Did you know that CF2018 has an updated installer, released in Feb 2019, which ships with Java 11 and CF2018 update 2? Read on for this and still more.
Did you know that the ColdFusion 2018 installer was “refreshed” on Feb 12, 2019? Its primary change was to include Java 11, as the original installer from July 2018 shipped with Java 10. It also comes pre-configured with CF2018 update 2. Even so, there are subsequent updates to both CF and Java that you should consider. I also share here info on identifying the installers, and possible issues to consider going forward, given the existence of these different installers for the same CF version.
How it’s news you could have missed
If you hadn’t heard about this updated installer, it would was easy to miss the news in the flurry of CF updates which had been released the same day (for CF2018, CF2016, and CF11), as well as more the next week and yet a week later. While there were indeed Adobe blog posts about each of those updates, I don’t find that there was a separate Adobe blog post about the refreshed installer, which is why I’m writing this.
Instead, the new installer is mentioned only briefly in the page which lists all ColdFusion (2018 release) updates, as indicated between the news of updates 2 and 3:
ColdFusion (2018 release) Update 2 – installer refresh
ColdFusion (2018 release) Update 2 installer refresh (release date February 12, 2019) contains support for Java 11
So to be clear, if you do download (or have downloaded) CF2018 from the Adobe CF site after that date, you will get the new installer.
Some further updates you should still consider
Though the installer is “updated”, it can no longer be considered to “completely updated”, in terms of both CF2018 and Java.
First, as I noted above there was another update to CF2018 since then: Update 3, on March 1, which included an important security update, so you will want to apply that also.
Next, the JVM which the new installer comes with is version 11.0.1, and since then there was the newer 11.0.2, which you should consider. And yes, Adobe always supports you moving to the latest point release of a given Java version (like 11.0.2), as long as that CF version supports the major version (like Java 11, as CF2018 does after update 2). As for info on updating CF to use a new Java version, there are many resources from Adobe and others, including a recent blog post and video walking through the process from Pete Freitag.
How would you know if you have the refreshed installer?
If you may find that you already have a CF2018 installer (or if a colleague points you to one downloaded onto your server/s), you may wonder if it’s indeed this latest one or not. Some good news with the Windows installer is that if you right-click the file and choose “properties”, then the “details” tab, it will report under “File Version” that it’s “2018.0.2”. The original installer would indicate “2018.0.0”.
As for the Linux, Solaris, and MacOS installers, there is no similar “file version” information available (even if downloaded to Windows servers), so we would need to rely on checksums or file sizes to distinguish the two installer versions. For now, Adobe has not published either of those. Perhaps they or others will report here the values of the new files, if not also the old ones (though of course we really need a trusted authority to report such values).
Some things to watch out for, going forward
Finally, I will note that there are a couple of things we should watch out for going forward, based on past experience when multiple versions of a given CF installer existed.
First, it could be confusing as some folks won’t even realize there are two versions of the CF2018 installer, and they may think they are installing the later one when they are not, because they or someone else downloaded it prior to Feb 12.
Second, while those with the old installer had the option to move to Java 11 (after applying update 2), those who install CF2018 with this refreshed installer will instead automatically get Java 11 implemented. And though Java 11 is indeed formally supported by Adobe, we should acknowldege that it’s indeed early days with respect to any possible issues that may arise with folks running CF on Java 11.
Third, we should also consider that Adobe has in the past reported with a given refreshed installer that it “only had changes to xx and yy”, when it turned out instead that some other perhaps “little change” was slipped in. That too could cause confusion, if folks don’t know which installer version they used, or don’t clarify that when perhaps asking questions or discussing challenges.
In this last section I don’t mean to throw a wet blanket on the new installer. Indeed, I’m sharing the news of the new installer so that people ARE aware of it, and the good news that it DOES implement Java 11 and update 2, out of the box. But I also wanted them to know that they still need to update it, and that there might be this potential confusion on matters just mentioned, as we go forward with the two installers existing.
That’s the way it is, April 5 2019, at least
Finally, I’ll add that all this was so as of the date I am writing this, April 5 2019.
There will surely be more updates to CF and to Java over time, and there could even be a reason in the future that yet another CF2018 installer would be released. This happened with CF2016, which had its original installer, then another in December of that year to bundle some updates, and then yet another a few months later to add support for Windows Server 2016.
At least we can know that a new installer won’t be needed for Windows Server 2019, as that support was bundled with Update 2, along with support for Solaris 11.3, OSX 10.14, and various updated versions of web servers and databases. See that update 2 technote for more. And let’s give a cheer for Adobe being ahead of the game on Windows Server 2019, whereas with Windows 2016, Windows 10, and even Windows 8 (and various versions of macOS) there were often months of lag before things would work for those who moved to those updated OS versions quickly.