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.
There’s no separate installer for it. Instead, the way it works is that after that 60-day trial is over, if you don’t add a license key, it will indicate that it will switch to this Express edition.
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, 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.
It goes on to list the few features withheld from the Express edition, which some may never notice.
Second, I’ll note that the availability of this free Express edition is not new for ColdFusion Builder 2018 or 2026. 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.
(FWIW, note that in addition to the free Express edition of CFBuilder, there is also a free Express edition of ColdFusion, itself. This is in fact new to 2018 or 2016, either 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 Docker instances may supplant this Express edition as the preferred means to implement CF without running an installer.)
As for the Express edition of CFBuilder. I point it out because some people complain similarly that they don’t want to even consider 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. 🙂
Finally, I’ll note that if you buy CF, did you know you get a cfb license included? See the pricing section of the CFB FAQ for more. (The person who buys CF is emailed the license info for CFB.)