CFML is the name of the scripting language used by ColdFusion and several alternative server environments. It stands for ColdFusion Markup Language and is similar to HTML in appearance in that it uses tags. CFML is the code that powers ColdFusion, a program available from Adobe (formerly Macromedia), as well as such engines as BlueDragon, IgniteFusion, Railo, Coral Web Builder, DigitalLattice Orange and other web development platforms.
ColdFusion originated as proprietary technology based on Web technology industry standards. However, it is becoming a less closed technology through the availability of competing products. In fact, one could now make the argument that ColdFusion is even less platform bound than say raw J2EE or .NET, simply because ColdFusion will run on top of a .NET app server (New Atlanta), or on top of any J2EE app server (Websphere, JRun, Tomcat, etc.) In theory, you could move a ColdFusion app unchanged from a J2EE app server to a .NET app server.
Currently, alternative server platforms generally support Coldfusion MX 6.1 functionality, with minor changes or feature enhancements.
I have listed some of the alternatives in order of maturity/populrity. However, I will leave it up to you to decide which one is the best and easiest to implement. Please tell me your experiences.
The BlueDragon Server family of Java-based servers (Server and Server JX) enables the stand-alone deployment of CFML. Both BlueDragon Server versions contain a built-in web server for development and testing, and each integrates with Microsoft IIS, Sun ONE/Netscape/iPlanet (JX only), and Apache web servers for deployment.
BlueDragon offers flexibility for the deployment of ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML) pages with native technology platform integration on the operating system, web server and database of your choice.
Visit the New Atlanta website at http://www.newatlanta.com to download the latest version of BlueDragon.
Railo is a ColdFusion Compiler for translating and executing of ColdFusion based websites. The Compiler translates the ColdFusion code into Java classes which can be executed on a Java server. Railo also comes with a runtime engine, which contains all necessary libraries for the translated code. Railo automatically detects wether to translate a ColdFusion file or when to use the runtime engine. You can compare Railo at best with JSP interfaces. JSP uses an other syntax but the main functionality is almost the same. Because Railo implements most of the JSP interfaces, it is highly compatible to JSP interfaces.
Visit the Railo website at http://www.railo.ch
IgniteFusion is a ColdFusion compatible script engine that runs ColdFusion scripts. In addition to Coldfusion CFML compatibility IgniteFusion has functionality that extends Coldfusion. Although in Beta, it is approaching release.
Visit the IgniteFusion website at http://www.ignitefusion.com to download the scripting engine.