Over the last few weeks there have been quite a few passionate discussions happening on ColdFusion, including the blog post from Cutter recently.
I thank the ColdFusion community for all the feedback and I want to assure you that Adobe is very much a part of the story on the revival of ColdFusion. There is no denying that the road ahead is challenging, but all of us here at Adobe strongly believe that there is enough potential in ColdFusion and want to see the platform as successful as ever. Rather than viewing Adobe and community as two separate entities, we are keen to work with the community with a common goal of reviving ColdFusion. And in that context the feedback that we have been receiving is extremely valuable.
While not every single feedback can be acted upon, I want to make the point that ‘WE HEAR YOU’ and we are taking actions and will continue to take them for the better of ColdFusion. I want to use this opportunity to discuss with you the initiatives, updates about the product and its ecosystem as well as product news from Adobe.
We do hear news about an organization moving away from ColdFusion. How about we start by talking about how many new organizations are adopting ColdFusion? Nearly 2000 new organizations have chosen ColdFusion as their web application platform over the last one year. And this not a random number being thrown at you. There is data in our system to back this claim.
User Group Engagement
Since the beginning of this year, we have been engaging with ColdFusion User Groups across the world providing them support to keep the User Groups active. While we only had 22 active User Groups at the beginning of this year, the engagement levels have gone up. We now have 74 active ColdFusion User Groups that meet at least once a quarter across North America, Europe and the rest of the world.
CFSummit, as most of you know, is the first ever dedicated ColdFusion conference from Adobe. Thanks to great efforts from teams within Adobe and the ColdFusion community, CFSummit will be the largest ColdFusion conference with 500 + expected attendees. We have more than 20 speakers and 28 engaging sessions spread across two action packed days in Vegas. ColdFusion is going to rock Vegas, baby! Be there! Don’t forget to say hi to the Product Marketing Manager of ColdFusion, Kishore Balakrishnan, who is instrumental in running this large ColdFusion conference.
ColdFusion Community Portal
The ColdFusion Community Portal was launched by Adobe this year : http://coldfusion.adobe.com
The community portal is one centralized access point for information on the latest in ColdFusion. It also provides our partners and consultants to showcase their capabilities and latest innovations with the platform. It is also a User Group hub where ColdFusion developers can find information related to various User Groups and their events.
ColdFusion case studies
Organizations, across the board – from small, medium to large, continue to derive value from ColdFusion. This is evident in the case studies listed below where organizations have reported flat learning curve, product launches now taking under two hours which used to take a day, ColdFusion allowing 40% more projects on a single server, less lines of code (100k vs 4.5 million) and more. Here are the links for the recent case studies that talk about each of these in detail,
We at Adobe already have designed a brand new curriculum titled 'Introduction to Web Development', focusing on the latest in Client-side Development, Mobile Application Development and Server Side development through ColdFusion. The idea of the course is to provide a holistic view to web application development rather than focusing on individual aspects of web development. I can even challenge that there is no other web application development curriculum available for education that provides such a complete learning of all concepts related to modern web application development. All of this is made available free of cost along with the licenses required.
We are actively looking to partner with colleges. We have three colleges/universities that are using the curriculum in the fall semester. We will have many more in the upcoming spring semester. We are really looking forward for involvement from the community to promote the curriculum in your local colleges. The support from the community so far has not been encouraging although there a few who have made all efforts to spread the word to get adoption at colleges. We clearly need more support! We are open to not just colleges/universities, but also to anyone who is willing to teach web application development even at a local community center. There is enough instructor guidance available through videos for the entire forty hours of curriculum.
We are even willing to work with a community leader who can take the curriculum to an online platform for a much wider reach. Do reach to us if you have any ideas here!
Although we make improvements with every release, we understand that there is more to be done in the product to overhaul the platform. ColdFusion has lost aspects of productivity benefits in web application development to some of the other emerging platforms over the years.
There are quite a few language improvements such as full script support and member functions that are already a part of the upcoming version – Splendor. The goal of Dazzle, the version after Splendor, is to transform ColdFusion into a high performing nimble platform that is truly modular, powered with revamped language constructs and an enterprise class package manager to encourage an ecosystem around the platform. I believe these, along with the mobile application development focus in Splendor and the continuous innovation in future releases, have the potential to bring ColdFusion back on par as a modern web application development platform.
We will also actively deprecate/remove features that no longer are relevant although keeping in mind not to affect existing ColdFusion applications. You will notice action here starting right from ColdFusion Splendor.
Earlier this year, the ColdFusion support launched a new alias through which the community can directly reach support for free and instant support regarding all installation issues via the firstname.lastname@example.org email alias. The support team effectively handle around ten email queries on a daily basis in email@example.com related to updates, installation and applying hotfixes.
Here are a few Customer testimonials for support team:
"I contacted firstname.lastname@example.org and they helped me very quickly."
"I wanted to thank you for the dedication and patience which you have shown our team here. You are a tremendous asset to your company and we truly appreciate your efforts on this case."
"The person who I was interacting with in the support team is magnificent and very very knowledgeable. He resolved the easy ones quickly and patiently stuck with me on the tough ones and got me through"
Support team is also active on Adobe ColdFusion forums providing close to real time resolution. This engagement on the forums is beneficial for ColdFusion developers who face issues and the forum interaction can lead to the solution being used my many more. Two of the support engineers are also one of the recent top contributors on the forum.
Even IDC in its whitepaper on ColdFusion believes that “ColdFusion's role as an integration hub of multiple paradigms of technologies and multiple developer ecosystems will continue as all the features that have been built into it are further integrated with new technology currently in planning.”
While all of us realize that all is not rosy, we need to work together to elevate ColdFusion from its current state. There is enough to be done by both Adobe and the community at large. Now that we have a fair feedback and idea on what is required, it is time to take the next steps. Here’s to many more years of ColdFusion! We are open to feedback. Reach out to us with any of the ideas that you may have on how we can work together for a better ColdFusion.