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Is ColdFusion dead, six feet under, pushing up daisies?

Apr 02, 2014

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The security team here at the University seems to think ColdFusion is dead. Is it? I'm getting tired of trying to defend it. Do you have any resources to help? List of Companies perhaps?

Just so we're all on the same page, Adobe chat support's official response to this question was;

"... we don't have option for that, however if you are facing any technical issue you can contact our expert in technical team."

And calling tech support I was presented with the response;

"We can't help you. Go to the forums."

When I asked tech support to route me to a supervisor he said, "Adobe doesn't care if you discontinue use of their product" Yep. He actually said that to me

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Is ColdFusion dead, six feet under, pushing up daisies?

Apr 02, 2014

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The security team here at the University seems to think ColdFusion is dead. Is it? I'm getting tired of trying to defend it. Do you have any resources to help? List of Companies perhaps?

Just so we're all on the same page, Adobe chat support's official response to this question was;

"... we don't have option for that, however if you are facing any technical issue you can contact our expert in technical team."

And calling tech support I was presented with the response;

"We can't help you. Go to the forums."

When I asked tech support to route me to a supervisor he said, "Adobe doesn't care if you discontinue use of their product" Yep. He actually said that to me

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 02, 2014

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Does the fact that the next major release (ColdFusion 11) is currently in public beta testing phase, and that Adobe have at least one more version after that (ColdFusion 12) on their public road map help answer that?  Also that the Adobe-developed ColdFusion IDE (ColdFusion Builder) is also in public beta for version 3.0, and that another version to pair with ColdFusion 12 is also on the roadmap?

I wouldn't expect a technical support analyst to be able to answer a question that should really be targeted to Adobe marketing or product management groups.  You can hit up the product manager for ColdFusion on Twitter: @rakshithn or the ColdFusion evangelist: @elishdvorak.

-Carl V.

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 02, 2014

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Hi TonightWeDineInHELL,

We apologize for the inconvenience caused to you. ColdFusion is not going anywhere, and has a roadmap ahead (http://blogs.coldfusion.com/post.cfm/product-roadmap-for-coldfusion). We just announced beta release of ColdFusion 11 (http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/coldfusion/)

You can contact us at cfinstal@adobe.com, in case you are not able to get relevant responses. We will try to respond as soon as possible.

Regards,

Anit Kumar

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 02, 2014

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Oops Carl. I posted before you, but it showed your response first .

Yes, Carl and I are pointing to the same contents.

Regards,

Anit Kumar

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Apr 02, 2014

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Is there a list of large companies and/or goverment organizations who use ColdFusion? I just need some help defending it's use.

And thanks so much for your timely response!

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 02, 2014

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Can you pm your contact details, so that, I can arrange some more information for you.

Regards,

Anit Kumar

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Apr 02, 2014

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Sorry. How do I private message you?

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 02, 2014

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You can respond to the one, I sent.

Regards,

Anit Kumar

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Apr 02, 2014

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I would be very much interested in the same infomation if it's not under NDA. Can you send me a PM on it as well please and thank you. I am looking to put together a small talk for our User Group on this very topic to help them work through some of the negative feed back froming from their managers.

Thanks in advance.

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Apr 02, 2014

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BrettDavis wrote:

I would be very much interested in the same infomation if it's not under NDA. Can you send me a PM on it as well please and thank you. I am looking to put together a small talk for our User Group on this very topic to help them work through some of the negative feed back froming from their managers.

Thanks in advance.

I was thinking of asking the same thing, myself.  Just professional curiosity.

Thanks,

^_^

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Nov 19, 2015

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Does the broken link you provided to the roadmap mean CF is on a deadend street?

http://blogs.coldfusion.com/post.cfm/product-roadmap-for-coldfusion

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Nov 19, 2015

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No, it just means this is an old thread. Try this updated link: http://blogs.coldfusion.com/post.cfm/new-product-roadmap-for-coldfusion

(using your logic, this updated link is proof that CF is not a dead end street )

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Nov 19, 2015

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Thanks, Steve!  I hope it's not dying!  I love CF (when it works) and want to continue using it.

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Apr 02, 2014

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There are many US Gov't agencies that still use CF; I'm currently on contract with one.  On the flip side, the US Federal Reserve Bank is (last I checked) in the process of porting their CF apps over to .Net.

I believe that AT&T is still using CF.  I still run across CF websites.

I don't think it's going to "push daisies" anytime soon.

^_^

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Apr 02, 2014

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Yes AT&T is still using ColdFusion in fact I got several calls from recruiters about two positions with them last week or week before last. Also UPS has recruiters making the rounds about every 6 to 9 months looking for CF Devs. Always hear about various positions with the State Dept, Dept of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration looking for CF Devlopers. It's been a few years but NASA was heavy in CF Dev jobs for a while as well. So yeah I don't think CF is dead in the least.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 03, 2014

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TonightWeDineInHELL wrote:

The security team here at the University seems to think ColdFusion is dead.

Which university would that be? Since when did we listen to the guards at Fort Knox to know about the state of the economy?

I'm getting tired of trying to defend it. Do you have any resources to help? List of Companies perhaps?

Companies? Nah, too easy. Since you're talking University, with a capital U, let's talk University.

I'll let you in on a little secret. I bet it is unknown even to Adobe's ColdFusion folk, and you are hearing it here for the first time.

Type in the Google search bar: university filetype:cfm

You will get 178 000 000 search results. Among them are universities and university affiliations from all over the world, having ColdFusion pages on the web:

Georgetown University

University of Guelph, Canada

Liberty University Christian College Education

University of San Diego

Penn State

Clemson University

Massey University, New Zealand

Pace University

Stetson University

Purdue University

University of Groningen, Netherlands

University of Liverpool, UK

University of Namibia

American Association of University Women

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Fisk University

Southwestern University

California State University, Long Beach

University of Colorado

Harvard University Press

State University of New York

University of Basel, Switzerland

etc.

Remember that those who publish with ColdFusion on the web are likely to have ColdFusion intranet, too.

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Apr 03, 2014

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To steal and hack a famous phrase: Reports of ColdFusion's death have been greatly exagerated.

Google "death of ColdFusion" and you'll probably find posts dated back to 1996 or earlier, yet ColdFusion still exists and is constantly being updated and improved. I'm not aware of too many corpses actively being updated or improved. My gues is that your security team just does not want to deal with "yet more stuff to keep track of."

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 03, 2014

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Steve Sommers wrote:

To steal and hack a famous phrase: Reports of ColdFusion's death have been greatly exagerated.

Google "death of ColdFusion" and you'll probably find posts dated back to 1996 or earlier, yet ColdFusion still exists and is constantly being updated and improved. I'm not aware of too many corpses actively being updated or improved. My gues is that your security team just does not want to deal with "yet more stuff to keep track of."

It's curious you should reply to me! I posted that quote in similar threads on April 13, 2010 and January 5, 2011!

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Apr 04, 2014

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BKBK wrote:

It's curious you should reply to me! I posted that quote in similar threads on April 13, 2010 and January 5, 2011!

I got this one covered. You get the next one. 😉

TonightWeDineInHELL,

In thinking about this more, I think you may be making the wrong argument. Here at my work we don't give a rat's behind about who's using what. We've never been on the Trendy 500. Heck, I imagine there are companies on the Fortune 500 still using COBOL. Instead, a better argument: Is it the right tool for the job? If your site is a simple marketing site with a contact form or two, ColdFusion is probably overkill and not the right tool. We do online payment processing with many forms, AJAX, web services calls, etc., and for us, I can't imagine a better tool for the job. Sure we could have used PHP or .Net, but then we would have had to write more code or rely on third party libraries to do stuff that CF does right out of the box. I recommend analyzing your application and you decide if it's the right tool. If it is the right tool, maybe your security team needs to do the same analysis of their department.

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Apr 04, 2014

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Hey Steve,

I agree completely. We have forms,  payment processing, dynamic PDF doc xls creation, and loads of dynamic reports. Thanks for this angle. It will come in very handy!

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Apr 10, 2014

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ColdFusion isn't dead, but neither is Cobol.  That doesn't mean it has a bright future.  Adobe doesn't even list it on their home page.

I've been a CFML developer since Allaire when the competing technologies were classic ASP and Perl.  I have one last application written in CF and I hope to have it rewritten in the next year.  I learned it because I came from the HTML world and wanted to learn something that would connect a client's database to the web.  It was fun, easy to use.  Even as I learned other languages like classic asp and vb.net I was still pretty faithful.  PHP rose to prominence and I found it annoying and it felt pieced together.

As easy as it was to get CF up and going, it presented no advantages in maintaining and organizing code.  Years of maintaining apps proved to me that RAD wasn't the best long term value position.  As I became a better actual programmer I found the tags annoying and it took way too long to do be able to do  everything in cfscript that you could with tags. 

When MVC frameworks came on the scene I was quickly taken with them.  Not only was application development rapid and fun the code was much more managable.  They totally leveled the playing field.  The right framework makes PHP much more livable.  Mysql made heavy progress against SQL Server.  For the apps I was writing CF lost all the advantages it had.  It is so easy to just rent a VPS with LAMP and even Cpanel and it costs as much what we used to charge for hosting one domain back in the day.  Need a LAMP dev box, just download a virtualbox with everything preinstalled.

I thought maybe Railo and OpenBD would make a difference because they are free but there just isn't a compelling reason for hosts to install or support them.  

I'd echo what others say, pick the right tool for the job, but in my world CF hasn't been the right tool for the job in a long time.  I feel sad about because I spent so much time using it but I think the world has moved on.

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Jun 26, 2014

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There are Railo hosts out there. There are also VMs that you can download for development e.g. Railux.

And no Cf is not dead. They make it. They host it. They support it. They use it. The customer doesn't care which app server or language the developer uses as long it meets the requirements. If the requirements favor CF, sometimes they do sometimes they don't, then CF gets picked. For small shops, like me, CF is the only choice  since 1. It's faster to develop in, 2. Almost all CF servers are almost identical which reduces configuration issues, and 3. It does everything out of the box. CF will be around as long as server based web app development is around. There has to be a significant and dramatic paradigm shift in the way the web is built for CF to be obsolete - which would make other languages/servers obsolete as well.


In the end, it all depends on the requirements and for many situations, CF is the best choice. I pick products based on functionality, not popularity. What's popular today is out tomorrow, e.g. BlackBerry which was never that awesome before and is not that crappy now. Perception is not reality. The reality here is, ColdFusion isn't dead as long as one guy is still using it. I'll be that guy.


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Mar 21, 2017

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Type in the Google search bar: university filetype:cfm

You will get 178 000 000 search results

This was in April 2014. Now it's late March 2017, I just did this and got: About 10,800,000 results

So...from 178 million to a little under 11 million in three years. That's a dying product right there. In my experience at multiple companies, the trend is to phase out ColdFusion, nobody is updating these servers, and there is no new ColdFusion experience coming in. If you're still using it you're on a sinking ship.

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Mar 22, 2017

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While it may be true that popularity has been declining for quite some time (and I'm sure most of it has to do with the ridiculous price that Adobe is demanding), don't try to discourage anyone by claiming that CF developers are "on a sinking ship."

Yes, there are many corporations (and even the FRB) that are hiring people to port their CF app/site to something else (sadly, it's usually something .Net).  But there are also many organizations (commercial, gov't, NFP, etc.) that are sticking with CF, even if switching to the open-source Lucee (which some say is better than CF.)

Adobe, despite all its problems, has promised to keep improving CF Server; honestly, with the exception of CF2016, they've been keeping that promise.  Security is improving, functionality is improving, the robustness is improving (although they do need to get rid of CFFORM and related elements.)  And the scripts that you can find to help customize your app/site further are quite plentiful.  Or you can write your own UDFs.

CF is still one of the (if not THE) best server-side languages ever created.  Anyone who disagrees is either not familiar with CF, or a troll.  'nuf said.

^_^

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Jun 14, 2017

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The days of CF being the best RAD solution are long gone. Have you actually tried any of the other technologies you are dissing, such a nodeJS, Grails, ruby etc. CF really doesn't have much of a USP anymore, with the plethora of frameworks out there, pretty much any language can achieve the same thing, even PHP.
Nowadays it is really just a case of personal preference and learning curve, and legacy devs tend to just stick with what they know and cast aspersions at everything else, even when they have no experience of knowledge of everything else.

With malware and hacking being such a big problem these days, it is preferable to use off the shelf solutions which are being maintained and kept up to date, rather than bespoke code which in most cases never gets looked at again after it is deployed unless it breaks or gets hacked. This is still the typical CF site I come across, very old code, not updated in many years, many are even still vulnerable to basic SQL injection.

As has been mentioned before, clients don't really care what solution you use, unless they have been recommended to use something mainstream like Joomla or WordPress.
Clealry there is an obvious time and cost advantage to any client if you use the likes WordPress, Joomla, Drupal et al, because pretty much any functionality they want will already exist in a plugin plus the thousands of themes.
If you are using CF to build a site, you have the likes of  MuraCMS contentBox which are great for simple sites, and are proper CMS systems and can be easily updated, and thus makes the ongoing maintenance of the site easier and more secure as long as someone is doing it. But you still cannot complete time/cost wise with the alternatives, as you are still going to have to do a custom design, and unless it is a basic site, write custom functionality. This is a hard thing to sell if your client is getting quotes from other providers for 1/4 of the price for the same functionality.

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Jun 14, 2017

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I'm not sure your point. Did CF offend you at some time? I'm not sure why you hold so much animosity towards a platform you have no desire or intention of using. An update on your Rialto comment, I don't know the exact morphing process that happened but Rialto is now Lucee and it is an active open-source project and is almost 100% CF compatible - minus Adobe specific features like PDF generation tags and a few others.

I'm not sure how familiar you are with WordPress, but IMHO that is a bad example as they have had their share of vulnerabilities in the last few years. While I don't have a count in front of me but more and more serious than CF. In my experience, your 1/4 the price only comes from companies that are outsourcing to less costly labor pools. That is fine for some projects but can rapidly turn into a money pit for others.

Some of your points are valid and I have another thread started voicing my opinion on a few of these and other points of mine. The difference being I'm trying to provide constructive criticism whereas I read your post as having just a destructive tone. Myself, I can't stand COBOL but I don't frequent COBOL forums posting "your dead, move to something based on post-1980 technology." Please clarity your goal.

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Jun 14, 2017

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That is a pretty ridiculous and puerile accusation, considering I still run cfmldeveloper.com and have been providing free developer hosting since 1999 and also run cflive.net, so not sure how you can claim I have animosity and have no desire or intention of using CF, quite clearly that is not true.
All I did was state some facts, which frankly are obvious to anyone who isn't living under a rock thinking CF is still the best thing since sliced bread. Guess what, the world moved on and left you behind.

I am very familiar with WordPress, far more than you by the looks of it,  I have built and host and manage numerous WordPeess sites and am fully aware of all the issues and vulnerabilities. Your comments sadly show a total lack of understanding of how the internet works as a whole. Hackers do not target apps used by less than 1% of websites, they target apps used by the largest percentage of the website. so that their attacks have the biggest impact, which is why sites that run WordPress get hacked so often, because 25% of all websites run on WordPress, and most of them are not being properly managed and updated, thus they get hacked and everybody hears about it, This is basic common sense really.
As for your claim of WordPress having more serious vulnerabilities than CF again shows a complete lack of knowledge on the subject, otherwise, you would know that any issues with WordPress usually get patched within 2 weeks.

You really need to get out from under your rock, the web has changed rather a lot in the last 10 years.

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Jun 14, 2017

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Myself, I can't stand COBOL but I don't frequent COBOL forums posting "your dead, move to something based on post-1980 technology." Please clarity your goal.

Capt Oblivious is a troll.  Troll goals are quite clear.  Find a forum, preferably a target rich environment, start a thread or reply to a thread in a condescending tone, not too insulting to start, just a little bit, then gradually escalate the condescending tone and insulting rhetoric until everyone is in a tizzy.  Repeat as necessary until sheets are soaked.

Ignore the troll, don't get suckered, don't get lured in.  Eventually, trolls go away when they see that their words have no effect.

HTH,

^ _ ^

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Jun 14, 2017

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Sorry for the incorrect assumption about your animosity and lack of desire to use CF - I was going by the tone of your post. You are 100% correct about hacker targeting the more popular platforms and this was a key point years back when Windows was insecure and Apple (et.al.) was invulnerable based on the headlines and the claims of Apple proponents. Now that Apple caught up to MS in market share, low and behold it's not as invulnerable as the earlier claims would have you believe. I get it.

As to my qualification and lack of knowledge of the world outside of CF, you're making the same mistake I made when I assumed you didn't know CF. I do know security and I do know many other technologies (but you are right about my WordPress knowledge, I only know what I see in the headlines on that topic). While my personal preference is still CF, I understand security and other platforms quite well as my day job involves payment processing and more importantly, payment security.

Final thoughts, since the time this thread started until now, I have changed my recommendation of CF from "greatest platform out there - bar none" to "it depends." This change of opinion has nothing to do with CF capabilities, support, or even price (although CF is pricey and price may be a factor in my real reason), the main reason for my downgrade is lack of quality CF talent in the marketplace. Very disappointing.

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Sep 27, 2017

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Coldfusion used to have a place in my heart...it was my first web development language many many many years ago. Now? Nah, it's dead. Kaput. Gone. History. It's a shame because it probably could've gone much further but with the technologies nowadays, CF isn't any faster to code in. I wouldn't recommend anyone learning it now either...I think it will honestly make you a bad programmer....It's easy to code but it's also very easy to write bad code. It's a shame.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 27, 2017

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@CyberBlog

"It's easy to code but it's also very easy to write bad code."

It's easy to write bad code in many languages.  That's not unique to ColdFusion.

Anyway, since this thread is getting quite aged, and there isn't really much benefit to future forum users in continuing the banter and arguments, I'm going to lock this thread.

-Carl V. - Moderator

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Jun 18, 2014

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Lot's of colleges and universities use Coldfusion.  To add to what BKBK said:  Type in the Google search bar: college filetype:cfm and you will see many, many more results of sites utilizing Coldfusion.  It is far from dead.

Those making the decisions don't care how much easier Coldfusion may be to develop on or whether you are more productive with it.  They figure all development is the same.  Additionally, your server admins have to like it and want to support it.  Unfortunately, mine doesn't like it and reluctantly supports our current installation.  For them, why bother trying to get Coldfusion/Railo up and running when there are many canned flavors of LAMP stacks that are easily installed and can be developed upon. (Have you ever tried getting Railo up and running on say MAMP? MAMP takes 5 minutes. In my experience it takes days of trouble-shooting a Railo install. It's a pain and a tough sell for a server admin.)

Ironically, the recent version of Coldfusion is one of Adobe's best offerings right now.

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ColdFusion User Guide
CFML Reference Guide
Develop CFML Applications
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