ColdFusion and Flash integrate in IDE

Jeff Feinman
July 13, 2009 —  Adobe is updating its ColdFusion application development platform and rolling out a new IDE for the venerable platform.

ColdFusion Builder, released today as a public beta, is an Eclipse-based IDE for building ColdFusion applications, dynamic websites and Internet applications. The IDE lets ColdFusion developers integrate more thoroughly with the Flash platform by creating a tight workflow between the two products, said Adam Lehman, Adobe’s product manager for ColdFusion.

ColdFusion Builder, which was previously codenamed “Bolt,” allows for the use of CFML, CSS, HTML and JavaScript. Additionally, there are application debuggers and the ability to do custom code generation.

“One of the things that starts to separate us apart is this idea that ColdFusion Builder ties your servers to your project,” Lehman said.

“It understands your servers. We allow you do a little bit of server management with ColdFusion Builder, so I can stop and restart my servers, and load directly into the administrator.”

ColdFusion 9, meanwhile, brings integration with the Hibernate object-relational mapping (ORM) and persistence project to enable developers to create database-independent applications, which can quicken application development and deployment.

“While we wanted to expose the full power of Hibernate, we wanted to make it easy enough that a junior developer could pick up and start using ORM to get those benefits,” Lehman said.

“With Hibernate, you end up writing a lot less code, and the applications become database-independent. If I’m developing locally on MySQL, but I want to go and deploy to Oracle when I get to production, there’s no worrying about inconsistencies.”

The new version of ColdFusion now integrates with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 so that ColdFusion users can access data from SharePoint. There is also the ability to natively build portlets to expose ColdFusion applications to Web portals.

Other improvements in ColdFusion include integration with the Ext JS cross-browser JavaScript library for building rich Internet applications, and scripting improvements for ColdFusion’s self-titled markup language.

“If you’re not necessarily a tag-based developer and want to use pure script, you can do that now,” Lehman said.

This is the first time that Adobe has updated ColdFusion in two years. ColdFusion 8 introduced Server Monitor, which let developers identify bottlenecks and carry out database query caching. That version also refined the ColdFusion language so it more closely fits the needs of Web developers.

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