ColdFusion Becomes a Teenager

by Simon. Average Reading Time: about 2 minutes.

Today ColdFusion moved into the next stage of its life and became a teenager, hopefully not a precocious one!

Happy 13th Birthday ColdFusion.

Adobe ColdFusion has had a long and illustrious life. The first version of ColdFusion–written almost entirely by one person, JJ Allaire and then called “Cold Fusion”–was released in 1995. This first version, although revolutionising how web applications were built, was primitive by modern standards, doing little more than database access.

Although originally built in Visual C++, Allaire, around 1999, took the decision to rewrite the entire ColdFusion engine in Java–a project named “Neo”–which would allow for greater portability among different platforms. The rewrite, released under the monicker MX 6, would prove to be somewhat problematic and a wholescale update to the version resulted.

In 2001 Allaire was acquired by Macromedia. This union brought with it the integration of Macromedia’s Flash platform via Flash Remoting; a huge step towards rich Internet applications.

In 2005 it was the turn of Macromedia to be acquired and they merged with Adobe. A period of instability in the ColdFusion world resulted, brought about by the knowledge that Adobe was a company that developed tools, not programming languages. However, following a successful release of ColdFusion 8 in 2007 and the announcement that a version 9 would be developed, code-named “Centaur”, fears about ColdFusion’s future have subsided–albeit the continued debate over “ColdFusion is Dead” remains boiling in the background.

The primary distinguishing feature of ColdFusion is its associated scripting language, ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML), which compares favourably to its rivals, JSP, ASP.NET, or PHP and resembles HTML in syntax. “ColdFusion” is often used synonymously with “CFML”, but it should be noted that there are additional CFML application servers besides ColdFusion, and that ColdFusion supports programming languages other than CFML, such as server-side Actionscript and embedded scripts that can be written in a JavaScript-like language, known as CFScript. Adobe ColdFusion also includes native support for Flex, PDF, Verity and the embedded Derby database amongst a host of other features.

ColdFusion 9 is set to be an exciting release, much like its predecessor, with more features added to the core tag set, whilst also integrating other technologies such AIR and Hibernate.

Exciting times lay ahead. Let’s hope Adobe takes full advantage with such a fine product.

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