ColdFusion Development Alive & Well Says BANG! Developers

by Brian Rideout • July 30, 2022
 

Adobe ColdFusionAs an active ColdFusion Developer since 1998 (when it was still owned by Allaire, prior to being purchased by Macromedia and then Adobe) we laugh every time we hear "ColdFusion is Dead". We've used it non-stop for over two decades while other popular programming languages have come and gone.

If you are looking for ColdFusion programmers or Web Developers fluent in Adobe ColdFusion mark-up language and the many uses of ColdFusion for software development, you are in the right place. View our Web Development page for more information about our services. For more information about the ColdFusion Web Development Platform and it's history read on.

 

Why Choose the ColdFusion Web Development Environment?

In the early days of the Internet, if you were looking to connect a website with a database to either retrieve or publish data, ColdFusion was (and still is) a great solution, perfect for such business applications. ColdFusion acts like a bridge between a web server and a database (that's a very simplistic viewpoint as it does so much more).

ColdFusion may be one of the easiest web programming languages to learn because it uses a very familiar approach that anyone using HTML will find easy to pickup.

ColdFusion Programming and Lucee Development
 

CFM Web Development

CFM / CFML / .cfm / ColdFusion Markup Language's syntax is very easily integrated within an HTML page and learning the tag syntax is quite simple for most people. Want to send an email from a webpage? Use the cfmail tag. Want to get data from a database? Use cfquery. Want to insert data into a database? Use cfinsert. It takes very few pieces of code to produce huge results. When paying an expert web developer over $100+ dollars per hour, don't you want them working in an environment that produces results quickly?

Want to go deeper and perform more complex programming? ColdFusion is a Java programming language that allows advanced programmers to tap into their java skills to do even more.

 

Is ColdFusion RAD?

We think so, anyway you want to read that statement (rad is slang for very appealing). RAD in this instance stands for Rapid Application Development meaning it's very easy to learn, work with, and quickly get web applications built. ColdFusion programming language, which some call a scripting language while others have called it a tag based approach, excels at building a wide range of applications for medium-sized businesses and many Government organizations still use it today.

ColdFusion was a pioneer in allowing a web page, hosted on a website server, to not only provide database access to populate a page from a content database, but also to store data from a web form into a wide range of database formats including Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, MySql, and any other database that can be reached through a JDBC driver (Java DataBase Connectivity). This is why BANG! first started using ColdFusion. We wanted client's to not only have a website, but to be able to update that website themselves using a CMS (Content Management System) we built using CFML (ColdFusion Markup Language).

These early web pages were said to be dynamic as they could be easily changed without having to know programming skills. Dynamic ColdFusion at it's best.

One of our first important web applications allowed a local car dealer to populate their website with the inventory of vehicles on the lot. A secure login allowed them to enter vehicle data into fields, write a short description and then post photos of the vehicle. This is typical of such business applications we've used ColdFusion, and now Lucee for, using rapid application development to build countless custom applications to meet a business need.

ColdFusion paired with an enterprise class database provides data analysis and data enhancement functions to be developed quickly, easily and address complex application issues.

 

Specific Applications We've Used ColdFusion & Lucee For

 

  • Business listing website integrated with Google Maps API for calculating distances and showing a business location on a map. CFM plays very nicely with other API's and it's rest services make it easy. This site also allows for the storing of advertising banners to be displayed on specific pages based on the location being searched. Advertisers can manage their own listings, updating it with new photos, videos or the days special.

  • An application allowing an industry to sell the leads they couldn't fulfill. The website we delivered allows for easy analysis of each lead including the number of miles two locations are from each other.

  • Cemetery mapping & lookup application using Flash to display each grave in the cemetery. Names could be searched and we would zoom into the correct section of the cemetery and highlight the grave. Prior to us building this application the cemetery used only paper records.

     

Additional Applications & App Development For Sites Include

 

CMS / Content Management Systems similar to WordPress

CMS (Content Management System) Programmed With ColdFusion Markup Language

 

E-commerce applications complete with search, cart, checkout and login capabilities

E-Commerce Application Built In ColdFusion

 
E-news system allowing newsletters to be composed and sent to a list of email addresses stored in a SQL database.

E-newsletter System Programmed in ColdFusion

 

Best Performing Applications

A recent performance of various Internet technologies developed by Ortus Solutions shows Lucee being one of the faster web platforms, 2nd only to Go. In this testing it was twice as fast as node.js, and rails, 2.5 times faster than Laravel (a .php framework) and 5 times faster than django. Since for our SEO services, speed is important, and who wants a slow website anyway, we are pleased that are use of ColdFusion benefits us there as well.

 

CFML - Lucee Performance

 

Despite being one of the older advanced web technologies it has not stood still and now offers lots of new features and is a complete platform (at least in our history has written the book) for web development.

Mobile applications can also be built with Adobe ColdFusion and in fact, we use it to produce our responsive web design and progressive web apps.
 

Allaire > Macromedia > Adobe ColdFusion History

I pulled this information from the ColdFusion Wikipedia Page

 

ColdFusion Versions

Cold Fusion 3

Released June 1997 - Key additions included custom tags and cfsearch tied into the Verity search engine.

 

ColdFusion 4

Released November 1998 - Name changed removing the space. Key additions cfscript, cflock, cfcache and cftry as well as sandbox security.

 

ColdFusion 4.5

Released November 1999 - Extended ColdFusion's ability to connect to external system resources, and introduced COM and CFX's. Debugging was improved and the ability to remove whitespace created by .cfml code in the document, but not written to the page.

 

ColdFusion 5

Released June 2001 - First release by Macromedia which acquired ColdFusion in January 2001. Key additions included enhanced query support and new reporting and charting features allowing ColdFusion to generate intricate charts and graphs based on data retrieved from a database.

 

ColdFusion MX (6)

Released June 2002 - This was the last of the annual releases. Key changes and additions included ColdFusion Server being rewritten using Java making it extremely portable and allowing it to run on multiple operating systems that supported a Java Runtime Environment. Integration with Macromedia Flash and introduced Flash Remoting.

 

ColdFusion MX (7) / Macromedia ColdFusion MX

Released February 2005 (2.5 years after 6) - Key additions included the ability to generate .pdf files. Enterprise level users gained gateways to access SMS services. XML support was also improved to include native schema checking. Version 7.0.1 gained the ability to run on the Mac OS X.

 

Adobe ColdFusion 8

Released July 2007 - Now in the hands of Adobe and dropped MX from the name - Key features Microsoft .Net integration, built-in server monitoring in enterprise versions. Versions available for multiple operating systems including Linux, Max OS X and Windows Server. New or improved tags included cfzip, cfimage, cfcaptcha, and cfpdf.

 

Adobe ColdFusion 9

Released October 2009 - Key feature additions included coding cfc (ColdFusion Components) entirely in CFScript, ORM (Object-relational mapping) database integration with Hibernate, integration with Microsoft office applications Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

 

Adobe ColdFusion 10

Released May 2012 - Key additions included security enhancements, an improved scheduler, improved support for web services including WSDL 2.0 and SOAP 1.2, HTML5 Web Sockets, Tomcat integration, RESTful web services, and HTML5 enhancements.

 

Adobe ColdFusion 11

Released April 2014 - Key additions and features included end to end mobile development, ColdFusion Express lightweight edition, enhancements to WebSockets, PDF generation, security enhancements, REST, charting and compression.

 

Adobe ColdFusion 2016

Released February 2016 - Included enhancements to the CLI (Command Line Interface), PDF's, Security, NTLM support, remote services, and an API Manager.

 

Adobe ColdFusion 2018

Released July 2018 - Additions and enhancements included asynchronous programming using Futures, command line REPL, Auto lockdown capability, distributed cache support and a modernized Admin UI as well as a performance monitoring toolset.

 

Adobe ColdFusion 2021

(the most recent release of ColdFusion at the time of this writing) Released November 2020 - Key features added or improved included a lightweight installer, a ColdFusion Package Manager, cloud storage services, messaging services, support for No-SQL database, SSO (Single Sign On), and improvements to the performance monitoring toolset as well as core language enhancements.

 

ColdFusion Roadmap

TeraTech has a great list of new features in 2021 and future features available here https://teratech.com/adobe-coldfusion-2021

 

Railo

One of the several open source software versions using the CFML programming language. Railo began in 2002 as a student project when they tried to compile CFML code into PHP, but which failed to provide the desired performance and stability. They then switched to the Java platform instead. The official release of Railo 1.0 occurred in April of 2006. Version 3.1, released August of 2009, was the first open source version of Railo. May 2012 The Railo Company Ltd was announced. Releases of multiple versions up to the final release of 4.2 in December of 2018. Railo 5.0 was tweeted on May 28th 2014 but was never released. The GetRailo.org website has a security certificate that expired in 2022 and now hosts what appears to be an unrelated website.

 

Lucee

Lucee Open Source ColdFusion ServerA fork of the Railo project, was rumored to have come about when Railo staff became disgruntled with the direction the project was taking. Lucee 4.5 was the first release and at the time of this blog post (7/29/22) 5.3.9.141 is the most recently released version. A 5.3.10.x version is planned as a LTSC (Long Term Servicing Channel) with bug and security fixes planned for at least the next couple of years.

Lucee runs on Apache Tomcat in it's default deployment on the Windows platform.

Plans for Version 6 of Lucee were announced in November of 2018 at CFCAMP2018. With the first Beta release expected soon (August 2022?)

Some of the plans for the version include...

  • Improving startup time

  • Improving serverless and headless deployment

  • Built in support for syslog

  • Startup with just 1 context

  • Support for cfconfig

  • Upgrades to Hibernate

  • An event driven architecture

  • Native support for JavaStreams

  • Improved out of the box security

  • More Java integration

  • Single context mode (will speed up start times, changing to JSON)

  • Breaking of some defaults (some at least for security)

  • Sub-components

  • Query of query improvements

 

One of the reasons ColdFusion wasn't used more by developers in Internet technologies was the cost. From Allaire through Adobe, it's always been a paid product and the enterprise version has always been rather expensive, especially when alternatives such as .php have been free.

Lucee has successfully created a free version of ColdFusion that's open source and allows anyone to download, install and run on production servers. BANG! has been using Lucee since version 4.5 and we've been very happy with the results. Lots of ColdFusion developers have joined us in migrating to Lucee.

Lucee is well supported with a very active community and forum located at https://dev.lucee.org/. Zac Spitzer (Zackster) is the community manager and really helps keep Lucee moving forward.

One of the notable users of Lucee is NASA. So hey, if it's good enough for the organization in charge of "rocket science", then hey, it's probably good enough for you right?

 

ColdFusion Jobs

ColdFusion jobs are still available, often employers are looking for a senior web developer and remote ColdFusion developer jobs are quite common. LinkedIn alone has over 600 jobs from employers looking for experienced developers with knowledge of ColdFusion development. Affordable ColdFusion talent may be a bit more of a problem as ColdFusion developers tends to be older, more experienced and demand a higher salary.

 

If you are looking for an established ColdfFusion development company in the United States (we are headquartered in Phoenix, AZ) why not give BANG! a try? We should certainly be on your top list of ColdFusion development companies. If you have questions about our projects, or would like to benefit from our 26 years of experience, contact us or schedule a consulting session to discuss our development process and discussion of technologies with a manager of application development expert.

 

About the Author


Brian Rideout, Chief Pixel Pusher of BANG! Web Site Design is an industry veteran (sounds better than old guy right?) who started building websites in 1996 when dial-up, modems, Netscape and 640 x 480 resolution monitors with 256 colors were state of the art. We very quickly adopted ColdFusion as our application server and developed CMS (Content Management Systems) powered sites for our clients so they could update their own websites easily without having to pay a web designer to do so.

We stumbled into SEO by "accident" when we got a client ranked #2 on Yahoo (remember this was the 90's) for an extremely competitive keyword phrase and they sold out of all the product they had. With a little reverse engineering we learned what Yahoo was looking for and applied our new found SEO experience to other clients and then to Google... which was a tougher nut to crack by the way.

Times changed, Google became the dominant search engine, Adobe bought ColdFusion and we switched to Lucee for our application server which is an open source CFML language server, and we continued to build websites for small business's in the Phoenix market. Brian's approach of SEO 1st Design has resulted in many businesses, particularly in the building trades such as contractors and plumbers, as well as law firms, to rank at the top of Google's results which keeps our customers happy, healthy, and profitable (you thought I was going to say wise didn't you?).

We continue to provide website design, website development, hosting, SEO services and digital marketing for Phoenix companies. More information about the company can be found on our About Us page. Click the following link for examples of our award winning website design work.
 

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