Adobe ColdFusion 2021 is released! It was born a few days before ColdFusion Summit 2020 in November 2020. We look at all the new features for multi-cloud, microservices, llambda, performance, security and more below.
And yes the name did change from CF 2020 to CF 2021. More on that later.
- Reasons why CFers are upgrading
- From physical to virtual
- Why is multi-cloud so important to enterprises and CIOs?
- CF 2021 makes multi-cloud easy
- How fast can you move to a new cloud
- CF cloud licensing
- Adobe ColdFusion 2021 Monitoring
- Better Logging
- Adobe ColdFusion 2021 Container support
- The speed of change
- CFScript “2.0”
- Polyglot programming
- Changes in CF 2021 configuration
- Going Serverless with Lambda and ColdFusion
- ColdFusion for the Next Decade – All about the Buzzworthy ColdFusion 2021 (Webinar by Adobe)
- Adobe ColdFusion 2021 Pricing
- UPDATE: Rakshith Naresh reveals more about CF 2021 details
- A 25-year ride that hasn’t stopped
- Join the CF Alive revolution
Reasons why CFers are upgrading
Easy multi-cloud coding
Microservices support for better app scaling under load
Loads of new CFML Language features
- IIFE (Immediately Invokable Function Expressions)
- Rest and spread operators
- Destructing assignment
- Identity operator
- Dynamic switchcase
- Iterator support
- more Java integrations
30 – 45% faster than CF 11 or CF 2016 respectively.
- (Plus CF 11 is End of Life and CF 2016 goes EOL in 4 months!)
Backwards compatible with most old CF code
Scriptable CF Admin for automating deployments
From physical to virtual
The progression from physical to virtual servers is apparent more and more each day. This is how Adobe sees ColdFusion 2021 progressing into a cloud and serverless “Nirvana”. In order to survive and thrive in the programming languages world Adobe ColdFusion 2021 needs to reach 3 goals:
Why is multi-cloud so important to enterprises and CIOs?
Depending on a single Cloud Provider Platform would mean that when the system is down, you're down as well.
This is easily solved by having a multi-cloud presence. Adobe ColdFusion 2021 will have a common API interface for both clouds. That way you can move from one cloud platform to another. No need to write the code again. This is awesome!
Learn: What is Multi-Cloud?
The future lies in simplicity, and thus, reduced costs
When you look at the imminent costs, you will notice that you don’t need to invest a lot of your $$$, you remain flexible. Capital expenditure remains low and the operational expenditure allows you to maintain and upgrade your business. No high costs of starting.
Do you know what hardware do you need? Have you budgeted for it? Is it freaking you out because it’s quite a lot?? Relax, Adobe ColdFusion 2020 gives you the flexibility here as well. As you grow, so does the need for more hardware, and the key takeaway here is that you can go full guerrilla here; as the numbers in your business change, you will change and enlarge the number of servers.
Having a more predictable budget
At the same time, instead of thinking constantly and planning your budget in advance, you will have more time and energy to work on your market and placing your products and services. Let your business dictate that.
For example, if you’re doing performance testing and at that time I can bump up your spending, all the hardware and software. Maintenance of that software can change on a daily basis.
Focus on delivering wonderful results to your customer
The fewer details, the better the outcome. In ColdFusion 2021 this means that you can focus on your work and not worry about the details. It sounds risky, but it isn’t. Simply put, Adobe ColdFusion 2021 simplifies this by:
Having a database as a service.
Sizing, and wasting no downtime on maintenance
You do not need DBA (apart from database design)
Having 40+ AWS services
Backup is then taken care of for you
Adobe ColdFusion 2021 provides easy access to key cloud services.
Start small, deliver, upgrade
The new wonderful thing is that you can scale up. You can start small while you’re in a development phase, and still counting each %. Once you get out of that hole, the next step is to scale up. Easy.
CF 2021 makes multi-cloud easy
Stay loyal. That is good. One thing you can always choose is your cloud vendor. We’ve seen in the past that with ColdFusion it doesn’t matter
- what database you use,
- which operating system you are using
And now, we can expect the same for the cloud. The main goal here is for Adobe ColdFusion 2021 to allow you to develop your applications without limitations of this sort. So you can easily start working with AWS in mind, and move to Azure, or vice versa. These two, AWS and Azure make up ⅔ of the cloud market for CFers currently, but other cloud vendors are coming soon.
This is an important step, and Adobe is making sure CF 2021 makes it easier for all CF developers to write their code without worrying about which cloud will they use at the end. There’s a big need for going multi-cloud, but that’s currently not possible in other languages. Just imagine the possibilities of running your application partly in one and partly in another cloud. Wow!
How fast can you move to a new cloud
This only depends on how the application is written. Since database provisioning may take more time, you will need an abstraction layer in order to keep coding as a single application.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re working in MySQL server database which is available in Azure. It happens that you need something that is currently available only in AWS. Pick the best from both and use what serves best to your needs, instead of picking your brains and wasting time and money.
CF cloud licensing
Technical issues are easier to solve. It’s more about compliance and legal issues, etc. I know that team Adobe is working on this so we should be hearing more about this part soon.
Adobe ColdFusion 2021 Monitoring
Adobe introduced the Performance Monitoring Toolset (PMT) in ColdFusion 2016. Now improved in CF 2021.
Centralized performance monitoring of cluster (Virtual Private Cloud = VPC) is a very cool feature here. By having an app in the cloud you’ll be able to monitor the whole cluster. PMT has messaging and alerts of performance issues of your application built in already.
What Adobe has worked on is for CF 2021 to improve this feature more, and use the notification engines that these cloud systems have. Once this is established, you should have a one-stop-shop for diagnosing all your problems within your apps. This level of diagnostics is very useful, and once it has done its job, you should be able to go back to your app and fix it.
- All logging to be sent to a centralized repo across all the nodes. The idea is to make log inspection for debugging across your nodes and microservices super simple.
- Possible new dedicated logging service and integration with existing logging services such as Splunk
- API Manager logging, control and monitoring of API use will move into the cloud too
Adobe ColdFusion 2021 Container support
The problem so far was that Adobe ColdFusion 2018 just doesn’t run well in a container and that remains the biggest challenge. A paradox is obvious here- since it’s too big, it takes time to start. But, the whole purpose of using containers is to be able to start up fast. Currently, we have monolith language and Adobe has divided up the CFML engine into smaller pieces to load fast.
Faster loading means lean and small code, in order to have more efficient use of resources. Small piece of code that you will assemble in full where it’s needed. This is done by using small services, that are called microservices, which will be easily deployed into their own containers.
There are two main advantages here:
Dividing your work,
How you maintain it.
Recoding your CF apps by using microservices is something you can do already with Adobe ColdFusion 2018 and Lucee.
REST-based API microservice apps and granular runtime modules are faster to load, more agile and safer to take more risks since you don’t lose the whole progress in case you need to kill one module and/or improve it.
Amazon is a great example. Their site is huge, so naturally, it has bugs. But in order for it to keep working, and never go down, they use a big number of microservices which then follow the continuous integration pipeline. Once the developer checks the status and the code in the site, he can always restore to a previous version and redeploy it.
Once you are able to have this in your system, you get more agility and speed to make progress. Only by risking and making mistakes you’re able to improve and thrive.
The speed of change
“If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.”
Your business needs to increase every year as well as the processes you’re using to get things done. That’s how you must think about your Adobe ColdFusion 2018 (let's hope you have updated your older CF to that version already!) – it has to be faster and faster.
Automated processes are what helps in this field, a lot. Moving towards the cloud and the containers make you being able to control this speed while moving forward. Instead of having physical hardware somewhere in some warehouse the size of the truck, you are now working on the cloud and virtual servers with containers, so your ColdFusion configuration is always at the same level of productivity. Take CommandBox– you can run it and spin it in a matter of seconds, in a container.
The second advantage here is lowering your cost and increasing productivity. The wait time for getting your hardware out of the store, sending it, installing it etc. is cut down enormously because now you skip all of these steps.
The advanced stuff here is you can integrate with CI/CD tools such as Jenkins to host the build/Docker image and host it on the cloud. More support, and commands in order to make this process automated in full.
Next thing in Adobe ColdFusion 2021 you will notice is a big change in CFScript. The time has come for it to improve, adapt and adopt what is needed.
This term has become very popular. It basically means “creating apps in multiple languages“. Once you know which code and language is working best for you, you will start working on it without having to consider restrictions and limitations of it, from the end point of view. Once you run into a problem, you will easily switch.
Practically, you might have 20 microservices, where not all are CF developed, but (only) 10, or 15. With that flexibility, you’re choosing the language that is right for the job.
Hiring a cloud developer is impossible. Most of the CIO’s agree on this, and that’s the pain they live with. Now that CF 2020 is released, the pool of ColdFusion developers opens for this. It’s huge.
There is a huge upside for you ColdFusion developers out there too. According to the OpsRamp cloud skill survey, 94% of the IT decision-makers find it difficult to hire cloud-native and multi-cloud operators. So we are not just talking about a cloud skill gap, it is a cloud skill crisis. With the future version of ColdFusion, all you CF developers will be upskilled to become competent cloud-native and multi-cloud developers with the ease of use that ColdFusion has to offer – with this CF developers will be amidst the cloud technology that has a huge skill gap. You can call yourselves cloud-native and multi-cloud developers with the vision that we have set for ourselves.
Learn: Free programming books
What if I don’t update immediately?
No worries here. Adobe ColdFusion prides itself for being backwards compatible. CF 2021, once installed will pickup you previous work and continue to work well. This doesn’t mean that you should keep your spaghetti code forever. I know there are enterprises that don’t move that fast and agile, so relax, and don’t worry.
Changes in CF 2021 configuration
The challenge to ColdFusion users is having multiple clouds while wanting to keep their configuration the same. The goal Adobe has set on this front is to be able to have a number of servers and be able to push configuration to all of them.
The idea is to ease the configuration of servers or containers and applications in one centralized server. You no longer have to deal with CAR or migrate settings from one server to another through a manual copy of files. Everything will be taken care of by this centralized configuration using which you can push changes to all or some of your servers/containers/applications.
Going Serverless with Lambda and ColdFusion
Once again, the key is saving time by having a faster runtime, and faster start up of CF 2021. Being a multi-cloud solution, with access to AWS and Azure, you are getting a tool that enables you to build CF runtime, thus enabling you to deploy serverless code on Amazon Lambda or Azure.
We have heard some very interesting points on the last 3 conferences in 2019
ColdFusion for the Next Decade – All about the Buzzworthy ColdFusion 2021 (Webinar by Adobe)
Rakshith Naresh from Adobe team gave us a sneak and peak into the next decade version at the webinar which we are happy to promote and support. Of course, thanks to the Adobe ColdFusion team for giving us permission to do that.
Adobe ColdFusion 2021 Pricing
As always, you can choose between ColdFusion Standard and ColdFusion Enterprise.
“Perfect for developing rich, interactive applications” and the price is US$2.499.
Make sure to try it out first, and you can do it for free. Follow this link for download.
“A platform ideally suited to create scalable, high-performing web applications.” and the price is US$9.499.
Make sure to try it out first, and you can do it for free. Follow this link for download and a 30-day free trial.
Make sure to try it out first, and you can do it for free. Follow this link for download and a 30-day free trial.
UPDATE: Rakshith Naresh reveals more about CF 2021 details
Curious about CF 2021? Learn the new features in CF 2021 from this CF Alive podcast with Rakshith Naresh (Adobe ColdFusion product manger).
We also cover Q&A from CFers including:
new CF IDE coming
trying CF 2021 fast, no tech risk and free using CommandBox
Better front end frameworks support
Licensing (including cloud and lambda questions)
Future ACF roadmap through 2030
A 25-year ride that hasn’t stopped
Remember the feeling you’d get when you found a tool that would help make your plans a reality? For the lackluster students, perhaps it was the “Spell Check” feature in your word processor. One could comfortably submit term papers and essays typed out mere hours before they were due and not worry about getting slammed over writing “teh” instead of “the”. Or the sous chef who discovers the sheer utility of a wok and a good chef’s knife, regardless of the cuisine being cooked.
That was my first experience with ColdFusion. Like all revolutionary tools, the platform offered a paradigm shift. Allaire released a development platform which:
Unlocked new possibilities.
Turned developer drudgery into simple tasks.
Made the previously-impossible something “kind of hard to do.”
Cut downtime spent on projects — saving our precious fingers by eliminating abundant lines of code.
Turned “work” into “play”.
Created a community.
ColdFusion did this when it first emerged, though if you told any of us CF diehards that we’d still be using the platform 25 years later, I’m sure we’d have laughed. Yet perhaps it’s that last element — the ColdFusion community — that kept the platform going strong. Perhaps stronger than ever!
ColdFusion’s initial cultish following blossomed after Macromedia and Adobe entered the mix, throwing in the muscle and funding necessary for outreach, gimmicky gatherings, and placating our inner geeks.
The company relied on the tried-and-true method of engagements, responsiveness, and gatherings such as conferences.
For a developer working in the basement of coding hell (yes, it feels like that sometimes), it’s incredible to have a literal entity willing to hear your suggestions and perhaps even enact change. Adobe has a knack for taking requests for features and making them a reality.
The company even compiled a slew of testimonies from developers who’ve seen their careers blossom and prolonged by sticking with ColdFusion.
It’s hard to downplay how instrumental Adobe has been in keeping a network of developers, consultants, and customers happy, informed, and communicating.
The developer community has gotten together with its homespun efforts. Blogs from the likes of Charlie Arehart, Mike Brunt, Nolan Erck, Pete Frietag, and well… little ol’ me, started a fruitful, evolving conversation that’s about as old as ColdFusion itself.
Let’s of course not forget The ColdFusion Alive Podcast, which has kept killing the myth that ColdFusion is a dead language, chugging along well past 100 episodes and still going strong!
Join the CF Alive revolutionDiscover how we can all make CF more alive, modern and secure this year. Join other ColdFusion developers and managers in the CF Alive Inner Circle today.
- Get early access to the CF Alive book and videos
- Be part of a new movement for improving CF's perception in the world.
- Contribute to the CF Alive revolution
- Connect with other CF developers and managers
- There is no cost to membership.