Is ColdFusion Still Relevant?
I love to develop websites using ColdFusion. It is my coding language of choice. I learned it as my first web-based language 15 years ago, when it was still owned by Allaire. It has long since been sold to Macromedia, and then to Adobe. PHP is my next favorite coding language.
I was recently informed by a technical person that no one uses ColdFusion anymore. That's just not true! It still has a faithful following (even if it's only me and Ben Nadel). The only downfall of ColdFusion, in my book, is that it is expensive to run. It uses a Window's server (expensive) and it has expensive licensing. As a result, fewer web hosting companies are offering it. However, I think it is totally worth its expense.
ColdFusion makes doing routine tasks so much easier. It natively resizes and manipulates images, and accesses content from other websites (via CFHTTP) like CURL in PHP, without having to invoke extra utilities. I could name a hundred other native utilities that rock. The statements are English-like, native, easy to remember, and easy to learn. In addition, it partners perfectly with SQL server databases.
The ColdFusion language is simply a friendly layer added on top of Java. So, after compilation, you're really just running Java code. ColdFusion lets me code faster, which lets me pump out projects faster, which untimately makes more money for my company.
PHP is great because it is free and uses an inexpensive Linux server (yes, I know you can run ColdFusion on Linux too, but I'm not comfortable with that idea). Facebook proved that PHP could be used for large-scale applications. Prior to Facebook, I believed the geeks who said PHP could not be used for anything very large or database-intensive. Wrong. It's nice to know it will be a viable alternative if I ever have to switch to it exclusively.
As for ColdFusion, we unfortunately found the first release of CF 10 to be a total flop. My dedicated server hosting support team could not even install it or get it to run - and they have ColdFusion experts on staff (I'm a coder, I don't attempt such feats on my own). So, we are still rocking ColdFusion 9. I admit this is a problem. This fiasco was a few years ago, and I've been too chicken to try it again.
I very much hope Adobe does not give up on ColdFusion, or quit giving it the attention it deserves. The CF 10 release has me worried for its future. As a result I have been giving PHP more of my attention lately (oh how I hate that).
I'm hoping for a major new ColdFusion release that shuts up the naysayers and reaffirms Adobe's commitment to this great product.
Kristi Dittmann is Webmaster at W3Now Web Design.
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