It has been a while since we’ve heard anything on ColdFusion and what would be coming next. But that just means that the ColdFusion team has been very hard at work. And now the latest and greatest version has arrived. You can download the new version at http://www.adobe.com/products/coldfusion-family.html
Now, let me go over some of the things that are new or have changed:
- Security enhancements to protect you from cross-site scripting etc
- Dynamic and interactive HTML5 charting
- Improved webservices support with Axis2
- A very greatly improved scheduler (for scheduled tasks)
- Enhanced caching to boost performance
- Support for HTML5 websockets (which is plain awesome!)
- Microsoft exchange server integration via Exhange Web Services (EWS)
- HTML5 video player support with fallback to Flash Player
- Enhanced bi-directional Java integration
- …and many other features
Let me comment on some of those topics. The HTML5 websockets integration is a really cool feature that allows you to conduct bidirectional communication between several clients at the same time. It is an alternative to the BlazeDS Java integration. You see the term HTML5 popping p everywhere nowadays and thus also in ColdFusion. Adobe is keen on becoming a leader in the HTML5 technology as well and I personally think this is a very good step in that direction.
One thing I find really cool is the fact that the Flash player is now being used as a fallback technology in case HTML5 cannot be rendered. It used to be the other way around, with HTML being the fallback. To me that sounds like HTML5 still has a long way to go before becoming a standard in the industry. Being at the cutting edge of technology myself, I sometimes forget that there are still people out there that use IE6 and not everyone is keen on updating their tools every few months. Especially companies are more reluctant to do frequent updates. They rather wait for a while and do a major update like once a year even. But again, Adobe has obviously though of that and has foreseen that fallback mechanism, so you can use the feature anyway and you don’t have to write some hacks to see if it can or cannot be used.
The extended bi-directional Java support is also something I find very useful. Now you can not only use Java classes inside of ColdFusion, but you can also write ColdFusion components and use them in plain Java code as well. Perhaps this will make the Java guys less reluctant towards ColdFusion technology, because any way you look at it, ColdFusion IS Java. It’s only been made a lot easier and faster to work with.
And of course I mustn’t forget the ORM feature. This is not really new and it’s also not really enhanced that much, but it is still a feature that is not enough used in my opinion. OK, it’s definitely not the holy grail for database applications and query performance enhancements are not always that easy to implement. But it is still a powerful feature for Rapid Application Development. You can even use it in your Flex and AIR applications, which keeps you from bothering yourself with creating the local database, synchronising data with the online server etc. The ORM feature does it all for you.
In honour of this release the ColdFusion User Group Belgium is hosting one of the Scotch On The Rocks events in Brussels on May 24, 2012. If you have a chance to drop by, please do and I’ll explain more about this ORM feature in AIR on mobile devices. But you will also find a lot more great speakers who will explain a lot more about the new ColdFusion 10 features as well. So, don’t miss it and grab your free tickets at http://www.coldfusioneurope.eu