ColdFusion in 2021
Adobe ColdFusion is one of the original web application platforms, launched in 1995 by Allaire and with a strong enduring core support today. Many companies have invested years of hard work in their ColdFusion web sites and business applications. We understand how important these systems are, and the continuing need for development and support.
Lucid Crystal and Coldfusion
Unlike most web technologies, ColdFusion provides both a language for writing code, and the backbone of the web applications built with it. Our knowledge of the full ColdFusion environment enables us to build more robust and performant systems, and avoid "reinventing the wheel". We know the quirks, the pitfalls to avoid, and the best ways to accomplish a task.
With ColdFusion, we see the advantages of being based on a very solid Java foundation, such as direct interoperability with the Java ecosystem. The inbuilt administraion interface makes security updates and monitoring very easy. These traits offer real business value.
Features we love
ColdFusion comes with excellent features right out of the box:
- PDF, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Excel document generation
- Web service integration via REST and SOAP
- Relational and NO-SQL database querying: MySQL, MS SQL Server, MongoDB
- Caching and search engines: Redis, memcahced, EHCache, SOLR
- Amazon S3 file storage
Open Source Alternatives
Beyond Adobe's own ColdFusion platform, we also work with the free Lucee platform. We have found Lucee to be a very viable, well built option for customers who want to avoid licensing costs.
Lucee features many of the same Java internals as Adobe ColdFusion, such as Tomcat servlet engine and Apache POI document generation. It can run on Windows or Linux, behind Microsoft IIS or Apache HTTPD web servers. Lucee has almost full ColdFusion language compatibility, though some features are not available.
What Our Clients Say
With decades of combined experience, Lucid Crystal offers strong programming capability from our in-house team, beyond basic website development. We specialise in custom reporting and data analytics, but do much more - security improvements from penetration testing; SAML and OAuth login; implementing sites penned by an external graphic design team; rescuing problem projects.
Our team sticks to the "Keep It Simple" principle. Avoiding over-engineering saves both money and maintenance headaches.
Systems we have built
- Survey and Reporting
- Web Service API
- Risk Analysis
- Content Management
- Customer Web Portal
- Lead Management
- Online Booking
We are flexible and can work to your unique requirements.
Examples of Our Work
Keep Fit Eat Fit Wellbeing
Running your project
Often clients come to us with long-lived systems, particularly with regards to ColdFusion. We will audit what you have, and take it from there. Legacy is not a limitation!
We run all developments as a managed project, with clear budgets, task estimates, progress status and communication procedures.
We know upgrading to a new ColdFusion version can be a daunting prospect. Lucid Crystal can get the job done hassle-free.
- On an out-of-support version?
ColdFusion 2016 ended its core support period on 17/02/2021. Version 11 core support expired way back on 30/04/2019.
Adobe makes no further updates after the support period, and inevitably there is a risk of security holes being exploited.
Lucid Crystal can get you back on track. We put together a prioritised upgrade plan. We stick to the timeline.
- Rely on removed features?
Adobe does occasionally drop dated or unpopular features from new releases. That can road block an upgrade.
A great example is the CFCHART tag, which moved to the ZingChart engine with ColdFusion 11. For one of our clients, the upgrade meant recoding the styling of dozens of report charts. We were able to investigate the underlying chart engine to get the desired results.
At Lucid Crystal we enjoy these challenges. Some developers would have told the client to throw their chart code away, and rewrite from scratch with an external chart library. For the client's upgrade however, a rewrite would have meant thousands of lines changed, and a much greater testing burden. We always look for the most cost effective option for our clients.
- Afraid of unexpected feature changes?
Version upgrades of any software language can sometimes come with unintended behavioural changes over the years. For some, the risk involved puts upgrades on ice, which can lead to critical security vulnerabilities.
With version 2021 for example, Adobe expanded date formatting to accept "D" for day-of-year. Unfortunately the "d" format for day-in-month was previously accepted case-insensitive, so existing code might use "D" where "d" is intended. The result - a date that printed 24/11/2020 will now print as 329/11/2020.
We catch these issues with thorough and iterative testing. The Lucid Crystal team works with virtual instances of your site for development. Further, we will set up private test sites for your User Acceptance Testing.
Ultimately, some clients choose to migrate away from ColdFusion to a more widely supported platform. This does not need to be a sudden and haphazard event! At Lucid Crystal we run projects with many other technologies too, from PHP Laravel, to Java, to AWS, and beyond.
A more phased approach can allow time to build and extend features while retaining existing core ColdFusion functionality until it can be phased out. We can build your new features on a fresh platform, and even link old and new via web services.
Please contact us for a consultation
We are based just outside London, in Dartford, Kent.