The SD Times 100 is about innovation and leadership. While every project and organization in the SD Times 100 list meets those criteria, there are a few that, through the work they accomplished in 2011, were able to shift an entire industry toward a platform, methodology, emerging standard or even way of thinking. This list includes many of the major players in the software industry, as one would expect, as well as some perhaps surprising newcomers.
Apache Software Foundation
World Wide Web Consortium
The benefits of cloud computing—reduction of costs in terms of hardware, people and utilities; ease of instantiation—are by now well understood, thanks to the efforts of these organizations in 2011. The *-as-a-Service model also appeals to companies that want to “pay as they go” for software and platform use. Here are the early leaders in an industry shift—and paradigm shift—into the cloud.
With smartphones everywhere, and tablets catching up quickly, enterprise development teams are increasingly faced with the task of getting their organizations’ applications out into the field. Mobile is more than operating systems, though; platforms for “write once, run on any device” are springing up. This category recognizes the companies and projects that are working to define the mobile experience.
Like peanut butter and jelly, ALM & SCM are becoming inseparable. Application life-cycle management has expanded to include such things as agile development, product-line management and application performance. Yet it all begins with managing the codebase. These are the companies that make the tools that help enterprises stay current with industry changes and customer requests, and help them take advantage of new opportunities.
With the emergence of cloud computing, issues of security—both of code and identity—have again taken center stage. It’s one thing to test the components you have created for your application; it’s been a leap of faith when those applications rely on external services or hardware. Will my assets be secure? Will my applications perform as expected? We recognize the companies that have taken leadership positions in this area.
This category, formerly known as “Tools & Frameworks,” recognizes the companies that create the building blocks from which applications are created. These companies make assembling and styling applications easier than ever with their offerings of grids, drop-down lists, buttons, ribbons, and a whole lot more.
Data. It’s what businesses gather and consume to stay alive. Some databases reside behind the organization’s firewall, and some reside in clouds. Some are caches that hold data outside the database, and some hold unstructured data of varying types: Word files, images, tweets and more. The key for a developer is to build the integrations that let applications access this data, and this category recognizes the companies and projects that just plain get it when it comes to databases, and how to connect them to ever-expanding, ever-changing endpoints.
In this new category, the editors of SD Times recognize that the way development is done today has changed from how software was created only a decade ago. No longer do projects take 18 months, with features locked down a year before final delivery. Software today is built in rapid iterations, with continuous builds and integration into the product for multiple updates per year. Here, we recognize the companies and projects that make the tools that enable this to happen.
Another new category for 2012, “user experience” has become the latest buzzword to become top of mind. Whether the user of your application is accessing it on his or her desktop, via a browser on a tablet, or as a smartphone application, he or she comes to the app with expectations of how it will work. It’s not just about mouse clicks anymore; now it’s slide bars and haptic technologies, and leveraging the new underlying hardware. Here are the companies on the leading edge of user experience.
TX Text Control
The keys to any service architecture are connectivity and information exchange. From CORBA to ESBs and from SOAP to RESTful APIs, organizations need the ability to expose such things as order forms and inventory information to their partners, and to collect and use the updated information, electronically and automatically. The companies that are leading the way are recognized here.