Issue 4, 2014
Four years of webMethods customer surveys
We recently completed our fourth annual webMethods Customer Survey, collecting very useful information from many hundreds of customers. A big thank you goes to everyone who responded! Read on to learn about how we use this valuable information to better meet your needs.
The first series of questions is about all sorts of platforms: operating systems, database, browsers, etc. We use this data to help us decide which platforms to support and when. Here are some key findings over the years:
There has been a significant shift away from Solaris®, AIX® and HP UNIX® in recent years
Windows® is the most popular OS, closely followed by Red Hat® Linux®
More than half of our customers run webMethods in VMWare® environments
The most popular database is Oracle®, although there is slow adoption of Oracle 12
SQL Server® usage has increased slightly in recent years
We have seen significant interest in support for MySQL®, which we are now considering
Internet Explorer® is by far the most used browser by our customers
This is very different from the general browser market, where Chrome™ reigns supreme
There is growing interest in mobile browser access to webMethods UIs
Versions and upgrades
We are always eager to find out how many customers are actually adopting the latest versions of webMethods. We know how many people buy, download and submit support tickets for a particular version, but we never know for sure whether they are running it in production. The customer survey gives us that insight.
We have learned that there is an excellent level of adoption for new releases, with more than 35 percent of customers already in production on a version released in the last year (9.5 or higher). And the coming months are going to be a busy period for upgrades: more than half of customers have already started an upgrade project or will be starting one in the next six months.
Many customers upgrade because of imminent End of Support (EOS) for their current version (such as the EOS for 8.2 in June 2015). But a significant number of customers state the availability of new features as their main driver for upgrading to a new version. Customers also like the timing flexibility that the new six-month release cycle gives them when planning their upgrade projects.
The customer survey a couple of years ago also told us that customers overwhelmingly prefer so-called side-by-side upgrades, which is why we have focused on that path and have invested heavily in providing better tooling and automation. This has significantly reduced the effort needed for upgrade projects, and the improved product quality (through our own test automation) reduces the amount of time needed for regression testing as part of your upgrade project.
Broker and Universal Messaging
Broker will continue to be maintained and supported for the coming years, but many customers are already switching from Broker to Universal Messaging in their upgrade projects, as they see the benefits of UM and the migration path becomes ever smoother.
Over the last couple of years, we have asked several questions about how customers use Broker. This has helped us understand usage patterns and decide what capabilities and migration tooling we need to provide to make Universal Messaging a viable replacement for Broker.
We learned that “native pub-sub” (based on pub,publish services, publishable document types and Broker/Local triggers) is very widely used and much-loved. So we have worked hard to ensure that customers will not need to make any manual changes to Integration Server Flow code when they switch to Universal Messaging.
Development and Deployment
We have seen a rapid shift from webMethods Developer to Software AG Designer recently, along with a noticeable increase in the use of Version Control Systems (VCS) for webMethods assets. The most popular VCS by far is Subversion®, followed by Microsoft® TFS. More recently, Git has been rapidly gaining popularity.
Most customers practice Agile development methodologies, and the increase in use of Asset Build Environment and repository-based deployment shows we are providing the right tools to support this.
Do you still love the simplicity of webMethods Developer?
Much, much more
- You asked for SFTP support, which we delivered with the new pub.client.sftp services in Integration Server
- You told us that central administration for webMethods products was important, which we delivered with Command Central
- You told us you wanted active-active clustering for Broker, which we are delivering with the switch to Universal Messaging
And finally …
We are very grateful to everyone who responds each year to provide us with this valuable feedback. If you haven’t responded before, I hope you will do next time. Look out for the email around the beginning of October. And maybe next year you will win the prize draw. This year Andrew from the United Kingdom was the happy winner of a brand-new iPad® Mini.