Did you know there’s a free “Express” edition of ColdFusion Builder?

Did you know there’s an available free “Express” edition of ColdFusion Builder? You may already know there’s an available 60-day trial, but I’m not talking about that (which gives you full access to all features of CFBuilder for 60 days).

Instead, I’m talking about the Express edition, which is entirely free, even for production use. What happens is that after that trial is over, if you don’t add a license key, it will switch automatically to this Express edition, warning you of that.

It does remove some important features (and when you try to use those, it will also popup to warn that the Express edition doesn’t support them), but for some folks the remaining functionality in the Express edition will still be compelling, if they enjoy using CFBuilder over other available CFML editing options. If you’re interested to know more about the Express edition, read on.

First, if you’re interested, you can find confirmation of the availability and functionality of the Express edition in the CFBuilder documentation, where in the “About” page for CFBuilder 2016,  it indicates that:

After the trial expires, you need to purchase a license to continue using all the features. If not, ColdFusion Builder switches to a feature-limited Express Edition.

(Granted, as of this writing, I found that this the sentence prior to that still refers to CF Builder 2. I’ve brought this to the attention of the documentation folks. )

Second, I’ll note that the availability of this free Express edition is not new for ColdFusion Builder 2016. It was true for ColdFusion Builder 3 and 2, as well, as discussed when it first came out back in 2011 by folks like Ben Forta and Chris Tierney.

Third, as for what is removed in the Express edition, the “About” page above goes on to list those. Some may be important to a segment of users, but I’m sure many people won’t notice/don’t leverage the missing features and would still benefit from all those which do remain enabled.

(Another problem with that doc page, which again I have brought to the CF docs folks, is that it lists things “removed from Express” which are in fact no longer part of CFBuilder at all since CFB3, such as the FTP feature.  It also does not currently list the Security Code Analyzer, new in CFB2016, which I’m pretty sure would be removed from the free Express edition.)

Speaking of the documentation, I did a post related to them here a couple of weeks ago, pointing out the many available CF online manuals. See, Did you know there’s far more to the CF docs than just the CFML Reference?

Finally, in addition to the free Express edition of CFBuilder, note that there is also a free Express edition of ColdFusion 2016, itself. This is in fact new to 2016, and while it’s a primarily a form of CF deployment which avoids need of an installer, it does lack some features (again, which many may not miss, and related to other services that can be installed along with CF during use of the full installer).  The most important thing to note may be that it is NOT meant for production, as indicated in the first sentence/box of the page, Installing ColdFusion Express. We’ll see if that stance may ever change, or if the new planned Docker instances may supplant this Express edition as the preferred means to implement CF without running an installer.

But there are no such limitations for the Express edition of CFBuilder. I point it out because some people complain they don’t want to even consider using it because it “costs money”. Well, besides the 60 day trial that provides ALL its features, see if you don’t find that the Express edition can still be useful (for what it does offer over other CFML editors).

But do be sure to explore what all the full version of ColdFusion Builder does offer, whether during the trial or once you enter a license key. See the manual, Using ColdFusion Builder, which has 160 pages of information to help you go way beyond what you may figure out just by poking around and trying what you may know from other editors. CF Builder can do much more than most people realize, which is fodder for another post, whether from me or someone else. 🙂

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