The People Have Spoken
asp.netPRO Readers Choice Awards 2005
By David Riggs
We often take for granted many of the devices we use every day; those tools of convenience that make our lives more comfortable and/or productive. This is especially true in the development world, where every utility or component can add productivity and/or profitability.
For several weeks in March and April I asked you to take a few minutes to participate in our annual Readers Choice Awards balloting. It was your chance to vote for the products and services that make your ASP.NET development easier, more efficient, and more profitable maybe even more fun. There are many exceptionally talented people in this industry; this was your opportunity to show them your appreciation and recognition for a job well done.
You considered all the candidates thoughtfully and thoroughly, and you have spoken. But enough preamble. Here are the results of the 2005 asp.netPRO Readers Choice Awards.
CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET from Developer Express kicks off this year s results with a repeat performance of last year. Although not as definitive a win, CodeRush s 23% still provided a healthy margin over this year s runner-up, CodeSMART 2005 for VS.NET from AxTools, which got 12% of your votes. DevPartner Studio Professional (10%) and DeKlarit (9%) followed closely in third and fourth place, respectively.
Best Charting & Graphics Tool
Repeating as your choice for best charting and graphics tool, Dundas Chart for .NET from Dundas Software improved its margin of victory (from 5% last year to 19% this year). Chart FX for .NET from Software FX again placed second, but must share the podium with .netCHARTING from WebAvail Productions; both received 16% of your vote. ComponentOne WebChart for ASP.NET (11%) and Nevron Chart for .NET (10%) also had solid support at the polls.
Best Chat Application
In the first category to host a new winner, Cute Chat from Cutesoft received 32% of your votes, which was enough to dethrone the incumbent. Akiva s ChatSpace matched last year s placement and remained solid as runner-up (21%). With 18% of your votes, Absolute Live Support .NET slips from last year s first-place finish and must share third place with Active Data OnlineWebChat.
Best Code Editor
What are the chances? Not only repeating last year s win, but garnering the exact percentage of votes (36%), TextPad from Helios Software Solutions is again your choice for best code editor. Repeating as runner-up is HomeSite from Macromedia, although the gap has grown. Last year HomeSite was a close second with 32% of the votes; this year s 25% is solid, but slipping. Grabbing third place for the second year in a row, ASP Express remained steady with 14% of the votes.
Best Communications Tool
In another repeat performance of last year s results, IP*Works! .NET Edition from /n software is your choice for best communications tool. With 36% of the votes it beat out this year s runner-up, TransPort from ComponentScience. Earning 27% of this year s ballots, TransPort made the incredible leap from fourth place last year, when it collected but 8% of the votes. Also with a respectable showing, aspNetTraceRoute s 21% took third.
Best Community Resource
The Code Project is your choice for best community resource. In second place, and only 6% behind the leader, is newcomer DotNetBips.com. Rounding out a well-contested category, Microsoft s ASP.NET Site and 4GuysFromRolla tied for third.
Best Component Set
Usurping perennial powerhouse Developer Express, Infragistics NetAdvantage 2005 Vol. 1 received 23% of your votes to win this year s title as best component set. Also moving up was this year s runner-up, r.a.d.controls from telerik, with 17% of the votes. ComponentOne Studio Enterprise returned in third place, getting 14% of your votes.
Best Content Management System
With a sizable increase over last year s second-place finish, and a sizable lead in the voting, telerik s r.a.d.designer grabbed first place with 36% of your votes. The rest of the pack bunched up; Dozing Dogs CMS took second with 14%, and ComponentArt Rotator for ASP.NET and MonoxPortal Engine each got 12% to tie for third.
Best e-Commerce Package
In a close race to the finish, 21% of your votes for BV Commerce from BV Software edged out the 18% garnered by IP*Works! CC ICharge .NET Edition from /n software and StoreFront 6-.NET Cart from LaGarde. And with 16%, .netCART Shopping Cart wasn t far out of the running.
Best E-mail Control
In a three-peat of last year s results for this category, with almost identical numbers, aspNet Email from Advanced Intellect took first with 49% of your votes, EasyMail .NET Edition from Quicksoft took second with 12%, and PowerTCP Mail for .NET took a close third with 10%.
Best Forum Application
Relegating last year s winner to second place, this year s winner with 42% of your votes is Community Server from Telligent Systems. dotNetBB Forums from dotNetBB.com dropped to second place with 24%. Taking third, and also dropping one spot from last year, is Instant Forum .NET, with 16%.
Another category, another new winner: 26% of you chose Spread for Web Forms from FarPoint Technologies. Taking second with 20% of your votes is last year s winner, ASPxGrid from Developer Express. And with 17%, last year s runner-up, ComponentOne WebGrid for ASP.NET, takes a close third.
Best Hosting Service
With a little more than half the votes, last year s runner-up, DiscountASP.NET, posted a commanding win in this category. Coming in second with 25% of the votes was ORCS Web. CrystalTech Web Hosting took third with 10%.
There are certainly no surprises with the winner of this category: Getting 72% of your votes, Microsoft Visual Studio.NET continues to dominate. Borland s Delphi and Macromedia s Studio MX share a distant second place finish.
Best Navigation Control
Sharing top honors in this category are ComponentArt s ComponentArt Menu for ASP.NET and telerik s r.a.d.menu; each received 24% of your votes. ComponentOne WebMenus and WebBars for ASP.NET is third, with 15%.
Best Online Editor
In another tight race, reigning champion RichTextBox for ASP.NET from Richer Components edged out telerik s r.a.d.editor, 31% to 28%. r.a.d.editor should be pleased with their runner-up status, though; they improved from last year s fourth-place finish. Last year s runner-up, CuteEditor for .NET, dropped to third.
Best Polling Tool
With only two contestants in this category, each had a 50-50 chance to win. And that s exactly how the votes came in: Online Voting/Survey Web-App from Comrie Software Solutions and PeterBlum.com s Peter s Polling Package each received 50% of your votes. Check back next year for the rematch.
Best Printing/Reporting Tool
It s d j vu all over again: Replicating last year s results, perennial favorites Crystal Reports (from Business Objects), ActiveReports for .NET (from Data Dynamics), and XtraReports (from Developer Express) finished one, two, and three.
Best Project Management/Defect Tracking
Defending champion AQdevTeam dropped to fourth, giving last year s runner-up the chance to grab first place. With 30% of your votes, Fog Creek Software s FogBUGZ is your choice for top project management/defect tracking tool. Seapine Software s TestTrack Pro came in a solid second with 25%, and OnTime 2005 Software Project Management System finished third with 16%.
Best Scheduling/Calendar Tool
Peter s Date Package remains triumphant in this category, but the margin of victory has decreased over this year s runner-up, Basic Date Picker. Dropping from 40% to 21%, Peter s Date Package is still your scheduling/calendar tool of choice, but at 19% and 17%, respectively, Basic Date Picker and last year s runner-up, WebPlanner, are closing in.
Best Security Tool
Is there safety in numbers? Absolutely; especially if that number is 42% of the votes. Not content with last year s tie for first with n/ software s IP*Works! SSL, PreEmptive Solutions Dotfuscator took an early and large lead in this year s voting. With 16%, IP*Works! SSL came in a distant second.
Best Testing/QA Tool
Taking the challenge of only receiving 6% of the vote last year, ANTS Profiler from Red Gate Software made an amazing turnaround to win this year s balloting with an impressive 42% of the votes, beating out last year s winner, AutomatedQA s TestComplete, which got 21%. Last year s runner-up, QuickTest Professional, dropped to third.
Trading places from last year s results, developmentor and Transcender finished first and second in this hotly contested category, with 24% and 21% of your votes, respectively. Wintellect, with 19%, and AppDev Training, with 17%, were close on the leaders heels.
Placing first and second in this wide open catch-all category for the second year running was Altova s XMLSpy 2005 and AutomatedQA s AQtime .NET, with 28% and 12% of your votes, respectively. Also with 12%, telerik s r.a.d.spell shares second place.
Product of the Year
With a variety of products and services from which to choose, it takes quite a following to take top honors in this category. Emerging as your favorite from all the contestants listed on this year s asp.netPRO Readers Choice Awards ballot is DiscountASP.NET. They easily won the Hosting Service category, and obviously have a strong and loyal customer base. Honorary mention goes to runner-up DotNetBips.com and third-place finisher, Dundas Chart for .NET.
Congratulations and Thanks
I d like to thank all the third-party vendors who create the products and services included in our survey. The products they create and the risks they take to bring them to the market are what these awards are all about. Their efforts make our ASP.NET development efforts more efficient, more productive, and, hopefully, more profitable. Congratulations to every company on the ballot; without these entrepreneurs who are willing to risk their time and effort each year, there would be no ASP.NET community.
And I d be remiss if I didn t extend my thanks to all of you in the ASP.NET community for taking your time to vote (as well as those who took time to provide valuable feedback). The asp.netPRO Readers Choice Awards really do belong to you we simply tabulate the votes and report the results. By selecting the winners, you have recognized those who excel at their craft and issued a challenge to all the others.
Here s to another year of great development tools!
David Riggs is editor-in-chief of asp.netPRO and its companion e-newsletter, asp.netNOW. Reach him at mailto:[email protected].