eBay topped five other leading Web 2.0 developer programs including Yahoo, Amazon, Google, PayPal, and Microsoft in a study published this month by Evans Data Corporation. The 34 page report entitled "Developer's Choice: Web 2.0 Developer Programs" is based on a recent survey of 400 developers and is available at the EDC site, free registration required. For readers interested in this space it's a worthwhile read. Some highlights:
- Developers were asked about a range of factors including API functionality, developer support, documentation, certification, marketing assistance, security, downtime, solutions directories and tools.
- The best overall rating went to eBay followed by Yahoo, Microsoft, Google, Amazon and PayPal respectively.
- Even within a single provider's program there was a wide range of satisfaction. For example Yahoo and Microsoft scored well in forums and blogs while PayPal and Amazon rated lower on these.
- The financial benefits a program offers makes a big difference with eBay and Amazon scoring well here.
Here's a quick overview of the strengths and weaknesses by vendor:
- PayPal: Scored highest on security but did not fare well on forums and developer community.
- Amazon: Scored highly on financial benefits but respondents gave Amazon lower marks on documentation and outages, which EDC notes is surprising and indeed may be a symptom of expectations more than anything else.
- eBay: Had the most problems with outages and downtime as well as integration difficulty. They scored highly on financial benefits, support and documentation. Their APIs were voted best of the group.
- Google: Rates well for ease of integration, good uptime, and tools. Google scored lower on financial benefit and in the middle on many of the metrics.
- Yahoo: Scored highest in terms of ongoing communication and reasonably well on their APIs and their community services like forums. Yahoo is seen less highly in terms of helping developers make money.
- Microsoft: Scored well on their developer community programs and tools but not so well on integration, direct financial benefit or marketing assistance.