ColdFusion Continues To Reinvent Itself For Application Development

ColdFusion is a powerful and versatile web technology that has survived a server rewrite as well as company buyouts over the years.  It has its roots in the dotcom explosion but has stayed strong throughout this evolution into Web 2.0 and is continuing to reinvent itself for the cloud and mobile worlds.  Currently at version 10, the technology is still strong and ColdFusion developers can create robust and scalable applications using only a minimum of effort with the platform.

Over the years it has faced competition from technologies like ASP, ASP.NET, Ruby on Rails and PHP, among others, and has endured ongoing speculation and discussion about its inevitable demise.  Despite all of this it has managed to not only survive, but actually thrive and expand its features, capabilities and reach.

Let’s take a closer look at ColdFusion and how it is staying on top in the world of rapid application development.

ColdFusion is owned by Adobe, which they acquired through the sale of Macromedia, who had acquired it from its creator, Allaire, which released it in 1995 for rapid data-driven website development.  It was originally written in C++ but later adapted to the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) platform with the release of CF6.  The platform has made it through 10 iterations and the current version is well prepared for all the demands of 21st century web enterprise.

One of ColdFusion’s greatest benefits is that it is optimized right “out of the box” for effective enterprise web development.  A modern website is not just a splash page with links and a comment page: it is a dynamic entity with user generated content, e-commerce, rich media and high security needs.  Putting all these elements in place and going live on a production server with a customer-facing UI is not an easy task.

ColdFusion 10 offers a plethora of new features which Charlie Arehart has covered extensively with his Ultimate List of 200+ New CF10 features that helps explain why CF makes the development process for a company that much easier.

Here’s a very short highlight of some of the major new features;

REST Web Services
Native support for REST web services.  Representational state transfer (REST) is a style of software architecture, for distributed hypermedia systems such as the World Wide Web.

WebSockets
WebSockets communicate over TCP and allow the server and bowser to both send messages to each other when needed.  CF also implements authentication over HTTP, support for browsers without native implementation (MS IE anyone?) via a Flash plugin, support for subscriber and publisher model and point-to-point communication.

Tomcat
They replaced JRUN with Tomcat as the default J2EE container which will help many people facilitate easier deployment to cloud-based systems.

Security
The inclusion of OWASP and ESAPI functions, SSL-only cookies, session cookies be http only and sessionRotate improves handling of enterprise-level security.

Closures
Closures are a powerful programming language feature native to JavaScript that allow developers to write cleaner and more flexible code.

These are just some of the features that make ColdFusion ideal for modern web development in the hands of a skilled team of developers. Contact us to learn more.

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