In-Depth

2009 Readers Choice Awards

To succeed in tough times, you need the best tools. The Visual Studio Magazine 2009 Readers Choice Awards honor the very best third-party tools, components and frameworks, as selected by one of the most knowledgeable developer audiences you can find: VSM subscribers. Nearly 700 VSM readers identified the top commercial dev tools from independent vendors in the Visual Studio development space, across 23 categories. To eliminate ballot stuffing, only a select subset of VSM subscribers was invited to cast votes.

We honor three products in each category: The Readers Choice Award goes to the top-voted product in the category, and a Merit Award is given to each of the two runners-up. In addition, we award five Editors Choice Awards. These were selected by weighing the input of a select panel of VSM contributors, authors and experts, as well as the input of VSM survey respondents, who were asked to identify the single most impressive development tool in their kit.

Bug & Feature Tracking
Readers Choice Award Winner
IBM Rational ClearQuest
IBM Rational Software
$1,810 • www.ibm.com/rational • 888-426-3774
The Bug & Feature Tracking category, which features 21 products, reflects the diverse and demanding nature of solutions in the category, with some doubling as components of more extensive application lifecycle or software quality management suites. IBM Rational ClearQuest was the clear winner, returning for its second consecutive year as the VSM Readers Choice in the Bug & Feature Tracking category. "We've worked with Rational tools from IBM on numerous applications," writes one survey respondent. "We've found them reliable and able to perform as advertised."
Merit Award Winners
OnTime 2009 Professional
Axosoft LLC
Starts at $795 for five users • axosoft.com • 800-653-0024; 480-362-1900

FogBugz
Fog Creek Software
$199 • www.fogcreek.com • 888-364-2849; 212-279-2076


Charting & Multimedia
Readers Choice Award Winner
Dundas Chart for .NET 7
Dundas Data Visualization Inc.
Call for price • www.dundas.com • 800-463-1492; 416-467-5100
In the arena of Charting & Multimedia, it seems that there's Dundas Chart for .NET 7 and everybody else. Dundas hauled in more than 25 percent of all votes. The two runners-up-ComponentOne Chart for ASP.NET, version 2009 and Software FX Chart FX 7-tallied less than 8 percent apiece. Notes one survey participant: "I've been very impressed with Dundas, both as a technical charting tool and as a company as well. They've been very responsive and proactive in user engagement."


Merit Award Winners
ComponentOne Chart for ASP.NET, version 2009
ComponentOne LLC
Call for price • www.componentone.com • 800-858-2739; 412-681-4343

Chart FX 7
Software FX Inc.
Starts at $1,599 • www.softwarefx.com • 800-392-4278; 561-999-8888


Component Suites for .NET: Desktop and Web
Readers Choice Award Winner
Telerik Premium Collection for .NET
Telerik Inc.
$1,299 • www.telerik.com • 888-365-2779; +359-2-8099850
Perhaps no Readers Choice category does a better job of recognizing the overall output of software tool vendors than the .NET Components Suite. By a narrow margin, voters selected Telerik Premium Collection for .NET over Infragistics' NetAdvantage for .NET 2009 suite. Readers praised the Telerik suite for its comprehensive features, efficiency and outstanding support.
Merit Award Winners
NetAdvantage for .NET 2009 Volume 1
Infragistics
Starts at $1,195 • www.infragistics.com • 800-231-8588; 609-448-2000

DXperience
Developer Express Inc.
Starts at $799.99 • devexpress.com • 818-844 3383; 702-262-0609


Data, Network & Web Connectivity
Readers Choice Award Winner
Xceed FTP for .NET
Xceed Software Inc.
$399.95 • xceed.com • 800-865-2626; 450-442-2626
In what was the closest vote of the 2009 VSM Readers' Choice Awards, Xceed FTP for .NET narrowly outpaced DataDirect Connect for ADO.NET and last year's winner, IP*Works! SNMP version 8.0 from /n software, to earn top billing in the Data, Network & Web Connectivity category.
Merit Award Winners
DataDirect Connect for ADO.NET
DataDirect Technologies
Call for price • www.datadirect.com • 800-876-3101; 44-0-1753-218-930

IP*Works! SNMP version 8.0
/n software Inc.
Starts at $1,199 • nsoftware.com • 800-225-4190; 919-544-7070

Data Editing, Reporting & Analysis Tools
Readers Choice Award Winner
Crystal Reports for Visual Studio
SAP AG
$495 • www.sap.com • 888-333-6007; 952-646-5534
The names may change but the song remains the same. Although Business Objects was acquired by SAP last year, Crystal Reports remains popular and returns as the top choice among the 51 products in the Data Editing, Reporting & Analysis Tools category. It earned almost twice as many votes as Red Gate Software's SQL Compare. The product could earn more votes next year, thanks to SAP's eased licensing, which makes Crystal Reports easier to embed in distributed software.
Merit Award Winners
SQL Compare 8.0
Red Gate Software
Starts at $395 • www.red-gate.com • 866-733-4283

Dundas Chart for Reporting Services
Dundas Data Visualization Inc.
$1,999 • www.dundas.com • 800-463-1492; 416-467-5100


Development Tools
Readers Choice Award Winner
ReSharper 4.5
JetBrains
Starts at $199 • jetbrains.com • 650-378-8571; +420-2-4172-2501
JetBrains ReSharper 4.5 stands out in one of the most hotly contested categories in the 2009 VSM Readers Choice Awards: the Development Tools category, with 80 total products eligible. ReSharper 4.5 outpaced both Developer Express' CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET and VMware's Workstation 6.5 for Windows. Readers praised ReSharper, with many singling it out as their most valuable tool. "It's extremely proficient at helping me stick to standards and drawing my attention to potential code flaws," writes one respondent.

Merit Award Winners
CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
Developer Express Inc.
Starts at $249.99 • devexpress.com • 818-844 3383; 702-262-0609

VMware Workstation 6.5 for Windows
VMware Inc.
Starts at $189 • vmware.com • 877-486-9273; 650-475-5000


Grid Components: Desktop
Readers Choice Award Winner
XtraGrid Suite
Developer Express Inc.
Starts at $299.99 • devexpress.com • 818-844 3383;
702-262-0609
Developer Express enjoys a strong following among VSM readers, as evidenced by the company's XtraGrid Suite pulling down nearly twice as many votes as the second-place finisher in the Grid Components: Desktop category. Survey respondents were enthusiastic. "DevExpress has some of the best support that I've ever come across," writes one respondent. "They're quick to answer and they always thoroughly investigate your issue to come up with the best workaround or fix possible."
Merit Award Winners
RadGrid for WinForms
Telerik Inc.
Call for price • www.telerik.com • 888-365-2779; +359-2-8099850

Spread for Windows Forms 4
FarPoint Technologies
Starts at $999 • fpoint.com • 800-645-5913; 919-460-4551


Grid Components: Web
Readers Choice Award Winner
ASPxGridView Suite
Developer Express Inc.
Starts at $299.99 • devexpress.com • 818-844 3383;
702-262-0609
Having secured top billing in the Grid Component: Desktop category, Developer Express held serve by topping the charts for best Grid Component: Web. The ASPxGridView Suite, which last year earned a Merit Award, narrowly outpaced Telerik RadGrid for ASP.NET AJAX in the voting. Says one developer of the ASPxGridView Suite: "DevExpress makes an easy-to-use ASP.NET control suite."
Merit Award Winners
RadGrid for ASP.NET AJAX
Telerik Inc.
Call for price • www.telerik.com • 888-365-2779; +359-2-8099850

Spread for ASP.NET 4
FarPoint Technologies
Starts at $999 • fpoint.com • 800-645-5913; 919-460-4551

Help Authoring
Readers Choice Award Winner
RoboHelp and RoboHelp Server
Adobe Systems Inc.
$999 (client) and $1,999 (server) • www.adobe.com
800-833-6687
Just like last year, Adobe's RoboHelp led all vote-getters by a wide margin, and just like last year, ComponentOne's Doc-To-Help Enterprise earned a Merit Award. Two other products-Innovasys HelpStudio 3 and ComponentOne DemoWorks 2009-tied for the final Merit Award spot.
Merit Award Winners
ComponentOne Doc-To-Help Enterprise 2009
ComponentOne LLC
$1,000 • www.componentone.com • 800-858-2739; 412-681-4343

(Tie) HelpStudio 3
Innovasys Ltd.
$476 • www.innovasys.com • +44-844-884-2673

(Tie) ComponentOne DemoWorks, version 2009
ComponentOne LLC
$1,000 • www.componentone.com • 800-858-2739; 412-681-4343


Instructor-Led Training
Readers Choice Award Winner
AppDev Products LLC
www.appdev.com • 800-578-2062; 952-943-1363
Training firms and services come and go, but AppDev has proven itself a perennial player in the arena of Instructor-Led Training. An Editors Choice winner in 2008, AppDev dominated the Instructor-Led Training category to earn a 2009 VSM Readers Choice Award, drawing more votes than the two Merit Award Winners combined. Global Knowledge Networks also returns after being a Merit Award winner in 2008.
Merit Award Winners
New Horizons Worldwide Inc.
newhorizons.com • 484-567-3000

Global Knowledge Training LLC
www.globalknowledge.com • 800-268-7737


Imaging & Graphics
Readers Choice Award Winner
LEADTOOLS Imaging Pro SDK version 16.5
LEAD Technologies Inc.
$995 • leadtools.com • 800-637-4699; 704-332-5532
The old Canon camera commercials used to say, "Image is everything." That's certainly the case for LEADTOOLS, which earned a second consecutive Readers Choice Award in the Imaging & Graphics category. LEADTOOLS Imaging Pro SDK version 16.5 earned top billing this year, while 2008's top entry-LEADTOOLS Document Imaging SDK-earned a Merit Award. "The ease of the API is amazing," writes one reader of LEADTOOLS' software. Dundas Gauge for .NET also returns as a Merit Award recipient.
Merit Award Winners
LEADTOOLS Document Imaging SDK version 16.5
LEAD Technologies Inc.
$2,495 • leadtools.com • 800-637-4699; 704-332-5532

Dundas Gauge for .NET 2.5
Dundas Data Visualization Inc.
$699 • www.dundas.com • 800-463-1492; 416-467-5100

Installation, Setup & Deployment Tools
Readers Choice Award Winner
InstallShield
Acresso Software Inc.
Starts at $399 • www.acresso.com • 800-809-5659
Acresso Software's InstallShield is the runaway selection for the 2009 Readers Choice Award in the Installation, Setup & Deployment Tools category. InstallShield won the award last year, and once again shares the stage with Merit Award-winning entry Wise Package Studio from Symantec. New to the medal stand is Acresso's InstallAnywhere, which placed third in voting.
Merit Award Winners
Wise Package Studio
Symantec Corp.
Call for price • www.symantec.com • 888-252-5551; 801-226-8500

InstallAnywhere
Acresso Software Inc.
Starts at $399 • www.acresso.com • 800-809-5659


Middleware & Server-Based Tools
Readers Choice Award Winner
Crystal Reports Server 2008
SAP AG
$6,496 for five concurrent access licenses • www.sap.com • 888-333-6007 Enterprise software vendor SAP earns its second 2009 VSM Readers Choice Award for Crystal Reports Server 2008. Crystal Reports Server captured more than one-quarter of all votes among the 29 eligible products, finishing with a wide lead over Merit Award Winners /n software's IP*Works! EDI/AS2 connector and Attunity's Oracle-CDC for SSIS.
Merit Award Winners
IP*Works! EDI/AS2
/n software Inc.
Starts at $999 • nsoftware.com • 800-225-4190; 919-544-7070

Oracle-CDC for SSIS
Attunity Ltd.
Call for price • www.attunity.com • 866-288-8648


Mobility Tools & Frameworks
Readers Choice Award Winner
ComponentOne Studio for Mobile, version 2009
ComponentOne LLC
$800 • www.componentone.com • 800-858-2739; 412-681-4343
ComponentOne Studio for Mobile returns to gather a second straight Readers Choice Award in 2009. The comprehensive suite of mobile-savvy components for the .NET Compact Framework handily outdrew LEADTOOLS' Mobile Imaging SDK and Resco's MobileForms Toolkit, both first-time Merit Award Winners, for top honors.
Merit Award Winners
LEADTOOLS Mobile Imaging SDK
Lead Technologies Inc.
$595 • leadtools.com • 800-637-4699; 704-332-5532

MobileForms Toolkit 2009 Volume 2
Resco sro
Starts at $599.95 • www.resco.net

PDF Tools
Readers Choice Award Winner
PDFXpress Professional version 3 SDK
Accusoft Pegasus
$1,699 • accusoft.com • 800-875-7009; 813-875-7575
It's an attack of the incumbents in the PDF Tools category, where all three of last year's winning entries return to earn recognition. Accusoft Pegasus, with its PDFXpress Professional product, ousts 2008 co-winners Amyuni PDF Creator and activePDF Toolkit to earn a Readers Choice Award.
Merit Award Winners
PDF Creator Developer Pro version 4.0
Amyuni Technologies Inc.
$1,148 • amyuni.com • 866-926-9864; 514-868-9226

activePDF Tookit
activePDF
$899 • www.activepdf.com • 866-468-6733; 949-582-9002


Performance, Profiling, Testing & Debugging Tools
Readers Choice Award Winner
ANTS Profiler 4.3
Red Gate Software
Starts at $395 • www.red-gate.com • 866-733-4283
The Performance, Profiling, Testing & Debugging Tools category is among the most competitive in our survey. Yet for the second straight year, Red Gate ANTS Profiler earned a Readers Choice Award, this time by a nearly two-to-one margin over IBM's Rational PurifyPlus for Windows. In our polling, multiple readers singled out ANTS Profiler as the most valuable product in their developer toolbelt.
Merit Award Winners
IBM Rational PurifyPlus for Windows
IBM Rational Software
$1520 • www.ibm.com/rational • 888-426-3774

WebUI Test Studio
Telerik Inc.
Starts at $399 • www.telerik.com • 888-365-2779; +359-2-8099850


Software Design, Frameworks & Modeling Tools
Readers Choice Award Winner
Rational Rose Developer for Visual Studio
IBM Rational Software
$2,780 • www.ibm.com/rational • 888-426-3774
In some of the tightest voting of the program, IBM Rational Rose Developer for Visual Studio edged out both Sparx Enterprise Architect and IBM Rational Software Modeler. Two more products, Borland Management Suite and Sybase Power Builder, finished close to the top three finalists in the hotly contested category of 27 eligible products.
Merit Award Winners
Enterprise Architect 7.5
Sparx Systems Pty Ltd.
Starts at $199 • sparxsystems.com • 61-3-53-451140

IBM Rational Software Modeler version 7.5
IBM Rational Software
$2,010 • www.ibm.com/rational • 888-426-3774

Security & Copy Protection
Readers Choice Award Winner
Dotfuscator
PreEmptive Solutions
Call for price • preemptive.com • 440-443-7200
For the second straight year, PreEmptive's Dotfuscator code-obfuscation software sits atop the Security & Copy Protection category, which features 32 eligible products. Writes one voter: "Dotfuscator allows us to manage our code internally and then protect it from our competitors." VMware ACE secure virtual client PC management software gathered a Merit Award to go with the one it earned in 2008.
Merit Award Winners
VMware ACE 2.5
VMware Inc.
Starts at $1,249 • vmware.com • 877-486-9273; 650-475-5000

Visual Guard for .NET
Novalys
Call for price • www.visual-guard.com • +33-1-41-31-8282


SharePoint Components & Tooling
Readers Choice Award Winner
ComponentOne Studio for SharePoint
ComponentOne LLC
$1,100 • www.componentone.com • 800-858-2739; 412-681-4343 A new category with 29 eligible products, SharePoint Components & Tooling reflects the continued growth of SharePoint-based development. ComponentOne Studio for SharePoint lands the first Readers Choice Award, comfortably outdistancing Dundas Chart of SharePoint and Idera Performance Monitor.
Merit Award Winners
Dundas Chart for SharePoint
Dundas Data Visualization Inc.
$1,999 • www.dundas.com • 800-463-1492; 416-467-5100

SharePoint Performance Monitor/Admin Toolset
Idera
$795 • www.idera.com • 877-464-3372; 713-523-4433


UI Components: Desktop
Readers Choice Award Winner
NetAdvantage for Win Client 2009 Volume 1
Infragistics
Starts at $995 • www.infragistics.com • 800-231-8588; 609-448-2000

With 60 total eligible products, UI Components: Desktop is a hotly contested award. Infragistics NetAdvantage for Win Client provides controls for both WinForms and Windows Presentation Foundation. It outdistanced ComponentOne Studio for WinForms and NetAdvantage Select for ASP.NET and Windows Forms to earn a second-straight Readers Choice Award. Numerous readers specifically praised Infragistics for its broad and effective suite of components.
Merit Award Winners
ComponentOne Studio for WinForms, version 2009
ComponentOne LLC
$800 • www.componentone.com • 800-858-2739; 412-681-4343

NetAdvantage Select for ASP.NET and Windows Forms 2009 Volume 1
Infragistics
Starts at $995 • www.infragistics.com • 800-231-8588; 609-448-2000

UI Components: Web
Readers Choice Award Winner
NetAdvantage for Web Client 2009 Volume 1
Infragistics
Starts at $995 • www.infragistics.com • 800-231-8588; 609-448-2000 Infragistics pulls off the rare double-double, sweeping both Readers Choice Awards in the two UI Components categories, two years in a row. NetAdvantage for Web Client supports both ASP.NET and Silverlight, and outdrew 38 other products to earn top billing. Telerik RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX and Developer Express ASPxTreeList earned Merit Awards.
Merit Award Winners
RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX
Telerik Inc.
Starts at $799 • www.telerik.com • 888-365-2779; +359-2-8099850

ASPxTreeList
Developer Express Inc.
Starts at $149.99 • devexpress.com • 818-844 3383; 702-262-0609


Web Design & Development Tools
Readers Choice Award Winner
Dreamweaver
Adobe Systems Inc.
$399 • www.adobe.com • 800-833-6687
In the arena of Web Design & Development Tools, Adobe Systems is an 800-pound gorilla. Between the Readers Choice Award-winning Dreamweaver product and the Merit Award-winning Creative Suite 4, Adobe soaked up more than half of the total available votes across 26 products. Altova XMLSpy returns to notch its second Merit Award in two years.
Merit Award Winners
Creative Suite 4
Adobe Systems Inc.
$2499 • www.adobe.com • 800-833-6687

Altova XMLSpy version 2009
Altova Inc.
Starts at $129 • www.altova.com • 978-816-1600; +43-154-551-550


Web Hosting
Readers Choice Award Winner
Go Daddy
Call for price • godaddy.com • 480-505-8877
There's no shortage of Web hosting companies, but Go Daddy seems to have locked up the lion's share of developer attention. Readers cast nearly three times as many votes for Go Daddy than its closest competitor, Merit Award-winner DiscountASP.NET. Perhaps the money spent on those racy Super Bowl ads worked.
Merit Award Winners
DiscountASP.NET
Contact vendor for price • discountasp.net

1&1 Internet Ltd.
Call for price • oneandone.co.uk • 0871-641-21-21

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