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While the assumption that ColdFusion is relatively new is commonplace, in reality it is actually one of the older dynamic web development languages. On a level equivalent to that of JavaServer Pages, PHP and ASP.NET, ColdFusion was developed back in 1995 by Allaire. This development language is attached to the backend of the server and works together with a database to create dynamic environments online.

Its technical name is that of the ColdFusion Markup Language which is where the acronym of CFML comes from. It is designated in the browser’s address bar with the file extension of .cfm, but can also have no designation depending on how the mod-rewrite or equivalent is set on the server. Furthermore, much like it competing markup languages, it also has its own scripting language known as CFScript which is fairly similar to that of JavaScript.

While it was JJ and Jeremy Allaire who originally developed the ColdFusion language back in 1995, it would not be until the 2001 acquisition of Allaire by the Macromedia Corporation that the language would start to gain in popularity. Macromedia through the release of their MX Studio suite for web development included the ability to develop ColdFusion websites with Dreamweaver. Later on, the technology would be acquired by Adobe when the whole of Macromedia and its rights were bought out.

Through the help of CFML, the client side technology known as Adobe Flex was developed. This immediately made a big debut amongst web developers world wide causing Microsoft to release SilverLight in competition to it.

Out of the box, ColdFusion comes with a number of extras which are not available with most dynamic scripting languages. It comes with the ability to manage both the server’s as well as the client side caching of the data as well as the ability to rather quickly develop client side technology in the form of widgets. It can simultaneously convert HTML, FlashPaper and PDF interchangeably and can be run on both Microsoft and Linux powered servers assuming the program has been installed on them. You get an advanced search capability using the Verity K2 indexing system as well as a fully functional graphical user interface or GUI for administering the server. On top of all of this, CldFusion also comes with client, session and application management capabilities as well as the ability to parse XML files and even allows for one to set up clustered servers with ease.

The initially launched ColdFusion Version was developed almost entirely by JJ Allaire using the Microsoft Visual C++ language. As a result, this very first version was only capable of running in a Microsoft environment. However, shortly after its launch, the development platform was ported to the Sun Solaris systems but would not be available like this until the release of version 3.1

Using the code name of Neo and made popular by the movie trilogy, Allaire would start the development of ColdFusion from the beginning and rewrite the entire thing based on Java. By the time this was ready to be released, Macromedia was in the middle of purchasing Allaire and would continue development and fine tuning the server side language for the version 5.0 release. The following year, along with the Macromedia Studios MX edition, they were also to release the ColdFusion MX or version 6.0. Built complete from the Java 2 Enterprise Edition platform, ColdFusion was finally capable of being utilised on any type of web server available assuming J2EE was also installed.

Macromedia would continue using the MX naming system on ColdFusion up until Adobe bought them out. By ColdFusion 8.0, the MX was all but gone. Since this time a number of rather large advancements have been added to the ColdFusion Matrix making it one of the fastest growing production languages around with more than 5,000 websites already using it including that of Adobe.com. Furthermore, there are a number of open source content management systems currently available in ColdFusion of which the most popular is that of SAVA; which gets its name from the core development language of Sun’s Java.

Original Authors: Nick
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 30/01/2009

 


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