ColdFusion is Dead, or is It?

Scotch on the Rocks is going on the road this year doing one day events in London, Manchester and Edinburgh — I’m happy to be speaking at the London edition on June 1st.

This years talk might get a little controversial with a title like “ColdFusion is Dead, or is It?“. Those of you that know me well will no doubt be aware that my hands on experience with ColdFusion is quite limited. In fact other than playing with the prerelease and some occasional experiments I rarely use it. I still like to think that I’ve got a firm grasp on most Adobe technologies and how those integrate with the Flash Platform.

The idea for this session came about after a ‘twitter incident‘ where my good friend Aral Balkan declared ColdFusion a dead technology. I wasn’t quite ready to give up on ColdFusion yet and certainly its community of passionate developers wasn’t.

I consider this talk an experiment to help me make up my mind —

Over the next two months I’ll be looking at anything ColdFusion related that gets thrown at me. I’ll talk to anyone who has something to say about the state of ColdFusion, I would love to hear from you what is good and what needs to change (and if so how you would like to see it changed). Leave a comment or email me: coldfusion at peterelst dot com.

In my session I’ll talk about some of the reasons I haven’t been using ColdFusion in my projects up until now, some challenges I’ve faced with the technology as well as a synopsis of the feedback I got from the community. All this should lead me to a conclusion as to the future of ColdFusion.

June 1st I’ll have the definitive answer for you (and yes, I do accept bribes! ;)).


7 thoughts on “ColdFusion is Dead, or is It?

  1. Johnny says:

    ColdFusion is far from dead! In fact there is a good community surrounding ColdFusion as well. I agree with retrogamer4ever when he states that just because it is no the most popular does not mean it is dead.

    I have been using ColdFusion for about 5 years, and I stick with it, because I love it, and with the large community around it, seems like I am not alone.

    Are you planning to recorded these talks, I would love to watch the video. I live in Hawaii, and could not make it to any of the meetings.

  2. Aral Balkan says:

    Peter, just to clarify, I didn’t declare that CF was dead. To say so would be to trivialize the point that I was trying to make, which is whether or not it is doing new graduates and new developers entering the field a service to teach them ColdFusion or whether their limited time should be spent learning more relevant technologies and languages like Python, Ruby, Scala, EC2, Hadoop, Java, Objective C, etc. The context of my original comments were around Adobe offering free Coldfusion training courses.

    More generally, my comments were regarding *any* commercial application server technology in a day and age where application servers have become commoditized.

    As I conclude in my article, ColdFusion is not dead but it isn’t growing either. There is definitely a lot of legacy ColdFusion in enterprises and that will keep people gainfully employed for years to come. And the open source release of Railo is a move I applaud (and one which counters the commercial argument) and I look forward to seeing where Mark takes that.

    To summarize, please don’t trivialize what I was saying by stating that I declared ColdFusion dead. I didn’t. The points I made concern commoditization and education.

    (Looking forward to hopefully catching your talk, btw!) πŸ™‚

  3. Peter says:

    I recognize your point Aral and do agree with it to some extent.

    Summarizing your post as saying “ColdFusion is dead” doesn’t really do it justice I admit but having a picture of a gravestone reading “ColdFusion RIP – 1995-2009” does create the impression that that is the message you’re trying to bring across πŸ˜‰

    With regards to relevancy, it depends on context — if you’re teaching Flash Platform technologies I think its at least worth to look at CFML as a candidate, like you said Railo is an interesting open source solution there.

    As for Adobe offering free training on their technology, I’d think that is quite an obvious thing for them to do. Even if you don’t like their commercial offering you can still walk away from it and go for an open source CFML engine.

  4. According to Evans Data (I think it’s them), CF developer numbers continue to grow – I saw a claim that 385k new devs had picked up CF since Adobe bought Macr. That would put the total near 750k these days.

  5. Peter says:

    That is an interesting statistic, thanks for sharing Sean!

  6. Gary Fenton says:

    @Sean, how could their arrive at that figure? It would be unrealistic if it was counting the number of downloads from If someone downloads CF for free it doesn’t mean they have now become a CF developer. I downloaded Flex stuff but I didn’t get into it so I’m absolutely not a Flex dev. I doubt those are actual sales figures (would be amazing if it were).

    Can we organise on a blog boycott for the next person to use the words “c0ldfusi0n is dead” in a blog post. πŸ˜‰ Google has picked up 863 pages that say that and virtually all are written by CF bloggers. Don’t make it a self-fulfilling prophesy.

  7. @Gary, Evans Data are independent of Adobe so they are not basing that on download numbers. Evans Data survey companies and developers worldwide to get their numbers for all sorts of technologies.

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