ColdFusion Feature Usage Survey

Please participate in this ColdFusion feature usage survey. This is not a typical feature usage survey for ColdFusion. The purpose of this survey is to understand the usage of some of the old or not-so-popular features of ColdFusion.

The information gathered here will help Adobe deprecate/retain/provide alternate features in the next major version of ColdFusion.

Thanks for your time.

18 Responses

  1. Mostly just subscribing. Although it would be good to get an elaboration behind the driver for this. I have written a follow-up to Rakshith’s initial Twitter message, and that’s getting some interesting feedback (if one ignores the bits about why you used Survey Monkey instead of Adobe’s own survey engine thingey).

    Previously I polled people for what they thought was important in CFML: This was with a view to encouraging the notion of modularising CF, and which bits need to go in the CORE and which would be add-ons, but it’s got useful information as to what people thing is important in CFML. It might be useful for you.


  2. How many responses have you got so far, Rakshith? Are you going to publish the results?

    Oh, hey, btw: did you put notification on the Adobe CF forums? What about CFTALK? On the Adobe ColdFusion Portal (haven’t checked). Emailed your registered users? Basically: who knows about this survey?


  3. @Adam: I have used Adobe FormsCentral for surveys previously, but I find SurveyMonkey better for analyzing the results.

    The intent of the survey was to find out the usage of some of the legacy features within ColdFusion and their importance in today’s CF development. I do know that most of the features here are not used by a high majority and are potential candidates for future deprecation. But there could be a minority who still find the need to use a particular feature or more so are looking for alternate feature for the same functionality. The results will provide strong hints for us to come up with an alternative going forward before perhaps deprecating a legacy feature. Or in few other cases there could already be a alternate feature but yet significant few consider it important. That is when we will have to explicitly document the move towards the alternate feature if we decide to deprecate the feature. All the data points required to take these calls will come from the survey posted above.

    @Rich: Just the presence of CFREPORT in the survey does not mean that we will deprecate the feature. If there is a strong need for the feature, we will plan on providing an alternative in the upcoming versions of CF or better existing functionality.

    @Adam: 600+ responses so far. I just posted it on the Adobe CF Forums. I will not be publishing the results, but I can provide an overall sense of the responses. Publishing results will add more questions than answers adding to the confusion when the deprecated feature list for the next version is announced.

  4. Sorry Rakshith, how do you figure this would be the case:
    “Publishing results will add more questions than answers adding to the confusion when the deprecated feature list for the next version is announced.” ?

    What does all that really mean?


  5. I’d like to see the CF team take another shot at datagrids and ui elements. Current ones are becoming visually dated and also can be a bit of a pain to customize in both skinning and functionality. Not just datagrids, but the modals from YUI are a bit restrictive. I find myself frequently opting for other solutions that give me back more control. I think this is pretty much a critical piece in any app and most of the pieces in place with CF were the cream of the crop back in 2006-2007. Times have changed so I propose a CFChart like upgrade for these too.

  6. Also wanted to respond to Adam’s interesting survey. One of my big selling points on CF is that many of the libraries you’d have to pay for with the others, you get with CF included and with no financial strings attached. Many clients save alot of money on that point. That said certain features could definately go that route. I was pushing for exchange integration, however the ultimate feature fell short of what I was really hoping for which was all the hooks to be able to manage an exchange server in a SaaS environment (creating boxes, removing boxes, device wipe, etc.). Feature like that I can see paying extra for. I’ve also wondered of similar for IIS and automating the website setup process. Another I’d pay for. These help SaaS based businesses reduce their overhead greatly. I also relize a large ratio of the community would never use these, which I think makes the additional pricing fair. I’d just never want to pay for a core feature like pdfs, web services, image manipulation, charting, or anything of consistant use which would just complicate the buying and deployment process. Finally, I noticed the form, ui, and framework related topics got low usage scores, again I think that is because its become dated. Specially after Flex is all but retired, I’d like to see Adobe come up with some solid jquery solutions that tie in seemlessly and are easy to skin and modify functionally.

  7. Interesting that you call PDFs, image manipulation and charts “core” to the product. I have never once been required to produce a PDF with ColdFusion. Nor create or manipulate an image. Nor actually even produce a chart. Of the three concepts, charting is the only one I’ve needed to do but CFCHART wasn’t up to the job, so we used third-party technology. Well: the charting in CF *is* third-party I guess. I meant a different third-party.

    So one person’s “core” is another person’s “I have no need for this, so why am I being made to pay for it?”

    Just food for thought. And more of a justification for modularising the product and making it a more cost-effective option for more people.

    I think the DB drivers are probably the only thing in CF I use that is not in the immediate “core” of the language. And even then I’d consider using some other option if I had the option not to pay for them with CF.


  8. PDF’s, our typical use is creating saveable reciepts, digital certificates for product licenses, and I had a large client that created dynamic pdf manuals. For the later it was probably the sole reason for using CF.

    Image manipulation is always used, when an image is uploaded, you need to be able to resize and optimize for efficient use of hardware. It also provides a better user experience, your standard user is going to upload a photo right from their phone, which is probably several MB.

    Charting is pretty common use in SaaS apps. Until CF10 charting the charts available were a bit dated. I still think they need to add Gantt charts to the mix.

    I can see we differ a bit on ColdFusion’s selling point. If they only had DB drivers and common languages functions, then nobody would buy as the other languages offer this up at no cost. I sell CF as a premium application layer that is loaded with tools they’d have to pay alot more for to buy the libraries seperately. My clients seem to love that they aren’t nickel and dimed for every feature they ask for. Finally as a SaaS CF has huge cost advantages. Many of the third party abilities charge you at a whole different level of pricing for being a SaaS provider. CF lets you do it all without all these financial strings attached that would normally hold down a small business.

  9. Oh, Coldfusion survey is going to be conducted. That’s an useful information to us. Coldfusion 10 has new features like websockets, ORM search, security, etc. The additional features like language enhancements, closures and java integration are great features. The REST webservices is one of the great features included in coldfusion 10.

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