ColdFusion – Let’s be honest here

This morning when I woke up and opened up Google reader, I ran across this post by Aral Balkan. Nothing sparks an argument more than telling a group of developers that they’re platform is headed the way of Davy Jones locker.

After reading his post, and then the comments. I really started thinking about where ColdFusion fits into my development career today.

I started programming in ColdFusion back in 2003, using version 6.0. For a long time ColdFusion has been my language of choice. I’ve developed applications for quite a few companies using ColdFusion including Knight Transportation and Boeing.

Don’t get me wrong, I love ColdFusion! But recently I’ve found myself opting for other server side language options, particularly Ruby and PHP.

Hosting a ColdFusion project requires a significant investment, whether you are purchasing a ColdFusion license or using a hosting provider. I was paying for a ColdFusion VPS over at HostMySite.com. Which I unfortunately had to get rid of due to HostMySite’s inability to keep my server running.

I then learned that there aren’t really a lot of quality ColdFusion hosting options available out there. Which means that if I want to deploy a ColdFusion site, I pretty much need to put my own servers up somewhere, in addition to purchasing a ColdFusion license.

What I think Adobe should consider doing is setting up a licensing tier much like they did with Flex. Back when Flex was in it’s infancy, it was packaged as a single server product, with a price tag around $15,000 per CPU. Flex’s adoption of version 1 and 1.5 was very poor. It wasn’t until Adobe started giving away the Flex SDK did developers really get on board with it.

So why not do the same thing with ColdFusion? Heck, there is already a watered down version of LiveCycle which Adobe has open sourced, BlazeDS. Why not give us an open source server solution for ColdFusion?

There is no doubt in my mind that ColdFusion is still alive and kicking. It screams to be used within corporate environments, and it’s integration with Flash / Flex is second to none. But outside of the enterprise / corporate market, I don’t see much use for it anymore unless they changed how it is licensed.

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