| What is ColdFusion and ColdFusion Web Hosting?|
ColdFusion is a server scripting environment for creating powerful Internet applications. ColdFusion combines intuitive scripting, effortless connectivity to database information, and effective built-in search and charting capabilities. ColdFusion enables developers to easily build and deploy dynamic websites, content publishing systems, self-service applications, commerce sites, and more.
ColdFusion web hosting requires both a web server and ColdFusion server, as explained below:
How does ColdFusion work?
When a web user requests a ColdFusion page, the web server receives the request and then passes it on to the ColdFusion server. ColdFusion then reads the data sent and processes the ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML) used in the page. Based on the CFML, the ColdFusion server executes the logic and interacts with the database(s) or other technologies requested. ColdFusion then generates an HTML page, returns it to the web server and the web server then passes the page back to the user's web browser. As slow as this may sound, proper ColdFusion web hosting allows all of this to happen with remarkable speed and efficiency.
What is ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML)?
ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML) is the tag-based server-scripting language that allows rapid development of web sites powerful enough to handle the most demanding web-application logic. CFML is ideally suited to programming applications that use HTML and XML as CFML syntax is closely related. This makes programming easy for new developers while advanced developers can easily extend CFML through custom tags, reusable components, and user-defined functions.
Who should use ColdFusion?
ColdFusion is designed to build dynamic websites and Internet applications. New developers will enjoy the short learning curve of this intuitive server scripting environment. Advanced developers will appreciate ColdFusion's more advanced features and components, most of which are listed below:
Advantages of ColdFusion:
Simplicity and Power All Rolled Into One
* ColdFusion comes with a rich set of built-in capabilities that deliver high performance and scalability.
* Intuitive HTML-like tag-based language.
* Fewer lines of code are required by handling low-level programming tasks automatically and reusing code.
* Custom tag libraries, reusable components, Java/C++, and thousands of available third-party add-ons allow advanced users to easily extend ColdFusion web capabilities.
* Cool, integrated ColdFusion web application services for adding full-text search and dynamic charting.
* Macromedia Flash developers can now use the same scripting language for both client and server logic.
* Dreamweaver MX fully supports ColdFusion MX features allowing for powerful visual layout abilities, enhanced code editing and development capabilities, and integrated debugging.
* All the scalability, reliability, and power of the Java platform in a less complex environment.
* Easy integration with your existing technology infrastructure.
* Support for the leading server operating systems, web server software, mail servers, directory servers, file systems, and relational database management systems.
Disadvantages of ColdFusion:
* The biggest disadvantage of ColdFusion is that it is a closed source technology and the development is handled completely by one company. Therefore new features cannot be added and bugs cannot be fixed nearly as quickly as in a popular open source solutions.
* Another problem with ColdFusion is that it is expensive. You are required to purchase a new copy of the server (which costs hundreds to thousands of dollars) to obtain features that have been added since your original product purchase (which costs hundreds to thousands of dollars).
What's New in the Latest Version of ColdFusion: ColdFusion MX 7
* Rich Flash Forms
Using just a few ColdFusion tags, rich Flash forms can be built in minutes.
* New Application Classes
Interfaces with mobile phones using SMS text messaging, XMPP (the emerging IM standard), and other Internet protocols.
* New Dreamweaver Extensions
Increase your productivity by using the new ColdFusion Extensions for Dreamweaver MX to build applications rapidly.
* Rich Charting Capabilities
Produce stylish, bold charts and graphs with modifiable attributes that can control animation, colors, labels, and more.
* Faster Deployment on J2EE
For quick and easy deployment on leading J2EE servers, package an application and the ColdFusion runtime into a single Java archive.
* Source Code Security
Make your source CFM files invisible by compiling them into Java byte-code for distribution and execution.
* New Search Power
Enable highlighted search terms, searching within a results set, spelling suggestions, and hierarchical category searching with the latest Verity technology.
* Structured Business Reports
Easily design and generate high-quality, repeating group, structured business reports.
* Printable Web Content
Using just a single tag you can transform web content into high-quality printable, portable documents in PDF or FlashPaper 2 formats.
ColdFusion Web Hosting FAQs
* Does ColdFusion Web Hosting require the use of any special tools?
Because ColdFusion integrates its code (CFML) with standard HTML code, you can use any standard Web development application or a text editor to develop your templates.
* Which databases can I use when web hosting a ColdFusion site?
ColdFusion MX 7 supports most major databases, including Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, IBM DB2, Sybase, and IBM Informix.
* Which web servers can I use when web hosting a ColdFusion site?
ColdFusion MX 7 supports most major web servers, including IIS, Apache, and Sun ONE (formerly iPlanet).
* Which operating systems are supported?
ColdFusion MX 7 supports most major operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Solaris, Linux, and AIX.
What should I look for in a ColdFusion Web Hosting provider?
* As with pretty much any web hosting provider, you want to look for: Reliability (up time);
* Redundancy (back-up servers);
* Security (managed access to servers) and
* Scalability (ability to grow your site with your host).
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About the Author
Rodel Garcia is a Freelance Programmer, Highly skilled and versatile Web developer and consultant, Expertise in web-based development (intranet/internet) and e-commerce applications, 6+ years solid experience as programmer/analyst. Owner and webmaster of http://www.web-hosting-service-directory.com/cold-fusion-web-hosting.html