CF install/deployment choices: what’s right for me?

When you download and install ColdFusion, you are offered various options. They may be a bit confusing if you’re not familiar with the choices. Also, some folks are not aware of all the options and may not realize there’s an option that may better suit their needs.

As you contemplate proceeding with installing ColdFusion, should you be choosing the Trial or Developer Edition? What if you plan to license Standard or Enterprise? What’s the difference between all these? And when you are asked whether to deploy the Server or JEE version, what is the difference? And did you know there are two free deployment editions, other than the free trial: Developer and Express. And there is an option to install the Developer edition along with ColdFusion Builder? Finally, what if you are deploying CF on AWS? Did you know there has been a ColdFusion Amazon Machine Image (AMI) for each release since CF10? Want to deploy on Docker or OpenShift? Those are planned for late 2017.

In this article, veteran CF troubleshooter Charlie Arehart helps you consider more about all these options.


When you download CF, did you know that there is really is just one installer, regardless of whether you will be running the free Trial or Developer editions, or the Standard or Enterprise editions. Of course there are different installers for the different supported operating systems. There is also a separate file you would download for the ColdFusion Express edition, introduced in ColdFusion 11. More on that in a moment. In the case of the AMI, it is a preconfigured fully installed instance running CF. And of course the new Docker and OpenShift deployment options would have their own files to be downloaded.

You can find CF installers (and additional discussions of options) at (which redirects to the Adobe CF product family page,


With the traditional CF installer (the first one discussed above), you will be asked during installation if you want to run the free Trial (which runs as if the Enterprise edition for 30 days) or the Developer Edition (which is free but limited to two concurrent IP addresses making requests, and is of course not intended for production use). Or you can enter a license key (if you have purchased one) for CF Standard or Enterprise.

Licensing Options

The two licensing options for CF are Standard and Enterprise. You can find more about the differences between those editions here: This page also helps you see the differences in features between ColdFusion 2016 and earlier releases. A similar comparison to earlier releases I offered at the similarly-named but different page, here:

Configuration Choices

With the traditional CF installer, after choosing the edition and/or entering a license, you are next offered the choice of configuration options: Server or JEE.

Most users would want to choose Server, which deploys CF as a standalone server running atop Tomcat (in a way that is transparent to you, and in a ColdFusion directory by default).  For more on installing ColdFusion with the Server form of deployment, see

The JEE option is suited to those who would want to deploy ColdFusion as a JEE (Java Enterprise Edition) war or ear file, such as atop some other JEE application server or servlet engine (Tomcat, JBoss, Jetty, WebLogic, to name just a few). This option suits organizations that have standardized on JEE as a platform, and yet who want to still run their CF apps on that platform (since after all, CF compiles to Java). A person responsible for JEE application deployment would take this war or ear file and deploy it in whatever manner is suited to the JEE platform/servlet engine of their choice. For more on installing this deployment option, see

Other Deployment Options

As discussed at the outset, there are still other CF deployment options which have been released in recent years or are coming soon.

First, ColdFusion 11 introduced a new deployment option, called ColdFusion Express (which is not related at all to the same-named version from the CF 4 timeframe), This new deployment option enables you to quickly set up a development or demonstration instance of ColdFusion without running a full installer. It’s ideal for developers who want to run a ColdFusion programming instance for testing and debugging purposes, though note it is not able to be licensed for production user. For more on installing ColdFusion Express, see

Second, ColdFusion Builder 2016 offered a new option to install the CF Developer edition alongside the IDE, which is a useful shortcut for those deploying CFBuilder and CF at the same time.

Third, ColdFusion 10 introduced the Amazon Machine Image (AMI) deployment option, whereby you can deploy a preconfigured ColdFusion 2016 Enterprise server (on Windows or Linux) at a low hourly cost, with all the reliability and scalability of the Amazon cloud. For more, see

And finally, later in 2017, Adobe plans to release ColdFusion Docker and OpenShift images, allowing developers and administrators the ease and power of deploying software on these open platforms for building, running, and shipping distributed applications. Look for an announcement at some point on the Adobe blog,

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