Adobe Unveils ColdFusion 8

by Andy Patrizio

Adobe brings performance improvements and updated standards support to this venerable Web publishing tool.

Adobe this week released ColdFusion 8. The update to ColdFusion has been a long time coming, as version 7 was released two years ago, when ColdFusion was a Macromedia product, Tim Buntel senior product marketing manager, told ServerWatch. This completes Adobe's string of upgrades to the Macromedia software line, which it acquired in 2005.

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Since then, Adobe has been hard at work integrating Macromedia and its own product lines to offer a more comprehensive portfolio. The software maker sees ColdFusion as the glue between client- and server-side technologies and functions.

On the client side, ColdFusion 8 supports Adobe Flex and AIR technologies, AJAX-based components, and Eclipse-based wizards. On the server side, ColdFusion 8 integrates with Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR), formerly known as Apollo, Microsoft's .NET assemblies and J2EE servers, including JBoss.

ColdFusion 8 also supports application interaction with PDF documents, so you can fill out a PDF document online instead of filling out a form. A server-side function then fills in the form with the data.

Buntel told internetnews.com that AIR integration is likely to be an area of focus moving forward.

"We do have a very good connections story with AIR. Publishers can expose server-side functionality to be consumed by an AIR app when connected," he said.

Despite ColdFusion falling a few years out of date, Adobe was pleasantly surprised to see great interest in the public beta. The company had been hoping for 5,000 testers; It got 14,000. "There was a lot of curiosity of how Adobe would take this old product and shoot new life into it," said Buntel.

Adobe has three pricing levels, one of which everyone can agree on: free. The free version is for developer machines and for local development purposes. It's designed only to be used for building and testing on that one computer.

The standard edition carries a suggested price of $1,299 per two CPUs and is intended for small- to mid size businesses. The enterprise edition is $7,499 for two CPUs.

Buntel said Adobe.com is already being run on ColdFusion 8, and sites will notice a significant improvement in performance even without changes to their application code. He said just upgrading from version 7 to 8 will yield up to a four-fold performance increase.

Some components of the underlying language are even faster due to fine tuning the tags and functions in the language. Creating a ColdFusion component is more than 20 times faster than before, he said.

Buntel also said Adobe added support for writing multithreaded code. This makes blocks of code that lend themselves to parallel execution readily identified and written to run in their own threads.

This article was originally published on internetnews.com.

Amy Newman contributed to this article.

This article was originally published on Thursday Aug 2nd 2007
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