I was talking with a new client today and he has an ecommerce web site that someone built for him in Cold Fusion. He commented to me that Cold Fusion is on its way out, and that it isn’t the preferred choice of developers any more.

I have to agree. I’ve known several developers who swore by Cold Fusion — exclaiming the virtues of fast development and easy to write code. Sounds a bit familiar. Almost like Ruby on Rails.

23 responses to “Coldfusion”

  1. I think CF’s been around longer than rails, but don’t hold me to that. One of the best features in my opinion, is CFML’s tagged based nature which makes for very pretty code 🙂

  2. the only issue with CF is that its expensive to host and not widly supported. If Adobe want to progress CFML then they should give the server platform away to hosts and actively market it as a viable alternative to php or asp.

    regarding ease of development, ive done stuff in cfml and found it easy as pie (way easier than .net and php)

  3. garrett:
    CF has been around much longer than rails, but not ruby.

    last time I read a thread like this it was pointed out that with tools like CFEclipse and some server module you can do CF with OS tools. So cost isn’t an issue really. IANA expert, so don’t quote me on it.


  4. ColdFusion is stronger now than ever. The latest open source fad that kids use for their forum app is not necessarily the same choice made by large corporations, the Government, Universities and the other people that find CF (and the related J2EE platform) the best platform for their web apps.

  5. There is an opensource server for coldfusion now(BlueDragon). So as far as cost goes it is not an issue.
    I dont think its on the way out. especially considering you have the power to use straight java code with coldfusion.
    PHP, .NET, Ruby, Coldfusion… Whatever you feel the most comfortable in and helps you get the job done.. go with that, thats what i think.

  6. Chris,

    Seriously, wtf are you talking about? Where’s your proof besides, my friend of a friend said that his friend…?

    Have you even worked with ColdFusion? Where’s your research? Oh wait, your research came from your client who “commented” to me that ColdFusion is on it’s way out.

    Well, I’m sold!

    Seriously, do some real fact finding and research on a topic like this.

  7. Louis: Why is there no buzz about Cold Fusion any more? I don’t hear anything about it in the industry! I’ll give you that I’m not a CF developer, but why isn’t anybody talking about it?

  8. Why is everyone acting so offended? It’s not like Chris is insulting any of you or something.

    He was just expressing his viewpoint, which was based on the idea that he hasn’t heard anyone talking about coldfusion lately. Not only that, but he never sees web sites that appear to be using it, he never sees “buzz” about it, and someone told him that it was “on the way out”.

    I, for one, have been on the same page as Chris. All the mainstream stuff I’ve seen lately has been all about ASP .NET, PHP, or Ruby. I can’t remember the last time I actually saw a .cfm page somewhere, or a programmer telling me to do a project in Coldfusion.

    I am apparently wrong, however, because from what I just read, Adobe is working on the new version of ColdFusion as we speak, so it’s obviously not dead.

  9. I agree about Flex. About two years ago a friend and I were going to buy a license for Flex, become the only people in town that actively promoted it, and make some amazing stuff. But the fear of a $10,000 license drove us away. That’s the price I remember, anyways. Anything that is that expensive will probably have a difficult time gaining mainstream adoption rates.

    I have to give this to Adobe/Macromedia: They keep trying. Look at their old application Drumbeat. That was big for a few years, then slowed. Then it turned into Dreamweaver 4.0 with some sort of add on that implied it worked well with database apps.

    I don’t doubt that CF still has a very big movement, but it definately needs more heroes that are talking about it.

  10. Hi,

    I don’t think people are offended by the post; these are just knee jerk replies to knee jerk comments. The truth of the matter is, and I do come from a ColdFusion background (as well as ASP, PHP, JAVA, Ruby, and just about every other scripting language I can think of), ColdFusion is just dead simple to get started with. It’s a very strong language and in no danger of being phased out or replaced by anything. Even if Adobe drops the CF server, there are many CFML servers available. The rumor of ColdFusion’s demise has been flying around for over a decade now…

    For the record, development of Ruby started some time in 1993… so did development of ColdFusion. CF v1.0 was released in 1995.

    Additionally for the record, CF is not more expensive to host nor is hosting difficult to find. That is unless you consider $6.00 a month expensive.

    The sad thing about CF is that it’s so easy to get started with and so powerful that it is also very easy to write really bad code. As with just about any language, bad developers write bad code; as is entirely evident by all the ruby-on-rail-ajax-web-v2.0-ness we see popping up all over the place–then falling on it’s ass.

  11. I started off with ColdFusion. Developed in it for 6 years and was a member of CFGURU, so I’m not just some run of the mill developer. There are some aspects of it that were positively stellar and I haven’t seen duplicated anywhere else.

    I’ve moved on to ASP.NET and I can’t say that I miss anything in particular. Sure, CFML makes it drop dead simple to work with databases. But come on, develop a data layer and it’s just as simple in .NET. At my work, we’ve got an entire library devoted to just such a thing and everyone uses it so it’s just as easy as CFML.

    And everyone always touts that you can drop into Java if need be but that really just begs the question that maybe CF isn’t powerful enough on its own. Most CF developers I’ve met don’t know Java and don’t use any Java-based components. I can do some stuff in .NET that I dreamt of doing in CF.

    That being said, I won’t be using ASP.NET for any businesses I start. It’s reasonably priced on a shared hosting environment but if you have to do anything dedicated the costs mount until they’re prohibitive. I’ve seen some implementations whose cost made me blush and ask incredulously if they were for real.

  12. Good comments everybody.

    I noticed today that uses cold fusion in some of the account administration areas. There is some good proof that CF can run a major web site. Not that I was discrediting its abilities. Just an observation.

  13. I’m comming in here a little late, but saw the post on 9Rules and felt the need to chip in a few comments.

    Chris – does indeed use Coldfusion for a huge part of their site. They actually use Bluedragon, a free/low(er) cost version of Coldfusion depending on licensing options. They gave a presentation about it at CF United, a major coldfusion conference held back in June.

    To be honest, after that conference I felt a lot better about developing in Coldfusion. There are a lot of passionate CF developers out there, but less of them seem to be in the blogosphere than you’d imagine. They demo’d a prerelease of CF8 there actually, with a few of the features to be included in it.

    As far as use goes, Adobe claims it’s used by 75 out of the top fortune 100 companies ( ) which is quite a feat. That being said it is here, and unless those companies give up on it has a long way to fall.

    In the end though I don’t know how much better or worse it is than anything else. Whatever you can develop in fastest is the best for you. I’m just hoping more blue dragon driven servers will stop popping up allowing “for fun” developers to mess around with it more.

  14. […] So throughout all these great sites I noticed the trend of 9Rules affiliation, and although I didn’t dig into what it was at the time, it stuck with me. That was until one of these guys mentioned that 9Rules was allowing new submissions back in October. Now, throughout all the time when I was digging into the Rails community, I never saw much notice of Coldfusion. The 9 rules community, as well as a lot of the programming community just doesn’t see the many many Coldfusion bloggers that are out there. Doing a search on 9 Rules for Coldfusion, the only post that came up was one title Is Coldfusion Dead? (Note: I swear that’s what the title was; even it’s changed now, but I could be wrong). I chimed in of course, but one other comment stuck with me. You guys are in your own little world of open-source/9rules love. […]

  15. informative thread, even if it is a year back now.

    i’ve just finished two of my first CMS sites in the last few months; one being in php the other in cf. after using both languages i feel more comfortable working with php, purely because i think it encourages better coding practices – echoed by Mike above…

    ‘The sad thing about CF is that it’s so easy to get started with and so powerful that it is also very easy to write really bad code.’

    i intend to spend the summer getting back to php in the hope that it’ll improve my code in the long-run. tbh, using ms access with my cf framework was really depressing. phpmyadmin is a dream in contrast. somewhere i can’t wait to get back to.

    may i also mention the awful support generally you get online for cf, coming from a learning perspective. i only found out about enabling Robust Exception Information nearing the end of my project!

    my pennies,

  16. Love Coldfusion and think it gets knocked about more than it deserves. It’s fast and easy to use, but it is not the dominant development platform like it was before the first dot com bubble burst. CF6 hit a rough patch when Macromedia moved it to J2EE and I think it lost a lot of momentum. Adobe has a strong line up and CF is part of it.

  17. Louis: Why is there no buzz about Cold Fusion any more? I don’t hear anything about it in the industry! I’ll give you that I’m not a CF developer, but why isn’t anybody talking about it?

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