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Is ColdFusion Dead?

Posted by Bret Peters on Nov 2, 2016 2:50:48 PM
Bret Peters

The programming language constructed by Adobe has been predicted, by many, to see its last days in the programming world. But are the myriad of predictions about CF's future accurate?

While other online programming languages, like PHP and .net, boost higher numbers of overall site usage, the trends are actually quite similar. A simple search on Built With shows that ColdFusion actually isn't dying. It's got a flat trend line just like PHP, albeit with a smaller usage of external sites.

So why is it commonly misspoken that ColdFusion is a dead language?

Coding languages are kind of like cult movies. They develop a following of loyal coders who use the languages religiously and tell their friends. However, their friends likely have their own language that they swear by. Thus, PHP, .Net and CF all have similar trends, only with varying numbers of site and coding adherents. And the loyal users of ColdFusion aren't going anywhere.

In fact, there is a growing community of coders in Europe who gather each year in order to further the use of ColdFusion. While Adobe's ColdFusion is a paid platform containing the programming language, its free alternative Lucee is used commonly among Europeans.

The annual event CF Camp, led and organized by Michael Hnat, took place last week. The community gathers each year in the Munich Airport to collaborate using the language to solve common coding problems. Fig Leaf Software CEO Dave Gallerizzo was invited back by popular demand to speak about Syntastically Awesome Style Sheets.

Adobe ColdFusion may only be used on a quarter of a million external sites, but its used for many more intranet sites and applications. At the conference, they spoke about ColdFusion's advantages over other languages, mainly, it's superior ability to rapidly produce applications.

Europe isn't the only coding community grabbing hold of ColdFusion. Since 2013, Adobe has been hosting its own annual conference for American coders using the language. CF Summit was held this year in Las Vegas and the Fig Leaf Software development team spoke about its development of the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority responsive website (currently in beta).

Adobe has seen continual double digit growth over the past several years in sales for ColdFusion, and net new customers every year. While the external sites may not see and increase from CF, there is an increase overall. This substantial growth in numbers alludes to the quiet success CF has had in a different market space.

While PHP and .net will likely continue to dominate external site code, CF has taken its place as a leader for rapid application development. "For the longest time, CF was used for public sites and for data-driven content agregation," Gallerizzo said. "Now, it’s being used as a platform for app development and it can be much easier to develop with than it’s cousins. I believe CF is finding its niche."

ColdFusion is neither dead, nor dying. It's finding its rightful, yet hidden, place in the developing world.

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Topics: Adobe ColdFusion, Adobe, Web Developer

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