, and you have a
recepie for disaster.

Regretfully I've seen this at my former employer, how the company went
from agile market innovators to a dragging behemoth, though the illusion
of success seems very real as there is always a delay between bad long
term decisions and the time these catch up with a company, even years.

I really hope to see the amount if disruptive innovation I've seen from
JetBrains in the past continue into the future, keeping competition on
the run.

Everyone, from a single engineer to the big 4 software companies need to
always remember that scientists in the beginning of the 20th century
said that there was nothing left to invent...

Thanks again, Rob, it's good to know Christensen is not foreign to
JetBrains.

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IDEA is steper cause; as all the DEA developers say "It is intelligent". What it means is, it indexes the project, anlyzes and also builds the syntax tree.


___________
agile software development

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