ColdFusion 8 is not an immature and unproven technology! Get it please!

by kai on 15/10/2007

Sometimes, I’m just running out of arguments when discussing with people about the future of ColdFusion as their platform or about upgrade paths etc.

The following happened just the other week. Organisation A works with ColdFusion for a very long time (since CF 3 or so). You’d expect them to know about it and to value/appreciate it – why would you bother to stick with it if you think it’s total cr*p? This organisation has been through a migration from CF 5 to CF 7 and currently does NOT use a lot of features of the CF MX world (6 and better). With that in mind, I expected a lot of reasons why they didn’t want to upgrade to CF 8, i.e. they didn’t need the new features. Fair enough.

But basically the main reason was, that ColdFusion 8 was an immature and not proven technology from their point of view. To be fair – it’s some sort of a government department, which means that things are slower than in the private sector. Anyway, I went through the whole cycle of making a point about CF being built on top of J2EE, CF 8 being a follow-up release of CF 7, i.e. the core is at least as stable as in CF 7 with a lot of bugs being fixed etc – but no chance to be heard. As much as they found some features interesting, it has to be industry-proven first. I just don’t know how to argument against that any further.

The particular sad thing is that the whole new architecture we were building here is based on an OO model and by that leverages CFC pretty intensely. So – the “new” system would have got a lot of benefit from running on CF 8.

UPDATE: Thanks for the comments, guys. Let me stress one fact here – I know the list of CF government customers and I also know all the arguments why CF in a bunch of scenarios is doing a better/easier job than other technologies – but neither of those is of help here. They use CF 7, are reasonably happy with it etc. Their argument is that CF 8 (just CF 8) is immature and unproven (because it’s new) and nothing from saying – “Well, it’s the CF 7 core bugfixed, improved and with a bunch of new features” to the J2EE argument etc. helps here. They are actually a pure CF shop, no .NET.

Gary F October 15, 2007 at 12:00 am

Government departments around the world use CF. Just take a look at Ben Forta’s list of government sites:

Keep clicking on the NEXT button to see them all. Pick out the most relevant ones for your client and show them the list. If it wasn’t proven and reliable then none of these government sites would be using CF. CF is the most mature web application scripting language out there, so it’s more than proven.

M. Schopman October 15, 2007 at 12:00 am

Just face it. With < CF5 there was a good solid basis for CF because there wasn't a good competition providing you with a full option application server. Nowadays things are different, Finding the right people for CF is expensive and time consuming. Current other languages have been improved and offer plenty features, some offer much more at a fraction of the CF price. There are more people working with the other languages, and in general the quality of the code is also higher. The other languages offer more certifications with much higher standards.

David October 15, 2007 at 12:00 am

@M: You’ll have to qualify these “other languages”, because there is NO other language that offers the range of services that CF does.

All languages do CRUD, but most stop there. ColdFusion has complete AJAX integration, most of which can be integrated in a single line.

Full PDF support, and on the fly presentations that handle dynamic data.

Full Microsoft Exchange integration is now a feature of CF 8 and the capabilities go beyond those of MS .Net languages. Oh yes, you can also integrate fully with .Net objects.

RSS and Atom feeds with a single line of code, internal components can be re-used as SOAP web services without ANY code changes.

Now, with the “expensive” comment you made – that’s all relative. Granted, if you are a startup on a shoestring, $1500 is a lot of money.

Consider the TOTAL cost of ownership, though, it’s a hands down winner. You recoup the money in a matter of weeks.

The J2EE edition is $7,500 and is the cheapest professional J2EE server on the market.

Just look at the customer list: NASA, Bank of America, the Federal Reserve. There are a lot of large organizations doing a lot of heavy lifting with ColdFusion.



tc October 15, 2007 at 12:00 am

My guess is the argument that it isn’t mature is a smokescreen. To counter the argument, find out if they are using .NET, especially, .NET 3.0 (e.g., latest or even the previous version of Sharepoint). CF in its current J2EE generation has been out a lot longer than the latest Sharepoint. Yet, because Sharepoint is MS, and a lot of government agencies have bought into the MS ecosystem, they will run Sharepoint, irregardless of how long it has been on the market, or whether it is stable or not.

LD October 17, 2007 at 12:00 am

This post made my day. 😉

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