Skip to content

ColdFusion 8: Adobe's less spoken answer for The Web Crowd

Several weeks ago, James and I were briefed on the now beta-released ColdFusion 8. Towards the end of the briefing with Tim Buntel (senior product marketing manager for ColdFusion) and Erin Singleton (analyst relations), I said something along the lines of: this sounds like the answer to all that fretting about forking the web we were going through last fall when we learned about “Apollo.”

That is, many folks, including myself, have been freaking out about all these RIAs forking the web, looking for vendors to answer the desire for “poor internet applications.” To be honest, it was silly of me not to answer my own concern in the case of Adobe: namely that they have ColdFusion. That said, it was interesting that much of the discussion with Adobe — public and private — I’d been having in the area of RIAs and the web didn’t include mention of ColdFusion as the alternative to RIA approaches.

Now, I’ve sort of softened my freak out when it comes to RIAs. First, my assumption is that most of these RIAs are a run at establishing new and better GUI frameworks rather than “taking over” the web. While web applications will do in most instances, there’s nothing wrong in many cases with going for the GUI. As I’ve remarked before, once I started using a GUI system and was involved in a UI culture that I actually liked (OS X), I started moving my almost entirely web life and workflow onto the desktop. (Ooo! Web Sacrilege!)

Second, I’m actually OK with these RIA technologies being a part of the web, that is, being component or widget. And hey, if people end up liking RIA’s in a grander scope than that, I’m not sure there’s much arguing against people voting with their clicks.

Enough about me: the larger point is, ColdFusion seems like a good answer for Adobe to give when people start the hand-wringing about RIAs taking over the web. Adobe can address both audiences, RIA and web, with Flex/Apollo and ColdFusion. Now, whether ColdFusion or “Apollo” are the best answers for those two developer cultures is up for debate. Obviously, much of the focus has been on behind-the-firewall applications rather than the public web. More narrowly, the point is that Adobe has an offering in both categories, and it’s nice to be reminded that Adobe isn’t just all RIA, all the time.

Beyond just marketing integration, I’d also argue that there’s still room for closer technological integration. I always feel like there’s the potential for a tasty beverage we’ve yet to see if you threw Flex/”Apollo,” PDF (esp. forms), LiveCycle, and ColdFusion in a blender. (I’m especially fixated on using the document concept, PDF and forms, as the model to run through all of the above.)

But, being familiar with how long it takes to integrate or even co-evolve two long lived technologies that now fly under the same flag, I’m willing to give Adobe a bit more time to line the architecture layer-cakes and burgers up. But, there’s definitely room to get the marketecture synched up, and show allegiance to the web as a whole, not just RIAs.

Disclaimer: Adobe is a client.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories: Companies, Development Tools, Programming.

Comment Feed

One Response

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Coté on Adobe’s Developer Ecosystem and ColdFusion…

    Michael Coté of RedMonk is a smart dude. He’s got two really good posts that anyone interested in Adobe should read. The first is a collection of his thoughts around what we should do to keep building our developer ecosystem. Now, I haven’…