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What Is ColdFusion in the Age of Java?

Since CFMX it has been a J2EE application running within a J2EE server

Andrew Powell's Blog

As CFML developers start to learn Java and move into the realm of Spring and Hibernate, it is very important to stop and ask 'What Is ColdFusion?'. ColdFusion, since CFMX, has been a J2EE application running within a J2EE server (JRun, JBoss, Tomcat, Websphere, etc.). This is important because thinking of ColdFusion like this lets us expand our mind to what we can really do with ColdFusion. We (CFML developers) can start to leverage J2EE services and frameworks like JPA, JNDI, JTA, and others to make ColdFusion a real player in the J2EE stack.

Java developers are quick to dismiss ColdFusion as simply a J2EE app and miss its real potential:  It is the fastest way to get data to the web.  It is the fastest way to get data to AJAX, Flex, Silverlight, and even JavaFX (the last two via XML or web service).  I think that going forward, ColdFusion will really shine in this space and make itself be known as a the leader in moving data into RIAs.

ColdFusion also provides complex services easier than Java, .Net, Ruby, or whatever wishes they could.  Let's look at a couple of examples:  CFMAIL is, by far, the easiest way to generate email from an application.  CFPDF?  Are you kidding me?  It doesn't get any easier than this.  Don't tell the Java guys this, but it integrates with JMS easier than Java does too (look at the gateways).  These specialty services are an often used, but at times, overlooked part of ColdFusion because of their simplicity.  By the same token, they're often a source of ammo for the ColdFusion detractors.  Maybe they're just jealous.  

Simply put, at the end of the day, ColdFusion is a J2EE app that enables you to be more productive than if you were writing pure Java or CFML code, alone.  Look at it, and embrace it as such, and a whole new world will open up to you, as a CFML or Java developer.


[This appeared originally here and is republished by kind permission of the author, who retains copyright.]

More Stories By Andrew Powell

Andrew Powell has been architecting and developing Web applications for over 10 years using ColdFusion, Java, ASP.NET and ASP. His background includes experience running IT Departments for firms in the executive search and aviation consulting fields. You can read his blog on everything ColdFusion, Java, Flex & AJAX at www.infoaccelerator.net.

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