Topic: CF Still Alive?

I have not touched ColdFusion for quite some time. I dabbled in it for a while but because of my surroundings I ended up choosing to use ASP and have continued down that route and now due ASP.NET development.

I would be curious to hear from some of those still using ColdFusion why they choose the platform over ASP.NET and/or Java and what they see as the future for CF?

-Jeremy- | Windows Server 2003 MCP

Re: CF Still Alive?

<cough> Rails <cough cough>

Ryan Heneise  |  Art of Mission  |  Now with extra-strong Donor Tools mojo

Re: CF Still Alive?

Actually, ColdFusion is going as strong, or stronger, than ever before.  CF 8 came out this summer, which introduced a more stable and faster server, better PDF and image control, built in AJAX controls, server monitoring and much more.  Adobe has really helped to polish the language since taking it under their wings.

I personally use CF for both my personal development projects as well as professionally as I help to design supply chain software for some of the major steel companies in the US.  I find it's tools robust, flexible, and still simple to implement.  I had worked on websites in PHP before I began working with CF (version 6 at the time), but I found CF to be much more intuitive and I liked it so much that I went and got myself certified as a CF developer.

I've also worked with ASP.NET developers as a DBA, and I just found the syntax confusing and found it's need to be compiled for deployment to be detrimental, especially in a real-time implementation.  I also thought it was interesting to see the company I worked for pay a hefty sum for charting tools to tie in with ASP.NET, something which has been built into CF for several versions now.

Recently, the project manager for ColdFusion, Jason Delmore, wrote an interesting post on the features of ColdFusion, and why it is not free nor open source.  It's worth the read whether you're into CF or not, because either way you may not realize what you are missing.

As for the future of CF, they're already working on CF 9, and seem intent on helping developers do more with less (which is great because in the office that means more and easier code standardization).  I now can do AJAX refreshes with just a few lines of code now, and I'm sure the team has much more in mind for the next version, which will be the sophomore effort under Adobe.

Re: CF Still Alive?

It just depends on the job and the technology that exists. I do .NET because I like C# and it's easy to build wrappers around existing technologies and use the api's. In an enterprise environment it is easy to connect to other services and my compiled code can not be messed with unless our team messes with it. It is type safe and pretty secure. We had seen a site in php and someone boo booed a folders security configuration and the entire server spit out the source code. Well Google crawled it and it is still cached in goggle's database. That was a Government Organization but luckily it was only source code and not the data. Compiled code won't do that, you get the controls and not all the source.

I would say that Classic ASP is out of style people moved to ASP.NET or other spaghetti code like php, ColdFusion, or ruby...

ColdFusion is affordable and has the support by Adobe/Macromedia and I would say for small projects on small teams without lots of money it would be an ideal choice. Especially with the tools to separate the business logic from the presentation layer, I forget the specific tool I used been about 5 years ago.

For the easiest and cheapest I would choose PHP, Ruby, or other server scripting language. It is easy, free/cheap to host and low maintenance.

There is a tool for every job and choosing the right one is the key.

† Taj

Re: CF Still Alive?

I can't say CF is dying, though I hear about it too often from non-CF colleagues and online articles. 

I've been working w/ CF for over 5 years now.  I absolutely love using CF as it is a perfect fit for me being one who finds himself halfway between design and development.  It is easier to use (especially if you are using Dreamweaver, as it gives code hints and whatnot) but it also is scalable and can handle huge projects if need be.  Take a look at myspace for example, they are still using CF to power their site, that's pretty impressive knowing how huge myspace is now. 

The only worry I have is how being a CF developer has put me in a niche market almost.  I mean, as I try to find a new job it is increasingly hard to find a CF job compared to the huge amounts of PHP and Ruby/Rails jobs.  I begin to feel disparaging sometimes and have to read up on Ben Forta's site to help feel better.  One thing that gets my "goat" is the job openings where they put CF in a list with other technologies required to know; .Net, Perl, PHP, etc.  Do they actually expect to find a coat of many colors developer?

Re: CF Still Alive?

Jkentr,

I know what you mean.  It seems that most media (including trade magazines) and PHP, .NET and Ruby developers just don't know very much about ColdFusion, so they keep saying it's dying.  If they took some time to learn what they're talking about, they'd find they were dead wrong.

I've been working with ColdFusion for almost 4 years now, starting at a time that was probably a low point for the product.  It was being reinvented under Macromedia, and was not in very wide use.  Well, that reinvention did the product good, and Adobe has picked up and run with that.  ColdFusion is now a very full-featured and robust product now in version 8.

To show how CF has grown, I've come across the site GotCFM? which lists all submitted ColdFusion sites to show how it is being used, and to what extent.  You'll see a number of very large sites on there.  In addition, you won't see on there the numerous government sites and internal applications that are run using ColdFusion.  CF is not going away.

As a CF developer, I actually have never had a problem finding work.  I've found that I often get more calls from job recruiters than I am interested, because there are more CF openings then there are jobs in most areas.  Sometimes you just need to know where to look.  Like you said, many listings on sites like Monster are awful because they are just looking for a "developer" for something "web related".  Chances are that these are also the same kinds of companies you don't want to work for either.

Keep up your spirits though, there's plenty out there!