ColdFusion 8 Brands With Adobe

    May 30, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

ColdFusion’s latest version emerges for the first time under the Adobe brand name; it’s changed a lot since its early dot-com days of doing database calls for HTML.

The arrival of the public beta of Adobe ColdFusion 8 finds a substantially different product than what existed in the late 20th Century.

Adobe senior product manager for ColdFusion, Tim Buntel, discussed with WebProNews some of the changes and growth associated with the newest version of the product. He’s been with the product for seven years, and he opened up by acknowledging the difference in the web development environment today.

Since there are more choices today for web application development than there were at the end of the last century, Buntel indicated that ColdFusion’s approach would be to interoperate with other technologies.

The main example of this is demonstrated through ColdFusion’s ability to tap some Microsoft technologies. Buntel said both .NET and Exchange Server are natively supported, thanks to integration performed on the ColdFusion platform.

ColdFusion shares data with more technologies now, according to Buntel. RDBMS, Java, HTML, Perl, Ruby, and PHP all merited mentions here.

Developers using Eclipse should find plenty of excuses to play with ColdFusion 8. An Eclipse plug-in delivers debugging capabilities for ColdFusion applications. Programmers can set breakpoints, watch variables, and step through code that doesn’t run in a browser to find bugs.

Those applications can utilize Ajax or Adobe Flex on the client-side to access logic on the server. Developers will be able to combine and merge PDF documents and forms as desired, to turn static documents into interactive ones.

Buntel noted how Adobe has received a number of requests for virtualization support for ColdFusion over the past couple of years. Once a trickle, those requests became more numerous as security concerns about web applications increased.

Adobe also improved thread performance, always a concern when creating an application. Thanks to new server monitoring capabilities, developers will be able to see where bottlenecks are happening with slow pages, queries, and threads.

Memory and database usage can be tracked to find potential problems. ColdFusion 8 can provide alerts and snapshots with its server monitoring to aid the diagnosis of issues too. Adobe also plans to expose an API for monitoring, so administrators can pull that information into whatever tool they prefer.

Along with the ColdFusion 8 release, developers should start hearing more about Adobe’s LiveCycle Data Services 2.5 as well. Those Data Services allow for data synchronization and “pull.”

I asked how the two technologies, Cold Fusion and Data Services, might reach the mobile market. Buntel said that ColdFusion can be used to build mobile-specific applications, while Data Services may get into mobile applications by being part of a Flash app, for example.

Search optimization pros should appreciate the continued inclusion of the Verity search product in Cold Fusion. It’s embedded within the new release, and can be used to enhance the SEO tweaks developers perform.

While the public beta of Cold Fusion 8 is available today, the commercial release will probably hit in the third quarter of this year.