Launched by its developer JJ Allaire in 1995, ColdFusion has assumed tremendous popularity as a preferred programming platform for web development within a rather short span of time. From JJ Allaire to Macromedia and now Adobe Systems in 2005, exchanging hands between brand names of repute speak about its viability and latent talent as a web development programming language and an application server. Statistics reveal its extensive deployment across the world in over ten thousand organizations, translating into over1,20,0000 plus servers, including but not restricted to over 75% of the Fortune 100 companies.
To introduce, ColdFusion is a Rapid Application Development (RAD) language that facilitates quick creation of strong and compelling websites. As indicated earlier, ColdFusion is both an application server and a language. ColdFusion is built on a certified Java J2EE platform, rendering it fast, scalable and portable that in turn has amounted to its global popularity and prevalent use.
ColdFusion as a language is compatible with various application servers, including J2EE application servers, to be used on top of them as an alternative simplified (HTML like) scripting syntax. ColdFusion server also supports various web servers on different platforms. To quote a few examples, ColdFusion supports Apache, IIS and NSAPI based web servers and Solaris, HP-UX and Windows for platforms. ColdFusion also supports additional programming languages like server-side Actionscript.
Unlike PHP and ASP, ColdFusion is a commercial product that sports many integrated services not available otherwise. The attractive features of ColdFusion include business graphing, full text search and file upload handling utilities. ColdFusion also brilliantly incorporates Macromedia Flash, rendering it further ideal for web development. It is usually preferred among (data-driven) intranets worldwide.
Another highlight of ColdFusion is its capability to handle asynchronous events. ColdFusion MX 7 Enterprise Edition can handle events like SMS and instant messaging via its gateway interface, providing a web developer a dynamic tool in his/ her hands. Other exceptional value added services of ColdFusion include its capability to concert HTML to PDF, Graphic User Interface (GUI) widgets, database querying using ODBC or JDBC irrespective of the platform, client and server cache management, management of session, client and application et al.
Macromedia ColdFusion MX 7 is the latest release of ColdFusion in the market at present. Awaited is the release of its version 8 in the second half of this year. As demonstrated at CFUnited 2006, MAX conferences and CFDevCon 2006 at UK, the future version will integrate with Adobe PDF forms, live Macromedia Breeze presentations and Microsoft .Net.