Borland Software surveyed its own customers to get a snapshot of the ALM (application lifecycle management) market and found heterogeneity rules in application development.

The company polled more than 300 customers in May and June. Some 69% of respondents said they support two or more development platforms, and 42% deploy to both Java and .Net.

Half of respondents are using four or more ALM tools, and 33% have tools from more than three different vendors. Some 66 % of respondents use both open-source and commercial ALM tools.

Meanwhile, 44% of respondents said they use two or more software development processes with agile methodologies and custom processes receiving the highest percentage of votes.

"One of the reasons we're seeing folks actively move to the agile space is so they can be more responsive," said Marc Brown, Borland vice president of product marketing. But some user sites may not use agile processes if they have so many people trained on a particular process and gauge that change presents more risks than benefits, Brown said.

According to the survey, the top priority in delivering software was meeting the needs of the business or customer with 59% selecting that priority. Some 25% ranked delivery of high-quality software as their top goal.

Nearly 50% of respondents plan to implement process improvement initiatives as their biggest ALM projects for the coming year, Borland said. Integration of tools received 21% of the vote.

The survey also found that organizations are challenged in effectively managing the end-to-end process of software delivery to achieve the full potential of ALM. Among the issues cited were disconnected processes, lack of visibility and traceability across the lifecycle, poor interoperability between tools, and lack of metrics and functional silos.

Borland has refocused the company from development tools to the ALM space with its Open ALM strategy that aims to accommodate existing software development assets in delivering software.