Adobe ColdFusion 2018: Step into the Aether

The wait is over. Adobe ColdFusion 2018 has arrived! After speaking with Rakshith Naresh in our episode “Revealing the ColdFusion 2018 Roadmap Details”, we discussed some of what was going to be revealed in ColdFusion 2018. He was very detailed and has explained some of the great new performance and security features to be added to Adobe ColdFusion 2018. Here at TeraTech, we just couldn’t wait for it to be released. After the public beta went live in April of this year, great things were said by the community about some of the new changes made to Adobe ColdFusion. Let’s talk about some of the features debuting now in the Adobe ColdFusion 2018 family. I am also eager to hear first impressions from Adobe ColdFusion experts and developers.

“Warp speed developments in technology – automation, artificial intelligence, and the arrival of the sharing economy – are transforming how we work. Beyond technology, traditional working patterns are also being disrupted by changes in society, organizations and workforce management, leading to the rise of a more independent and dispersed workforce.” –Alain Dehaze , CEO of The Adecco Group.

Adobe ColdFusion 2018 Standard Edition

For CF developers who need basic amenities, ColdFusion 2018 Standard version is the way to go. ColdFusion 18 carries over all of the options from previous editions and improves upon them. It also comes with a plethora of new features designed to maximize the performance of the platform. Here are just a few:

Asynchronous Programming

With synchronous programming, your program is executed one line at a time going line by line. Although thorough, this particular way of programming has its flaws. If entering a time consuming execution, synchronous programming becomes very tedious. There is no way to stop the process once started.

Now with ColdFusion’s new asynchronous programming, that particular bottleneck can be avoided. You can now enhance the performance of your application by transferring resource-heavy code segments to a secondary thread. Use the new RUNASYNC function to properly execute code without having to manage multiple threads.

REST Playground

Create and control all of your REST services from one convenient application. What are REST services? REST stand for Representational State Transfer. These services include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Representations
  • Messages
  • URIs
  • Uniform Interface
  • Links between Resources
  • Caching

Adobe’s new UI makes it simple to validate the accuracy of all your REST APIs. You can also make changes to your APIs without having to restart the application.

Related: The Best REST You’ve ever Had: ColdBox REST with Nathaniel Francis

Server Monitor

Why is it helpful to have a server monitor? It seems like a no-brainer, as server monitoring is a crucial part of daily development life. It is always helpful to know when there are problems or issues with your server. Server monitoring is there to inform you of the performance of the very heart of your network. Adobe’s new server monitor can help you do just that. It allows you to monitor problem areas and flag issues that arise so you can initiate corrective responses faster. Know your response times and throughput of nodes, apps, and pages in real time.

Related: 11 Top Server Management & Monitoring Software

Modern Admin U/I

Adobe has revamped the user interface with a new sleek and easy to use interface. This allows you to carry out all administrator tasks from one simple page. You will have access to all ColdFusion settings from here. This particular feature will make life much easier for new CF developers and veterans alike.

Comment Exchange across Files

Never before have your review workflows been so efficient on Adobe ColdFusion. With this new ColdFusion 2018 feature, you can easily export comments from your PDF files to XFDF and vice versa. This feature also maintains comment positioning from the original file to the transfer file.

Standardized PDF Metadata

Another enhancement to the PDF system of ColdFusion is standardized PDF metadata. This is great because it allows and ensures consistency of PDF data across your entire operation. You can easily create, share, and apply this metadata by transferring between PDF and XMP files. This also applies to copyright notices, authoring data, and keywords.

Adobe ColdFusion Standard comes in at $2,499.00. However for those unsure whether to buy, there is a 30 day free trial of ColdFusion 2018 Standard available on the website. Give it a try and find out whether the standard edition is right for your needs.

Adobe ColdFusion 2018 Enterprise Edition

If you require more than the standard version can offer, maybe the EE is right for you. Adobe’s Enterprise Edition of ColdFusion has been a staple for CF developers requiring more support and functions for deeper and more complex projects. This new version release has come with many new functions. Let’s explore some of them:

Auto Lockdown

This is a great new feature for those with security concerns. The days of manually locking down your project in ColdFusion are in the past. With the new auto lockdown feature, you can implement lockdown of your production server with one simple click. Full lockdown procedures will be systemically applied making sure all security measures are fail-safe and within compliance. After the lockdown, all systems will be continuously monitored for breaches and potential security threats.

Code Profiler

This tool was introduced to help with performance and troubleshooting issues. The Code Profiler tool allows for users to swiftly identify, analyze, debug, and resolve complex issues buried deep inside the complex code. This allows you to pinpoint sources of bottlenecks and troubleshoot complex issues more effectively.

Multi-latency Support

With this new feature, you will be able to maximize your resource sharing and ROI. This occurs by exposing APIs to multiple organizations all on the same server. You can also control access to your server by flagging organizations and isolating their tenant space. Finally, you can assign organization admins the right to manage and monitor individual tenancies.

Distributed Cache

Improve your performance and enhance your scalability by taking advantage of the distributed cache. This allows for built-in support for three popular industry engines:

  1. JCS
  2. Memcached
  3. Redis

For other developers, you can insert your own caching engine. Just implement a simple CFML interface.

Performance Monitoring Tool Kit

The Performance Monitoring Tool Kit includes much more than just Code Profiler and Distributed Cache. It is a standalone server with low overhead to control and optimize applications. Here are some other features it has:

  • Server Monitor
  • Automatic Connector Tuner
  • Database Monitor
  • External Sources Monitor
  • External Storage for Session Scope

The new toolkit has a little of everything sure to fit all developers needs for optimum performance.

These features are just a few of the functions you will receive upon purchasing Adobe ColdFusion EE. The version comes in starting at $9,499.00. Like the standard edition, the EE comes with a 30-day trial to determine if this is the right product for your needs.

Related: Into the CLOUD with FusionReactor (ColdFusion Application Performance Monitor) with David Tattersall

CLI and Read-Print-Eval Loop

You can now work with files, databases, email, and invoke web services by executing CFM via the command line. Also, you can execute the Admin API from the CLI to script your CF server settings. Support has been added for REPL (Read-Print-Eval Loop). REPL is an interactive programming environment. It allows for single user input to be evaluated and returned to the user. You can enter REPL mode in CF 2018 from the home directory. Simply input cf.bat/cf.sh and REPL will open in the terminal. While in REPL mode, you can run and execute snippets of code, multiple lines of code, or a cfm. There are a few advantages to running code using CLI and REPL. First, you can automate server setup using the administrator. Next, this allows you to rapidly test snippets of code. Lastly, you can test out a cfm without having to start up the server. As an added bonus, all features of CLI are readily available in REPL mode.

Brand New Built-in Functions

Along with all the great new features Adobe has pumped into ColdFusion, some of the most interesting may be a set of new functions that can be utilized. These BIF (Built In Functions) are all utilized using single line invocation. These are available for both editions.

Queries Functions
  • QueryDeleteRow( Object query, int rowNum )
  • QueryDeleteColumn( Object query, String columnName)
Arrays Functions
  • ArrayFirst(List list)
  • ArrayLast(List list)
Date Functions
  • format(Date date)
  • format (Date date, String mask)
  • format (Date date, String mask, String timeZone)
XML Functions
  • XmlIsEmpty( XmlNodeList xmlNodeList )
  • XmlCount( XmlNodeList xml )
  • XmlAppend( XmlNodeList xml1, XmlNodeList xml2 )
  • XmlUpdate( XmlNodeList xml, String key, Object value )
  • XmlKeyList( XmlNodeList xml )
  • XmlKeyArray( XmlNodeList xml )
Async Functions
  • RunAsync()
  • RunAsync(UDFMethod method)
  • RunAsync(UDFMethod method, long timeOut)

Numeric Member Functions have also been introduced for the following:

var.abs() var.aCos() var.aSin()
var.atn() var.bitAnd(number2) var.bitMaskClear(start, length)
var.bitMaskRead(start, length) var.bitMaskSet(mask, start, length) var.bitNot()
var.bitOr(number2) var.bitSHLN(count) var.bitXor(number2)
var.ceiling() var.cos() var.decrementValue()
var.exp() var.fix() var.floor()
var.formatBaseN(radix) var.incrementValue() var.log()
var.log10() var.max(number) var.min(number)
var.round() var.sgn() var.sin()
var.sqr() var.tan()

Along with, member functions have been enhanced to provide meaningful values as to enhance Member Functions Chaining.

Array
  • arrayObj.clear()
  • arrayObj.deleteAt()
  • arrayObj.delete()
  • arrayObj.deleteNoCase()
  • arrayObj.insertAt()
  • arrayObj.prepend()
  • arrayObj.resize()
  • arrayObj.set()
  • arrayObj.sort()
  • arrayObj.swap()
Struct
  • structObj.delete()
  • structObj.insert()
  • structObj.update()
Async Member Functions
  • then(UDFMethod method)
  • then(UDFMethod method, long timeout)
  • error(UDFMethod method)
  • error(UDFMethod method, long timeout)
  • get()
  • get(long timeout)
  • cancel()
  • isCancelled()
  • isDone()

 

Adobe ColdFusion Builder

Adobe ColdFusion Builder is a robust yet lightweight, quick loading IDE that complements your ColdFusion 2018 purchase. This can automatically detect vulnerabilities in your code. You can also finish apps faster with tools that help develop, test, debug, and deploy. Some of the features ColdFusion Builder comes equipped with are:

Intelligent Code Assist

You can accelerate your application development with intelligent, ordered code assist for CFML, CFScript, HTML, JavaScript and CSS. Code assist even extends to third-party JavaScript libraries found within your app’s libraries. This can help to find and eliminate development errors.

Professional Coding Support

Adobe offers a way to boost your productivity with a professional IDE that includes editors for CFML, CFScript, HTML, JavaScript, SQL, and CSS. According to Adobe, you may leverage customizable syntax coloring, statement completion, code folding, interactive step-through debugging, and snippet support to work more efficiently.

Security Code Analyzer

This another top-of-the-line security update from Adobe. Every CF expert knows the weight that a great security system can carry. This tool pushes levels of security to a new level. It automatically scans and searches your application code for any existing security vulnerabilities and any potential security breaches. It determines the exact vulnerable code, type of vulnerability, and severity level. After all of that, the analyzer presents you with the option of removing and repairing the problem via recommended means. This may be the security tool that we have all been waiting on.

Integrated Debugger

Use the integrated debugger to reduce your testing times. This can also be used to detect and repair hard-to-fix bugs. All you have to do is run your code directly within the IDE to analyze for the hostile code. The integrated debugger is here to make your debugging life much easier.

You can purchase this package separately from ColdFusion 2018 for $299.00 or add it on as an upgrade to ColdFusion 2018 for $49.99.

“The enormous digital transformation that we are witnessing around us has made it an absolute necessity for organizations to quickly adapt to changing market developments”

-Tridib Roy Chowdhury, Senior Director of Products, Adobe

These are the new products Adobe has released with its ColdFusion 2018 family. There are many new features Adobe has installed with the focus being primarily on platform performance. However, a few great security additions have been made. This seems to be a well-thought out release with consumer needs in mind. Go and try out the latest version of Adobe ColdFusion, and let us know what you think!

What are your hopes for Adobe’s ColdFusion 2018? Are you excited to see what lies ahead for Adobe ColdFusion? Are you going to make the switch to ColdFusion 2018?

Join the conversation in the comments below.

And to continue learning how to make your ColdFusion apps more modern and alive, I encourage you to download our free ColdFusion Alive Best Practices Checklist.

Because… perhaps you are responsible for a mission-critical or revenue-generating CF application that you don’t trust 100%, where implementing new features is a painful ad-hoc process with slow turnaround even for simple requests.

What if you have no contingency plan for a sudden developer departure or a server outage? Perhaps every time a new freelancer works on your site, something breaks. Or your application availability, security, and reliability are poor.

And if you are depending on ColdFusion for your job, then you can’t afford to let your CF development methods die on the vine.

You’re making a high-stakes bet that everything is going to be OK using the same old app creation ways in that one language — forever.

All it would take is for your fellow CF developer to quit or for your CIO to decide to leave the (falsely) perceived sinking ship of CFML and you could lose everything—your project, your hard-won CF skills, and possibly even your job.

Luckily, there are a number of simple, logical steps you can take now to protect yourself from these obvious risks.

No Brainer ColdFusion Best Practices to Ensure You Thrive No Matter What Happens Next

ColdFusion Alive Best Practices Checklist

ColdFusion Alive Best Practices Checklist

Modern ColdFusion development best practices that reduce stress, inefficiency, project lifecycle costs while simultaneously increasing project velocity and innovation.

 Easily create a consistent server architecture across development, testing, and production

 A modern test environment to prevent bugs from spreading

√ Automated continuous integration tools that work well with CF

 A portable development environment baked into your codebase… for free!

 

Learn about these and many more strategies in our free ColdFusion Alive Best Practices Checklist.

 

 

Originally published at teratech.com on August 11, 2018.

2 Responses

  1. Folks, there are some problems with this post. First, it asserts that many of the new things are enterprise-only in cf2018 when in fact Rakshith confirmed for me that only one is: the distributed caching.

    You may want to confirm that yourselves and revise this and your original post accordingly.

    Also, the title refers to aether but the article makes no mention of it. For readers on both sites, it could be helpful to at least mention that it was the codename for cf2018. But really, I’d have thought there was no reason to refer to it in the title, now a month after the release.

    Hope that’s helpful, for you or readers.

    Indeed, for those interested in links to more on each new feature, I have those (and a different presentation of the new features) at a teo-part series I did:

    https://www.carehart.org/blog/client/index.cfm/2018/7/19/whats_new_in_CF2018

    • Charlie,
      thanks for the heads up. Nice catch.
      We’ve immediately sent an inquiry to Kishore and waiting for an update.
      We will update the article once we get a confirmation from the guys from Adobe.
      Thanks for the link also! It’s very helpful!

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