It’s almost impossible to type ColdFusion into a search bar and avoid a pop-up suggestion, so let's settle it now.
- What Does the State of the ColdFusion Union Survey Say?
- Why All Experts Agree CF is More Popular Than Ever
- Adobe ColdFusion 2021 released
- Adobe ColdFusion Conferences
- How Does Adobe ColdFusion Hold up Against its Competitors?
- Third-party ColdFusion Support
- CFML Open Source
- ColdFusion Community
- Moving from old code into the modernized CF
- Adobe ColdFusion 2018
- What is the future of Adobe ColdFusion?
Developers who prefer ColdFusion, and programmers in general, tend to be subjective around this type of topic that calls for the comparison of different programming languages. Young programmers like to compare it with PHP in open discussions. We’re going to lay out some facts, and try to remain objective on this.
What Does the State of the ColdFusion Union Survey Say?
Every year, programmers who are using ColdFusion take a survey. The results of such surveys provide essential information about the current state of the CF community. People can view and share the results which among many others confirm. Take a look at the highlights of this year’s survey below.
Lucee CFML 5.3 is more popular than CF 2018 and CF 2021
but Adobe CF (all versions combined) are more popular than Lucee (all versions combined)
ACF 2021 is gaining users this year
SQL Server is still the most used database, ahead of MySQL
ColdBox is the most popular framework, ahead of FW/1 and CFWheels
Vue.js has edged ahead of React and Angular for front end frameworks
CommandBox has grown in users this year
Source control – CFers use Git the most (in all its favors: Bitbucket, GitHub, GitLabs etc)
VS Code has roared ahead as the top CF IDE
Docker has moved ahead this year for containizing your CF server
CF hosting – AWS is the most popular, followed by Hostek, Azure and Digital Ocean
Very few CF hacking incidents this year
Top problems with CF are hiring CF devs, Cost/Licensing issues and not enough marketing/press
CFers pick CF because it is fast to code in, easy to learn and fun to use; plus they have a lot of legacy CF code
Here's the new, 2021 State of the CF Union survey, so please go and take the time to reply.
Why All Experts Agree CF is More Popular Than Ever
Adobe has been releasing updated versions of ColdFusion for the last 25+ years, constantly adding new features and making sure that coding is faster and simpler with every new version. However, looking at a market share, it’s not as popular as PHP, Java, ASP.NET, Ruby on Rails, Perl and Python.
When I was at IntoTheBox Conference I talked with some of the speakers there, and it was interesting to hear their comments about ColdFusion, why are they using it (still) and why they think it is a good (if not the best) option.
It has gone through a lot of changes, and it has a lot of history. Some might say that’s a bad thing, but I like to think that this only means it has improved so many times, and for many years so far. Besides my opinion, it has proven to be a quality language to use. It has gotten to be easier and easier to use it. Everything is just a few tags away.
“You can create so much stuff with it. It is competitive as any other language. The language itself is very versatile, and Ortus (solutions) has invested so much because we believe in it…”
Adobe ColdFusion 2021 released
One of the reasons for ColdFusion’s success right from its inception is that the platform has been able to pivot at regular intervals to remain relevant for the future. There are very few technologies that have managed to stay in the game for so long and that is something all of us in the community are proud of. ColdFusion 2021, released at the end of 2020, has one such pivotal release in the history of ColdFusion.
The vision for ColdFusion 2021 goes like this:
“To be the modernized platform of choice for building cloud-native microservice applications with absolute focus on ease of use without getting locked to a particular cloud vendor (multi-cloud).”
Attend this session as the Product Manager for ColdFusion unravels every piece of ColdFusion 2021 that leads to the overarching vision.
About the Speaker
Rakshith Naresh until recently, was the Product Manager for ColdFusion and Captivate Prime Content Catalog.
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.
ColdFusion 2021 Revealing Details on How it was Created with Rakshith Naresh- Rakshith Naresh talks about “ColdFusion 2021 Revealing Details on How it was Created” in this episode of the CF Alive Podcast, with host Michaela Light.
Here's what we talked about:
API manager is a new segment which helps quick management, security, and monitoring of either REST or SOAP-based API’s. Enterprise-class API is simple to use. It can provide all the features associated with a PHP or an ASP.NET. API as much as a CFML-based API. This white paper details the scalability and low latency.
While Java, Ruby, and Python all have MVC’s, ColdFusion’s built-in MVC provides a wide span of available features (caching, logging, dependency injection/AOP, and testing). The overall quality, readability and easy-to-maintain code generated through this MVC is as good as any other framework and programming language.
ColdFusion Has Its Place Among Developers
Does ColdFusion suit your needs?
The answer depends on the purpose. You should ask yourself which web development language will help me produce feature-rich Internet applications. Adobe Coldfusion is a perfect tool for creating a dynamic website, thus creating the best advantage for the users. It’s considered to be an innovative tool that can provide maximum results for the clients; whether it’s a small business or a huge company.
“It is a language that makes me the most productive and I can build so many applications with it in LESS time than in other languages… always coming back to CFML for rapid application development.”
Luis Majano, @ IntoTheBox Conference chat
Small web development companies could have the biggest benefit from using ColdFusion. However, I have never understood why PHP/ASP appear to be cheaper when they use 2 to 3 times more in programming time. Small companies don’t have big teams, usually up to 6 people. That leaves you with less time to take on another client. If you use ColdFusion, you can save 60-75% in time on any project, starting from scratch. Since it gives you time to spend on new projects even with tight budgets, your profits go up.
Most importantly, it keeps the pace with the recent trends in technology. With every new version released Adobe tries to expand the list of new features, even more than their competitors.
Can Adobe ColdFusion Assure a Higher Value and Meet Any Performance Demands?
There isn't any better programming language for handling the development of complex applications. Some developers are calling it a “Swiss Army knife.” Easy web services implementation, dozens of functions, image and PDF tools; it’s a power with ease. Speed is the key for small and medium-sized companies. With ColdFusion, you’ll get more done in less time and by putting in less effort, especially when it comes to ongoing maintenance.
Vision is very important. Is it fully capable of delivering any web development project regarding prototype’s design, integration, implementation, testing, launch?
The fact that the majority of US Federal services still use ColdFusion as well as Pepsico, BMW, Apple and other Fortune 500 companies internally, tells a lot.
Related: Coldfusion is Super Easy
Adobe ColdFusion Conferences
What can we expect in 2021?
Adobe, Ortus Solutions, CF Camp and everyone else seem to be pretty quite for now. Maybe they're like me, hoping that things will settle down and we'll be able to travel and hang out again like we used to… (cry)
Anyhow, I am really looking forward to that time again.
The place that gathers the entire CF’s development community, where the registered visitors can talk about everything related to ColdFusion with their colleagues and speakers. Las Vegas was chosen to be the epicenter of the Adobe summit. Members of ColdFusion’s development team are often among the keynote speakers, and you could hear about the changes they made and plans for this programming language. Last year’s workshops focused on security and API development.
Overall, the annual ColdFusion conferences is a perfect opportunity to do a lot of networking, and a chance to monetize their efforts. The CF Summit 2018 felt like a point break, at least for me. You could see and feel that everyone sees CF as alive and vibrant. Plus, this was the conference where I launched my new book.
The new book “CF Alive: Making ColdFusion Modern, Vibrant and Secure” launched at Adobe CF Summit. And it is an Amazon bestseller.
How Does Adobe ColdFusion Hold up Against its Competitors?
The reason why so many developers still love/won’t give up ColdFusion is that the most usual web application tasks are easy to create in ColdFusion because those applications require a simple syntax. A built-in iterator with grouping offers fewer lines of code than PHP. Working in CF requires only 20-30% of the PHP code to write the same thing.
Many developers have shared their experience about having spare time as they finished coding earlier with ColdFusion. They can then test and improve user experience, instead of typing rest of the code’s additional lines in PHP.
As we already pointed out, the maintenance is easy because less code means fewer bugs to fix. A clear benefit is that you could invest your team’s time and your money in adding new features, instead of frequently maintaining it.
A very interesting story is by Teddie Tapawan. He stopped using the CFML at some point, but he forgot to erase this from his CV. At one moment, he got a job offer just because of that fact! He is now 100% sure that it is coming back and is very much alive and in use. Here’s the video of how he saw it.
Adobe tries to indulge everyone offering standard, developer, enterprise, or express version of ColdFusion as far as the price and the purpose goes. Then we have PHP and all other open-source languages that are free. Price is the primary factor of why all other programming languages are sharing the biggest percentage of the market. Also, the market share doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of ColdFusion because it’s not in the same league. CF has more of an elitist status. Market share doesn’t tell the whole truth about the revenue based on ColdFusion sales. Adobe is constantly showing an increase in sales of various language’s packages in the last several years. Someone spending that money on a programming language is aware of its capabilities and benefits. The true niche of ColdFusion lies in enterprise buyers who spend $100k+ on various other software (Windows, Hubspot, MS SQL Server, etc.).
Simple Facts Why ColdFusion is the Most Secure Web Language
Hey CFers, I am working on proving that ColdFusion is (was and still is…) the most secure Vs. other programming languages. Here's something I found recently
Third-party ColdFusion Support
Solid third-party support comes from several sources for different purposes within the language. FusionReactor works on providing a superb Java server monitoring tool, which helps you detect any flaws in your code and work on improving its performance and user experience.
Foundeo offers great tools for applying ColdFusion hotfixes and blocking attacks on your servers. Right now, you can use their free web service called HackMyCF, that can scan your entire server and points out security weakness that needs removing.
Ortus Solutions is an amazing source of ColdFusion box products, open-source, and commercial support. Between these three companies for third-party ColdFusion support, there isn't much you can’t get.
When we sum up all the facts we talked about, ColdFusion is very much alive at the moment. Despite what non-CF developers may think, there are countless annual conferences and camps held, new versions of the language constantly introduced, and still used by most top rated company websites on the planet. Besides, it offers an excellent ROI with increased productivity for medium to large-scale companies. Rapid development in ColdFusion increases the productivity of a single developer by 30%, and that percentage goes up when we’re talking about the whole team. Your staff will not spend much time than it has to on clearing bugs and maintaining complete functionality. Our humble assessment is that CF more than alive right now, and probably will be for the unforeseeable future. The only thing that’s going to be dead is the “Core Support” for CF 10. It ends on May 16, which means that Adobe will not be releasing any more Security patches and updates for this version.
CFML Open Source
The Rise in Popularity of Lucee
Asking the right question can lead you to the answer you’re looking. Several crucial points related to this popular discussion can shed light on this topic.
Many programmers see Lucee as a platform that offers modern coding of a good old CFML. The stats from the last survey developers took to show that Lucee is more popular than ColdFusion 10 or 2016. Of course, stats refer only to the people who filled out the survey. However, we take it that many people within the community will read about the popularity of the Lucee 5 and start using it themselves.
Traditional CFML framework has a younger open source platform, which is continuing the legacy of CFML; a rapid development of web applications via .cfm and .cfc files. The most of the tags are gone, “components” transformed into “classes,” and they added a bunch of new features. Developers can run CFML apps in legacy mode, and using Lucee’s new dialect enables them to make all enhancements to the application. Die-hard followers of CFML can be grateful for Lucee’s progress and anticipated growth because it equals the first step towards a larger CF developer community.
It's interesting to see which versions are compatible.
- Railo at this point has no support.
- Lucee 4 has support only for security fixes, but it does not see enhancements, that's all going to Lucee 5.
- Adobe stack, CF 9 was still a decent chunk of users, that's already outside of the support window, and
- CF 10 is coming right behind.
- And CF 9 went end of life on 12/31/14, over a year ago now. That means no more security fixes.
- CF 10 is just a very short period away (5/16/17), so very soon there's going to be quite a chunk of Adobe CF users that are outside of the support window, which is a little scary. That means not just the support, but also no more security hotfixes are like driving a car with no brakes and praying that nothing comes on the road that you need to stop for. (see Adobe Lifecycle table for all versions)
Gert Franz has an interesting answer to the question “why are you proud to be using ColdFusion?” He started from Java Delphi and decided it needs improvement. You can listen to the whole answer here
“ACF 2021 already can run in Lambdait was great working with this in the Beat and I’m excited to see Adobe release this for general use. Lucee has this with Fuseless, se we already have 2 modern server less mechanics to fun cfml. These serverless mechanisms really push the boundary for cdml as a micro-service platform and tie in well to build pipelines, manifest and noble CI/CD is the way to deploy. I remember the old days when I used Beyond Compare to diff prod and what was in SVN and sync files once by one. Those times are gone so let’s look to modernise the stack we work with.”
Paul Kukiel in ColdFusion Programmers Facebook group
The community is very active. The biggest one currently is CFML Slack, which has a few thousand members. It is very active, and this proved to be a great place to post questions, share ideas and interact with other fellow CFers.
Facebook groups and LinkedIn groups are also very good for the same thing. Twitter hashtag is #CFML and #coldfusion, but #Lucee is also mentioned a lot. There are more than a few CFers that are very active, and you can get a lot of great information from them. Brad Wood, Charlie Arehart, Raymond Camden, are only some of the people that are on my top list. For a full list, you can read this article
“A lot of companies don’t want to modernize and are still in “legacy hell.” Modern tooling, introduction to micro-services will propel CFML into the next level.”
Luis Majano, Ortus Solutions
Moving from old code into the modernized CF
Everyone who has seen the hell of old legacy code in ColdFusion applications will know what I am talking about.
Non-framework code, spaghetti code, duplicate code, or unused code (Deadwood)… it’s all the same. Efficient maintenance is a thing of the past, and code usefulness is gone.
How do you move from that legacy hell to the heaven of modern CFML with easier maintenance and deployment, fewer bugs, and streamlined code?
To those still holding back, here are a few reasons why modern CFML is heaven compared to legacy.
Easier Maintenance – Simple and clean code structures help make everyday tasks a breeze.
Rapid Deployment – Everyone wants to deploy changes and make future requirement changes to your application quickly and easily. When your code is solid, nothing is keeping you from making quick work of your tasks.
Fewer Bugs – Finding and fixing bugs will be much easier. You’ll think you found your virtual can of insect spray!
Modern, Responsive Front-End – It works on both mobile and desktop browsers seamlessly.
I am going to assume that by now it is obsolete to talk further about why you should do this.
Adobe ColdFusion 2018
There was a lot of buzz in the CF community about CF 2018. First, they announced the availability of public beta for Adobe ColdFusion (2018 release) and Adobe ColdFusion Builder (2018 release).
ColdFusion is sometimes considered a less cool and less “sexy” to code in, unlike some other languages like PHP, Java, etc. That is a very big part of re-establishing CF as a leader. Developers often have shame-y tone when talking about CFML. It is the reason, the main point that is changing. Hopefully, once the developers start being the evangelists of their products, and of the ColdFusion, their apps and other stuff they’ve created gets promoted better, louder, CFML will also become more popular. It is wrong to think that one should be just humble and do their thing without self- promoting and similar stuff. You’re promoting not just yourself but also advocating for the CF, and thus making sure ColdFusion stays alive. Unless you have good skills in other areas, you might want to think about promoting your skills. 😉
Some of the features debuting now in the Adobe ColdFusion 2018 family are so very cool!
- Adobe ColdFusion 2018 Standard Edition
- Asynchronous Programming
- REST Playground
- Server Monitor
- Modern Admin U/I
- Comment Exchange across Files
- Standardized PDF Metadata
Adobe ColdFusion 2018 Enterprise Edition
- Auto Lockdown
- Code Profiler
- Multi-latency Support
- Distributed Cache
- Performance Monitoring Tool Kit
- CLI and Read-Print-Eval Loop
- Brand New Built-in Functions
Adobe ColdFusion Builder
- Intelligent Code Assist
- Professional Coding Support
- Security Code Analyzer
- Integrated Debugger
Read the full article about Adobe ColdFusion 2018: Step into the Aether
What is the future of Adobe ColdFusion?
ColdFusion 2021 Revealing Details on How it was Created with Rakshith Naresh
Rakshith Naresh talks about “ColdFusion 2021 Revealing Details on How it was Created” in this episode of the CF Alive Podcast, some of the challenges the Adobe CF team overcomed with corona virus lockdowns In India and the complexities of implementing multi-cloud and containers which are totally new features for ColdFusion.
CF 2021 new features and lot more, and you can watch the full podcast here
Adobe ColdFusion Vision for the Next 10 Years, with Rakshith Naresh
I was happy to catch Rakshith Naresh, Adobe ColdFusion Product Manager, and sit down and talk about the next 10 (and more!) years of ColdFusion. He gave an amazing talk at CF Summit East 2019, about cool new features of CF 2018 and what the future brings.
So often it happens that I come across a CIO that thinks CF is dead or dying in a legacy land. One of the reasons why is that is CF is in its 24th year! This means that most of the languages didn't even exist back then.
One more reason is that legacy code is still a big issue for most of the companies. What this means, is that so often companies don't keep their CF regularly updated, which means, less security and more spaghetti code. But, this is easily solved by keeping your CF up to date, modern and secure.
ColdFusion at 25: not the kid most have stuck in their minds
Charlie Arehart presented at the ColdFusion Dev Week, Jun 2021 (video link to come) and talked about how CF and the community have modernized.
“As ColdFusion turns 26 next month, many seem stuck remembering it only as the “teen” they knew or even the “child”, when instead it's grown up to be a capable “adult”, impressive in many ways, and even more so recently. In this session, we'll look back at how CF has indeed evolved into a very capable platform, with quite modern features that seem to surprise many—including people working with it currently. If you struggle “finding CF people” or “getting buy-in”, perhaps these observations could help you with both challenges. If nothing else, they’re things designed simply to help you get your job done, while keeping up with modern practices.”
Charlie, thanks for the awesome presentation!
And to continue learning how to make your ColdFusion apps more modern and alive, I encourage you to download our free ColdFusion Alive Best Practices Checklist.
Because… perhaps you are responsible for a mission-critical or revenue-generating CF application that you don’t trust 100%, where implementing new features is a painful ad-hoc process with slow turnaround even for simple requests.
What if you have no contingency plan for a sudden developer departure or a server outage? Perhaps every time a new freelancer works on your site, something breaks. Or your application availability, security, and reliability are poor.
And if you are depending on ColdFusion for your job, then you can’t afford to let your CF development methods die on the vine.
You’re making a high-stakes bet that everything is going to be OK using the same old app creation ways in that one language — forever.
All it would take is for your fellow CF developer to quit or for your CIO to decide to leave the (falsely) perceived sinking ship of CFML and you could lose everything—your project, your hard-won CF skills, and possibly even your job.
Luckily, there are a number of simple, logical steps you can take now to protect yourself from these obvious risks.
No Brainer ColdFusion Best Practices to Ensure You Thrive No Matter What Happens Next
Modern ColdFusion development best practices that reduce stress, inefficiency, project lifecycle costs while simultaneously increasing project velocity and innovation.
√ Easily create a consistent server architecture across development, testing, and production
√ A modern test environment to prevent bugs from spreading
√ Automated continuous integration tools that work well with CF
√ A portable development environment baked into your codebase… for free!
Learn about these and many more strategies in our free ColdFusion Alive Best Practices Checklist.