"Ecosystem" is a term echoed by developers across categories, and refers to the community of developers who use and are engaged with a product. Users enjoy products that feature a thriving and active ecosystem; developers noted that active product user communities build custom plugins to enhance product customization, write helpful documentation and tutorials, and promote collaboration.
While open source software tends to have much more active ecosystems, proprietary software users are not left out. Ecosystems for proprietary software are more passive, but communities of users still help answer product-related questions on forums, create product user groups, and contribute to product extensions.
What this means for software providers: While software providers can't provide an active community, they can help promote one. Software companies can look to encourage their users to become active participants in their product's community by offering online spaces for their community to interact, such as participating in peer-to-peer review sites.
What this means for software buyers: When purchasing new software, developers can research a potential product's ecosystem by checking the current user activity and contributions in online spaces such as forums and GitHub.
With each passing day, the expected pace of development increases. With more access, more tools and more knowledge sharing, project managers expect delivery of more impressive work in less time. To meet these expectations, developers have come to rely on a variety of tools that save time, allow them to track changes, and collaborate on projects. But which ones should you choose?
G2 Crowd recently released a bundle of reports around seven categories of software development products. A variety of data trends were uncovered using real user insights. In this slideshow, Levi Olmstead and Jaclyn Rose, G2 Crowd, have identified five trends to consider when starting the process of buying development software.