ColdFusion: worth the cost!

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Judging by many of the comments on my previous post, the licensing cost of ColdFusion is a major issue for many people, given the many free and open source alternatives. This is not a new concern – developers have been asking “is it worth paying for?” for as long as ColdFusion has been around. Fellow SitePoint blogger Eric Jones wrote an article way back in June 2004 and addressed this very issue (among others) in Making the Case for ColdFusion. Fast forward to 2008, and it seems that people are still asking.

But first, just how much does ColdFusion actually cost?

A Standard Edition license – designed for delivering multiple applications or sites on a single server – will cost, on average, US $1,299. Up the other end of the scale, an Enterprise Edition license – for multiple servers or plugging into existing J2EE installations – can be purchased for US $7,499. The Enterprise Edition has some extra features not found in the Standard Edition that are mostly of interest, as the name suggests, to developers working in an enterprise-level environment, as well as an expanded range of supported platforms and databases.

An important item to note is that a completely free developer’s edition of ColdFusion has always been available. This version mimics the Enterprise Edition in functionality, but limits access to localhost and two external IP addresses. This makes it ideal for local use for individual developers and small teams.

For smaller projects, shared hosting is available, starting from under US $10 per month according to the listing of ColdFusion hosts on Ben Forta’s site. As with all hosting, you get what you pay for, and in most cases hosts at the more expensive end of the scale will be more reliable, secure and feature-laden.

So, development is free, but that aside, deployment costs are not insignificant. Yet ColdFusion is more popular than ever. There is something – actually, several ‘somethings’ – about the language that keeps developers coming back.

1. Speed of development
ColdFusion really puts the “rapid” in Rapid Application Development. Ask any CF developer and most likely they will tell you that they can write code to interact with databases, LDAP directories, email servers etc in far fewer lines of code than other languages. Fewer lines of code means faster development and deployment, and in an industry where hourly consulting rates are the norm, that translates into lower costs, offsetting the cost of the server itself.

2. Ease of learning
ColdFusion is also very easy to learn. It’s primarily tag-based – a source of derision for many hard-core web scripters – but this means that it’s easy to understand and fast to learn for developers who may have started out with HTML. That also translates into lower application development costs, particularly for organizations who may look in-house first when extra development assistance is needed. It’s worth noting that CFSCRIPT blocks allow almost all coding to be done with ECMA-like scripting instead of tags, so developers more used to PHP, ASP classic, ActionScript or JavaScript can also get familiar fast.

3. The Java factor
Since version 6, ColdFusion has been based on Java. In fact, ColdFusion was marketed for a while as the fastest way to build and deploy a J2EE application. Organizations that have existing systems or who need to interface with existing Java applications find this attractive, mostly again for the development speed.

So there you have it. I’m not going to argue that ColdFusion is the best solution for every job – in fact, when it comes to small sites, in my own business I often choose PHP for it’s ubiquity and the low cost of hosting. But whenever significant amounts of custom programming or integration with other systems is required, the speed and ease of development makes ColdFusion my number one choice.

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  • Andy Jarrett

    Hosting AtoZ offer hosting as cheap as $12.99(USD) per year for CF hosting on a Windows box!

  • abdu

    I run a small hosting company and I need the enterprise version because I need every site to have its own security as in a site can’t use cffile to write anywhere outside it’s folder. The standard version doe’t support this. I find it ridicuolous to pay $8000 for the newest version. $3000 more than the previous version. the only feature I need is this security so I am forced to pay at least $6700, the difference between the standard and the enterprise versions. My last versiin is 5.0. Their upgrade prices are also high.

  • tuna

    Oh I can see a little war starting on the topic of “My Language is faster than your language”.

    I looking at RoR at the moment, and to date that is only implementation language (yes I know its a framework) that may come close to topping CF for speed of development. Still sitting on the fence playing on this one.

    That said the ease of use/learning of CF can also be its undoing and lead to bad coding practices. With people new to CF placing the functionality with in the presentation layer. Like all good languages the OO method should be empolyed here to separate and avoid the HTML / CF tag soup that can often result.

  • http://www.aquinasandmore.com athanasiusrc

    That said the ease of use/learning of CF can also be its undoing and lead to bad coding practices.

    Which is why languages that are more difficult to learn are lacking in such bad coding practices? Any stats for this?

  • http://www.hypography.com/ kovacs

    languages that are more difficult to learn are lacking in such bad coding practices

    Not sure what you mean – ColdFusion is definitely *not* difficult to learn but it takes some Best Practices skills and knowledge to be organized.

    Re the poster who runs a hosting company and can’t afford to invest in CF8 – maybe you need to consider which business you are in. You might opt to resell other companies solutions instead? (No offense, but it is an option).

    I don’t offer hosting services but as an ex-developer who now only does it as a hobby, I lease a Linux box with CF7 Standard from Viviotech in the US. It’s a very affordable solution.

    IMHO ColdFusion is *not* expensive for the majority of users. You can code ColdFusion for free and host it for no more than you pay for other middleware – but coders are recommended to look carefully at the quality of hosting packages, like the blog post says.

  • http://www.deanclatworthy.com Dean C

    I thought no-one used CF anymore…

  • mihd

    8000$ that will allow you to rent/collocate several humongous servers for a year running sites on free software such as PHP / MySQL / Lighttpd

    i just dont see how you can justify the cost!

    hell for that money you can buy a few dozen windows server licenses and run asp.net

  • mihd

    can any one point me to any large sites that run on cold fusion?

    an no myspace.com switched to asp.net a long time ago

  • Jim Priest

    This is a list of 1671 (and growing) sites that use CFML:

    http://www.gotcfm.com/thelist.cfm

    Dig through that and you will see many large and well known sites that use CF.

  • Dr Livingston

    still not convinced; to me cold fusion may be a development platform but it’s certainly not a programming language in any real sense of what that means, unless of course it has changed in it’s core values?

    what i remember was those tags…

    > Since version 6, ColdFusion has been based on Java.

    java is open source so why slap a licence of it then? if cold fusion is as great as it’s made out to be, then make it open source and let other people in on the act.

    why retard cold fusion otherwise?

  • Angus

    Kay has no idea what she is talking about really. I mean CF has been around since 1995 and by her own admission she has only used it since version 5.x? What is it Kay 4.x or 5.x? . Last time I looked it is 2007 – not 2008. ColdFusion 9 is already in the works (codename Centaur) what will it contain? Who knows – not even beta yet – but CF8 was a big release.

    Oh yeah and ColdFusion as it stands today is not “built on Java” – it IS Java – and so are your CFML applications – whether you like it not.

  • Peter Tilbrook

    It has been “ColdFusion” – one word – since version 3.x. The reason for a purchase price? ColdFusion actually ships with quite a bit of third-party code – including the Verity search engine – built on Java yes but not open source or free by any measure. In fact the technology CF now contains is extensive (eg: the rich text editor – not well implemented but there anyway)and the third parties rightfully deserve compensation when it is part of a commercial product. All things considered CF is excellent value for money and will only continue to be so.

  • mihd

    re http://www.gotcfm.com/thelist.cfm

    how many cold fusion based sites are in alexa top 500? or even 1000?

    and as someone pointed out why not just use java? theres a multitude of java web tech out there from servlets to jsp and EJBs

  • 6dust

    how many cold fusion based sites are in alexa top 500? or even 1000?

    Maybe you are unaware of this, but there are these things called intranets, where the Alexa rankings mean jack.

    Internally, corporations are most interested in getting intranet applications up and running quickly to enable their employees to more quickly, efficiently, and (hopefully) enjoyably get their work done. This is definitely one of the hot spots for CF, and where I’ve been happily employed at several different companies of the past seven years.

    This is not to say that the internet is not a place for ColdFusion. I’m just saying that you need to open your eyes wider if the Alexa rankings are entirely how you determine the validity of a programming language.

  • CF BFF

    still not convinced; to me cold fusion may be a development platform but it’s certainly not a programming language in any real sense of what that means, unless of course it has changed in it’s core values?

    If I am developing a web application, I’d rather be using a development platform than a programming language.

    And, CF has moved forward rapidly over the past several years. There are full-blown OOP implementations and frameworks available for CF, all open source; in fact, you have a choice of frameworks (Fusebox, Model-Glue, Mach-II for example) where it seems other languages are stuck to one popular one (Ruby/Rails, PHP/Cake).

    Obviously, you have not taken a look at CF in a long time. Most people haven’t I suppose; they would prefer to wallow in ignorance and feel superior than open their minds and possibly gain something.

    In the meantime I am programming in CF, making a good living, keeping my boss happy with automated reports and charts, and running my company’s eCommerce site all by myself, thus saving my company from having to hire additional developers.

  • DanaK

    That said the ease of use/learning of CF can also be its undoing and lead to bad coding practices. With people new to CF placing the functionality with in the presentation layer. Like all good languages the OO method should be empolyed here to separate and avoid the HTML / CF tag soup that can often result.

    tuna, you could use the same argument/logic for php etc. It is free and pulls in a lot of casual developers who go on to provide bad code. Theo nus of bad coding isn’t on the language in the majority of cases…

  • chief

    I have been programming CF for about two years. I had no choice as my current employer refuses to use linux server or open-source alternatives. At first it really pissed me off, but I was able to quickly learn the basics of CFML. The first thing I noticed is that(like any other language) is easy to become lazy with and write spaghetti code. I am guilty of doing this for the first 6 months or so. Anyhow, lately I have been getting into doing OOP and using frameworks like FuseBox and Coldspring which have really helped me get things done quickly, but also in an efficient manner. We just re-did our intranet with a two-part system of fusebox + CanvasWiki.

    As for costs, I think that something most people forget is that big companies IT staff have to be held responsible if something goes wrong. What happens if they need support for something like Ruby on Rails – sure there’s a great community out there, but there’s no 1-800 number or company that is in charge of creating documentation / patches etc.

  • DanaK

    I run a small hosting company and I need the enterprise version because I need every site to have its own security as in a site can’t use cffile to write anywhere outside it’s folder. The standard version doe’t support this. I find it ridicuolous to pay $8000 for the newest version. $3000 more than the previous version. the only feature I need is this security so I am forced to pay at least $6700, the difference between the standard and the enterprise versions. My last versiin is 5.0. Their upgrade prices are also high.

    abdu,
    which hosting company is it? Just curious. Also don’t you find that upgrading expands your customer base because no one is currently looking for cf5.x hosting? That is like saying I’m looking to run my app on a host using windows 95?

  • http://www.medlockweb.com/ davidjmedlock

    I thought no-one used CF anymore…

    And you’re adding this useless comment in for what reason?

    I just dont see how you can justify the cost!

    Maybe you can’t but I have no problem justifying it… I’ll launch an app this week that took me literally a week and a half to write. That app alone will pay for the CF Standard licenses in a couple of days. Easily. Cost = Justified.

    A standard license is $1300. This will be VERY sufficient for most companies, even larger ones. Second, if a company I’m working for has a problem spending the $1300 (or even the $8,000) to purchase the license of CF that they need, then how the hell are they going to pay MY salary?

    Also, regarding hosting, you get what you pay for, no matter what language it’s in. $2/month for PHP hosting? In my experiencing, that hosting is going to SUCK. You’ll be on a box overloaded with web sites that will run painfully slowly, poor security, poor support, etc.

    I really, really, really don’t see why we keep coming back to this subject. Some people will recognize the value and be willing to pay for it. Other people will refuse. ColdFusion developers shouldn’t have to care one way or another. We have plenty of work as it is. It’s Adobe’s job to sell and defend ColdFusion, not ours. If we support it by using it then our job is done. The longevity of ColdFusion speaks for itself. As does the fact that Macromedia saw so much value in it that they purchased Allaire and that Adobe has seen so much value in it that they have not only continued to sell it, but they continue to develop it.

    ULTIMATELY: Adobe is a corporation. Their responsibility to their shareholders is to make money. That’s how business works. Developing web applications is a BIG business. Everyone here expects to get their slice of it from somewhere. If you want free or cheap solutions, fine. Have fun with that. But, believe me, there’s more money up here at the top where you worry less about code than about results. You b*tching about ColdFusion costing money is like your clients b*tching that you bill them for your services…

    Kay, these kinds of posts get us nowhere. Can we focus on cool stuff that can be done with CF? I’d like to see more practical and useful posts…

  • http://www.mikehealy.com.au cranial-bore

    You b*tching about ColdFusion costing money is like your clients b*tching that you bill them for your services…

    I like that.
    I’ve been bemused that the logical end for the “tools must be free” attitude is probably “services should be free”, but no one seems to have said as much before ;)

  • dave

    @abdu
    Ok so enterprise is 8k and you don’t know how that is justified? Ok so a large company forks out 8k for the server and saves 100k in dev costs, I think most of them would say that is a DAMN good deal!

    “I run a small hosting company and I need the enterprise version because I need every site to have its own security as in a site can’t use cffile to write anywhere outside it’s folder.”

    Dude… You don’t need enterprise for that just use sandbox security thats already there…. If you didn’t know that then you really shouldn’t be hosting anything for anybody. All the big cf hosts run cf standard on shared hosts, you just make a sandbox for each site and then YOU decide what tags can run or not… that has NOTHING to do with enterprise edition.

    “i just dont see how you can justify the cost!

    hell for that money you can buy a few dozen windows server licenses and run asp.net”

    Just because you are ignorant doesn’t mean that everyone else is as well. Some people dont want to be tied into crappy windows products and slower than crap asp.net

    “an no myspace.com switched to asp.net a long time ago”
    damn there is a lot of ignorant people on here, actually myspace still runs coldfusion, actually its running bluedragon and the .net you are referring to is actually coldfusion.net (yes, look it up Einstein).

    “and as someone pointed out why not just use java?”
    Ok so you want to write 3x the code to do the same thing? The beuty of coldfusion is that you can write most all of an app in cfm and if you need some heavy lifting then you can call in some java but in the end you have the same results with a ton less code but you have the power back there if you need it.

    Everyone is so concerned with the “cost” but yet just can’t quite understand that the average user won’t pay an extra cent to use it. And those that are big enough to use it love it because it ends up saving them a ton of cash.

  • solon

    Kay, is this blog sponsored by Adobe or simply about coldfusion in general?

    I really hope this is not an Adobe promo blog because it would be a real disservice to the cfml (read “generic coldfusion”) community if so, especially after the last writer of it barely ever posted.

    For example, this post is about cost and you don’t even mention the cheaper alternative cfml engines while trying to answer! Unbelievable!

    Adobe Coldfusion 8 is often too expensive for small organizations and sites but it has a few extra features many probably don’t need and there are very good cfml alternatives, some of which are free.

    Why no mention of the Bluedragon cfml engine? (http://www.newatlanta.com/bluedragon/) It is cheaper and on my host (a vps) Bluedragon is less than half the monthly cost of Adobe Coldfusion! I don’t need the very few features it doesn’t have so a much better deal (and uses less memory and has a few extra features of its own).

    Why no mention of the Railo cfml engine? (http://www.railo-technologies.com/en/) It is blazing fast and FREE if only 1 datasource, only $300 for a website, etc! You can even rent it. For hosts it has some great security features that Adobe is missing. I’m considering this for my vps.

    Why no mention of the ongoing open-source Smith cfml engine project? (http://www.smithproject.org/). You’re supposedly answering people who favor open source, yet you don’t even bother to mention it. Incredible! If anyone knows java, get involved in improving it so we non-java cfml people can start using it :-) (Note to above poster: coldfusion is not java. Cfml pages are seemlessly compiled into java when run, that’s all, though you can use java within your code if you want. I’ve only used a few lines myself. The poster probably knows that, but others reading this won’t and think you need to code in java.)

    I suggest to anyone intrigued by Coldfusion that he download Railo Express instead (a non-installed version for testing) and play around. The cfml engines are excellent platforms for developing websites, probably the easiest out there.

    (For tag haters: you can do a lot of coding in cfscript – a bit like javascript -, though it can’t do everything. I’m hoping that in cf9 they will expand it to a full alternative form, even though I like the way tags organize things nicely sometimes.)

    Also be sure to check out http://www.remotesynthesis.com/cfopensourcelist/ for various free apps and such. The cfml open-source scene is a bit lame compared to php/etc., but there is some very good stuff there, usually done by one-man-shows generously giving code away.

    A guest shouldn’t need to come on here to add these basic facts in order to answer the question at hand properly. Please try to avoid the typical enterprise-centric Adobe view, if indeed this is a blog about cfml in general and not one sponsored by Adobe.

  • Subhash

    Ok so enterprise is 8k and you don’t know how that is justified? Ok so a large company forks out 8k for the server and saves 100k in dev costs, I think most of them would say that is a DAMN good deal!

    “I run a small hosting company and I need the enterprise version because I need every site to have its own security as in a site can’t use cffile to write anywhere outside it’s folder.”

    Dude… You don’t need enterprise for that just use sandbox security thats already there…. If you didn’t know that then you really shouldn’t be hosting anything for anybody. All the big cf hosts run cf standard on shared hosts, you just make a sandbox for each site and then YOU decide what tags can run or not… that has NOTHING to do with enterprise edition.

    “i just dont see how you can justify the cost!

    hell for that money you can buy a few dozen windows server licenses and run asp.net”

  • racer

    Looks like to me that myspace is using cfml
    http://www.myspace.com/index.cfm

  • johnb

    @dave

    Dude… You don’t need enterprise for that just use sandbox security thats already there…. If you didn’t know that then you really shouldn’t be hosting anything for anybody. All the big cf hosts run cf standard on shared hosts, you just make a sandbox for each site and then YOU decide what tags can run or not… that has NOTHING to do with enterprise edition.

    that’s incorrect actually, CF standard only lets you perform Resource Security whilst Enterprise provides Sandbox security. Resource Security lets you only modify a single server wide ‘sandbox’ whilst Enterprise lets you create new sandboxes and constrain users within that sandbox by restricting tags, datasources, file access etc. Anyone hosted on share CF Standard should be very aware of the security implications as they are numerous and if any kind of security is needed then find a host offering Enterprise hosting or even some of the new VPS offerings that are appearing.

  • tuna

    @solon amusing – Kay writing an Adobe Sponsored Blog, that would very amusing. :)

    Consideration should be taken that Kay would have been talking about the common product, just as you discuss ASP classic, you would discuss the generic ASP first then the alternatives later on as the discussion progresses.

    The alternatives to the Adobe engine, may have been coming in a future post. you can’t fit everything in one post.

  • mihd

    Looks like to me that myspace is using cfml
    http://www.myspace.com/index.cfm

    no they dont, they switched to .net a long time ago

    http://www.baselinemag.com/article2/0,1540,2082927,00.asp

  • jp

    Myspace is still running CFML (Cold Fusion Markup Language), but it’s not the Adobe ColdFusion product and hasn’t been for years. Its running Bluedragon for .Net:

    http://www.myspace.com/Application.cfm

    ColdFusion was too slow and couldn’t handle the load, so they switched to Bluedragon and ASP.NET instead.

  • Montoya

    “where it seems other languages are stuck to one popular one (Ruby/Rails, PHP/Cake).”

    CFBFF, don’t talk about what you don’t know! I can name 3 popular PHP frameworks off the top of my head, Cake, Symfony, and Code Igniter, and I know there are more. And, all of these frameworks are very popular, though they don’t get much attention with all the competition from “trendy” frameworks like RoR.

  • http://www.bluetone-media.com bluetone

    Many of these comments here are really ignorant in the true sense of the word. Comments based not on experience but on what they heard someone else say.

    I simply do not understand why any PROFESSIONAL developer would use anything other than ColdFusion to develop. Other than Django nothing else competes. It is easy to learn, structured, easily secured, extremely powerful, extremely scaleable and best of all allows much much faster development. CF8 is also as fast as anything out there.

    Time is money. Yes the server costs money. So if you are building low end sites and you don’t care how long that takes then use a free tool for amateurs called PHP. Otherwise, the savings in development time completely outweighs “free”. And that is assuming the client is going to self-host where the server cost is even an issue. Third party hosting for ColdFusion sites is now so cheap that there is no reason, NONE, zilch nada for using anything other than CF. You say you are in a .net environment? With CF8 it no longer matters – Use ColdFusion and save yourself time and aggravation both during the initial development and especially during the maintenance cycle.

    Oh I mentioned Django earlier. Cool environment but I wouldn’t bet my client’s businesses on it just yet.

    I’m seeing a lot of companies, big companies, back off from Java solutions and move back to ColdFusion. Why? Speed of development and structure. What I mean by structure in this case is a standardized high level format that allows one developer to quickly read, understand and contribute to another developers work. Combined with significanlty fewer bugs compared to Java or C# development (yes, it is a function of the skill of the programmers but we live in the real world), the new ability to work seamlessly with .net, the much more rapid development time, the power and scaleability, and the backing of Adobe, and you have a compelling business case.

    So many developers fall in love with a particular technology and support it emotionally. That was fine in 1985 but now it is all about what makes the most business sense.

  • DanaK

    Myspace is still running CFML (Cold Fusion Markup Language), but it’s not the Adobe ColdFusion product and hasn’t been for years. Its running Bluedragon for .Net:

    http://www.myspace.com/Application.cfm

    ColdFusion was too slow and couldn’t handle the load, so they switched to Bluedragon and ASP.NET instead.

    JP that is a common misconception. Yes its on BD.net now, but the code was also hastily put together and had some bad coding practices. The creators of myspace themselves admit that much. They also didn’t expect the amount of load they encountered.

    Say it with me slowly……. bad code + low expectation levels = bad end result. Again its another knock on the product instead of the developer, and not accurate. I could pluck out one of a million sourceforge projects written in php that would open up a wormhole and rip the space-time continuum if they were given half the strain myspace put on that admittedly poor code. People need to stop the hate, use the tool that works for you. The developer is more important in the end anyhow.

  • less1die

    Blog Vs. Forum? Don’t do or try anything nice or it will be eaten up and spat back at you. Why all the bashing?

  • jedi

    I am a Coldfusion Application developer. I was introduced to the language about 3 years ago after starting my new job, and i am starting to un-leash the power of what cf has to offer.
    I dont think anyone can say how bad it is or how good it is until they have programmed with it for a considerable amount of time. Anyone can pull together a basic script to pull database records, juggle the result set around and then display onto a page with pretty alternate row colouring in most web based languages, god knows there’s enough examples on the web to start yourself off, but for me its when you start getting down to applications that work beautifully and are created through an application framework like Coldfusion’s cfc’s and the use of objects is where the power lies.

    I have built numerous applications in cf and i have learnt that structuring your applications, designing wire frame models simulating data flows are key to any good application design. Coldfusion allows for good structured applications to be developed without the usual “spaghetti” coding that i have seen all too often.

    I think the price matches what you get, there are a lot of companies that use Coldfusion and they rely on the support from a multi-national company like Adobe. Cf is here to stay and is striving forward in development, version 9 is in the making, version 8 has only just been released, each version brings more power and functionality that far outweighs any other web based language.

    What other language has everything under one roof, many of the open source langauages have third party add-ons to bring them up to speed, Coldfusion has everything out of the box, and thats what you are paying for.

    Give me Coldfusion everytime.

  • solon

    >>The alternatives to the Adobe engine, may have been coming in a future post. you can’t fit everything in one post.

    You’ve got to be kidding.

    1) You write as much as you need to answer the question, the bytes are free. The “article” isn’t even long.

    2) The question at hand is COST and answering open-source people and you don’t think it is relevant in THIS article to even mention cheaper and even free alternative cfml engines???

    We don’t need Adobe talking points here, we need honest answers to real questions people have outside the tiny cfml world. Just look at the responses, basically cfml enterprise people telling others they are stupid for not spending a large amount up front for a server. The fact is, most people are never going to do that and many for very good reason, so if the question at hand is cost, sure, point out short-term vs. long-term costs if developing within a company (often very exaggerated for small sites because there is a lot of usable open-source software out there in other languages – oscommerce, wordpress, etc., – which is usually better and cheaper than in coldfusion), but then tell them how to do coldfusion on the cheap.

    One thing not even mentioned above is the problem of passing the cost of Adobe Coldfusion on to the end consumer. For example, if you are a developer selling apps, not someone developing within a company where coldfusion excels, it will be much harder to sell the app in cfml because the market is smaller and the buyer has to pay for more expensive and harder to find hosting compared to buying a competing php/rails/etc. app.

    Here’s an interesting future article topic: there seems to be a real gap opening up in the cfml world between the old-guard Adobe enterprise “we’re behind a company firewall so you’ll never see it” bunch and a newer small-site open-source low-cost branch.

  • dave

    “ColdFusion was too slow and couldn’t handle the load, so they switched to Bluedragon and ASP.NET instead.”

    Like it was stated earlier.. Myspace was slow because of bad coding practices and they were also using Coldfusion 5, which wasn’t anywhere near the current version.

    @sandbox
    yes I know what you are saying about enterprise and individual sandboxes but most people don’t need that as you will use the general settings for for everyone. For ex: most cfm hosts don’t let you have access to cfexecute. FYI, someone said any good shared host will be running enterprise and that isnt true, actually I have never seen a major host running enterprise on shared servers, they run Standard.

  • johnb

    FYI, someone said any good shared host will be running enterprise and that isnt true, actually I have never seen a major host running enterprise on shared servers, they run Standard.

    and they won’t be good! Any host that is sensitive to it’s customer needs and understands the differences between Standard and Enterprise would be using Enterprise

  • dave

    “and they won’t be good! Any host that is sensitive to it’s customer needs and understands the differences between Standard and Enterprise would be using Enterprise”

    ok, so…. tell me a host that uses Enterprise on cfm shared servers, because I have yet to see one.

  • timlucas

    To me the biggest cost in using Coldfusion is not the price tag—it’s being tied to a closed and proprietary platform owned and controlled by a single entity.

    When Adobe open-sourced much of it’s Flash infrastructure they understood selling a closed and proprietary platform doesn’t have long-term sustainability. I wonder when they’ll shift Coldfusion’s business model to reflect the same values.

  • pm

    Lets not look at the price tag alone, while coldfusion is not perfect, it pays itself quite easilly. Sound business practices will call for amortization of cost. Amortizating the 1300$ price tag on 2 years we get that cf will cost a company 2.50$ per day! Now it’s a given that writing cf code is much faster than php and a team of 5 developers could easily save more than 2.50$ per day in gained productivity! Free / cheap is not always the best option and for the sake of your clients don’t disregard a technology because it seems to be more expensive at first glance.

    CF should not be considered to be the holly grail of web dev language. It has its advantages and like all the other languages it has its flaws.

  • Ronnie

    Time is money. Yes the server costs money. So if you are building low end sites and you don’t care how long that takes then use a free tool for amateurs called PHP

    First of all thousands of people are making a living with that amateur toy. And they are writing the most used apps all over the web. So it is an amateurish tool only in your head.
    Secondly between low budgets sites and big corporate sites there are hundreds of assignments where you can the save the money for Coldfusion, especially if you do freelancing instead of scratching your balls hidden somewhere in the big office.
    Now the one-million dollars questions:
    Why Apache rocks and IIS suck big time?
    Does Postgres suck?
    Does MySQl suck?
    Does Linux suck?
    Do you always get what your pay for in real life?

    #end of rant and one-million dollars questions

    The only european big corporate site using Coldfusion that I know is Server Europa.
    Can you name others?

  • stevewebdev2005

    Great post on an example why coldfusion is worth the money:
    http://www.philosophyme.com/index.cfm?blog=91
    (example showing something done in asp in 350 lines of code, in coldfusion? -one- line of code.)

  • davidjmedlock

    (example showing something done in asp in 350 lines of code, in coldfusion? -one- line of code.)

    Yeah, ASP is kind of dead, so I’m not sure how much this accomplishes. That’s like saying that your iPhone is better than a car phone from the early 90’s…

    That said, CF still requires less code than VB.Net:


    Dim inputPassword as string
    inputPassword = Request.Form("name") & Request.Form("password")
    Dim encode as new System.Text.UnicodeEncoding
    Dim inputPasswordBytes() as byte = encode.GetBytes(inputPassword)
    Dim hash() as byte
    dim md5 as new System.Security.Cryptography.MD5CryptoServiceProvider
    hash = md5.ComputeHash(inputPasswordBytes)
    dim sb as new System.Text.StringBuilder
    dim outputByte as byte
    for each outputByte in hash
    sb.Append(outputByte.ToString("x2").ToUpper)
    next outputByte

    13 lines or so…?

  • Jeff

    Seems to me a lot of this carping overlooks the most important questions about CF, like how much bang it delivers for the buck by comparison with free alternatives. For one thing, it almost certainly reduces the code burden for similar tasks. That saves time, which saves money, and on large enterprise sites the savings may add up very quickly.

    I understand that some people are married to a particular language, and that’s OK for them, but I think the objective benefits of ColdFusion are significant. I’m also pretty sure somebody will invent something better in a year or two. It’s the nature of the game.

  • Railo 2.0

    Just try it. It’s cheap and the new version (2.0) is much like CF7.

  • tonybone

    dave said:

    ok, so…. tell me a host that uses Enterprise on cfm shared servers, because I have yet to see one.

    I’ll give you two companies that I’ve used running CF Enterprised on shared plans:

    Successful Hosting (they offer CF as an addon to their Windows plans)

    HostMySite

    I’m sure there are more, but those are two that I’m positive of because I would never put a CF site on a shared host without sandbox security (only available on Enterprise) and that is always one of my pre-sale questions.

  • Salient

    Having only just started looking at CF, and not wanting to really delve into a huge arguement a couple of issues already.

    1. As opposed to .net 2.0, IIS, and asp.net or php/mysql/apache, CF 8 is running like a dog on my development box. Have spent the day turning off services (yes it’s that slow) and the PC is still crawling. Finally switched off the CF stuff and it’s back to rocketing along. Memory intensive?

    2. General lack of books down my local tech shop. The place has books on asp.net, php, and rails by the truck load but not a single book on CF. Asked the guy behind the counter and he claimed no one has asked for them thus far this year. Lack of market?

    Regardless am being forced to pick it up by my company, who will quite happily pay for books, courses, and certification. We use it for our intranet, and large parts of our internet, ergo a requirement they didn’t mention in the interview. May be a Down Under thing as our lead coder was brought in from overseas to maintained the various websites. I normally do the IBM stuff, so am just getting enough under my belt to operate as a backup.

    Jeez also having to pick up .net 2.0 at the same time, if someone mentions we also have rails they’ll get a keyboard wrapped around their head.

    Our site is medium sized, ergo even in Oz some organisations are using CF.

  • http://www.gospelbasslines.com Torch7

    Speaking from experience in building Enterprise level applications for quite sometime now, I have to admit ColdFusion is my favorite, of all the webdevelopment languages I have used. PHP, ASP.NET, C#, Java, JSP, and Coldfusion.

    I think if everyone takes a step back and analyze their side of the debate, they will note that there are pros and cons to everything, and those pros and cons should be evaluated on a case by case basis.

    The post is about costs, and in my experience, attempting to implement open-source soulutions often cost me time and money, getting some of the “free” solutions to work. I can spend countless hours on forums, using google, and exchanging emails with hosting companies, support techs, just to get the solution running in a hosted environment, by the time I get around to customizing the application to fit my specific needs, I am usually spent of the process. And realize I could have used, previously utilized previously written code (I never write project specific code, but think about code reuse) and completed the application. Not to mention finding open source solutions, that promise what I need in the next iteration which could take MONTHS. I guess I can get impatient, and would rather make the initial investment, because when I analyse my hourly earning potential, CF is well worth it.

    ASP.NET / C# is a close second now, that I am getting more re-usable code under my belt. Bottom line it boils down to what works for you.

  • Lemonizer

    I was going to write a post rebuking most of the negative and inaccurate comments but then I though why bother?

    More CF work for me.

  • http://www.bluetone-media.com bluetone

    Ronnie:

    IIS doesn’t suck and has recently surpassed Apache in deployments.

    PostgreSQL is great.

    MySQL is very good

    Linux is good.

    PHP is still, relatively, crap. But hey, if your time is worth less than the cost of a real tool – go for it.

    A majority of the Fortune 500 intranets in the US run on CF. I agree that CF penentration is weak in other web areas – BUT THAT HAS NO BEARING on the argument. What the majority does isn’t always right. Whenever I have had the opportunity to present ColdFusion vs. other technologies to some CIO I have in every case except one converted them based on the business case.

    Ignorance in this case is not bliss. I find most of the people who denigrate CF have never used it and are just emotionally tied to what they know. As technologists we are supposed to be smarter than that.

  • tonybone

    CF 8 is running like a dog on my development box. Have spent the day turning off services (yes it’s that slow) and the PC is still crawling. Finally switched off the CF stuff and it’s back to rocketing along. Memory intensive?

    I’ve been running CF8 on my dev box along w/Apache, MySQL AND PHP and I haven’t experienced any noticeable slowdown. I don’t know if I’d generalize based on your experience.

  • Ronnie

    IIS doesn’t suck and has recently surpassed Apache in deployments.

    This is an outstanding piece of news.

    PHP is still, relatively, crap.

    This is on the opposite a typical case of non-sense criticism. No need to reply.

    But hey, if your time is worth less than the cost of a real tool – go for it.

    Bullshit. My business model is called Open Source in case you forgot. It is not about self-proclaimed “real tools”. But again no need to reply.

    PostgreSQL is great.
    MySQL is very good
    Linux is good.

    This means the “you get what you pay for” sentence is the typical salesperson fish-smelling sentence and it is about the time to stop saying it.

    What the majority does isn’t always right

    This is because you think the most people are idiot or incompetent. Sorry I don’t. One day you will realize it too.

    Whenever I have had the opportunity to present ColdFusion vs. other technologies to some CIO I have in every case except one converted them based on the business case.

    I don’t argue at all on this point. Coldfusion was surely the best option for their business cases. Except for that one, but following your line of thinking maybe she/he was an incompetent.

    I find most of the people who denigrate CF have never used it and are just emotionally tied to what they know

    Sorry but not my case. I didn’t denigrate CF at all. Personally I only try to use the tools which best fit my market. Namely: Moodle and MediaWiki which are incidentally written in PHP and I can assure you they are not crap at all.

  • solon

    Regarding actual cost and other engines, here are my hosts:

    ColdFusion Servers
    VPS Accounts

    – BlueDragon Server JX 7 ($10.00/mo)
    – Adobe CFMX 8 Enterprise ($65.00/mo)
    – Adobe CFMX 8 Professional ($95.00/mo)
    – Adobe CFMX 7 Professional ($25.00/mo)

    The enterprise/professional price weirdness is because of some wacky cpu cost from Adobe, so they can actually offer enterprise for less on a vps. Still, Adobe costs vastly more than Bluedragon to host your site.

  • http://www.ijwebsites.com/ IJoeR

    I started off being a php developer because my job at that time used Linux, Apache, PHP, and mySQL. About 4 years ago, I shifted from PHP to Coldfusion. My first taste of CF was with v6 and there are still some websites out there that our company runs that are hosted under CF5. Though I had no experience with CF5, learning CF6 made it easier to go back and look at and understand old code.

    Now our company is using Coldfusion7 and we have never been happier. I, personally, took it upon myself when i first started learning CF to rewrite my personal website. It was originally written in PHP/mySQL and then later rewritten in CF7/mySQL.

    The amount of code for the php version was much larger and the scripts were more complicated. The CF pages are well way, way, way shorter. So it took me like 1/3 of the time to rewrite my entire website and even correct somethings that were not working in the PHP version.

    That is how I became a CF fanboy. CF, plain and simple, made life easier for me as a developer. It was pretty easy to pick up on the basics and with knowing the basics you could write a basic CMS, similar to the one you write in the Kevin Yanks PHP book. (An excellent book BTW).

    So, for now, I 90% of the time program in CF7 and the other 10% I might do some PHP coding. But if I have my option I am going to pick CF7 everytime.

    Costs: For me the cost is a non-factor. My reseller account at Hostfolio costs me $25/month for CF windows based server. I can do all of my primary development for free using the CF Developer Edition locally on my computer. Using the CF Admin tool I just enter my remote database servers location and user/pass to create the connection.

    I also use Adobe CS3 Suite, which makes life oh so much easier! The new Dreamweaver is the awesome.

  • http://www.bluetone-media.com bluetone

    “My business model is open source”.

    lol – that’s not a business model amigo – that’s a religious statement.

    The masses buy their clothes at Walmart. I’m part of a small minority that purchases clothes from LL Bean. My clothes cost more but they last 10 times longer. Who is right? What is the correct business decision? Are the masses correct?

    Give me a single reason to use PHP other than “it’s free”. And that isn’t a good reason because, for the 10th time, free is not inexpensive in this case.

    Sorry dude, but your religion doesn’t make good business sense.

  • http://www.bluetone-media.com bluetone

    To the poster that said their CF8 was dogging their server – you have something misconfigured. That is not a normal operational state, particularly with 8.

  • Zero

    at the moment i stay with php.. as there are billions of scripts ready to download and install… coldfusion inst popular enough jet….

    the again… the more code the more you can edit… so in a sense you could say that php is more custimizable…. aldo i cant really say that couse im not a coldfusion pro xD

  • Anonymous

    cf is great, no one can reject cf if he/she knows its strength……