With this latest release of ColdFusion, Macromedia has concentrated on three major areas: simplifying the product family, simplifying the installation procedure and updating the product to support the latest operating systems.
The product family will be streamlined, going from three editions down to two. ColdFusion MX for J2EE and ColdFusion Enterprise will be combined, giving users everything they need to take full advantage of the Java based architecture of ColdFusion, including a full license to the JRun 4 J2EE server. Users will be able to build and deploy applications with one product; they will have the advantage of the ColdFusion language built in services as well as full access to the J2EE platform.
The ColdFusion Standard edition is an entry-level server for basic ColdFusion websites and is suitable for small to medium-sized web applications. The Standard edition does not include many of the perks that come bundled with the Enterprise edition.
The ColdFusion installer has been streamlined, making it easier for users to get started with ColdFusion. The cross-platform installer has been redesigned, the web server configuration wizard has been enhanced and there is new, free installation support. Migrating existing applications is easier thanks to improved migration tools, increased backward compatibility and more reliable COM integration.
Platform support has been updated to include the latest releases of Windows, Linux, Solaris and AIX:
- Windows 2003/IIS6
- Red Hat 7.3, 8, 9*
- SuSE 8*
- Solaris 9
- AIX 4.3.3, 5.1
JDBC drivers for all of the major databases are provided in both the Standard and Enterprise editions of ColdFusion 6.1. The embedded drivers have been upgraded to DataDirect's JDBC Connect 3.2. In addition, some issues relating to ColdFusion's query of queries technology have been fixed, enabling users to execute in-memory queries against result sets. This allows users to use SQL to integrate data from different databases, from LDAP directories, or even from non-structured data sources such as Verity collections or POP servers.
New in this release are a number of solid updates in the functionality of ColdFusion, with a focus towards those areas that developers use most frequently. You can now run multiple instances of ColdFusion on a single server, providing two major benefits. Different administrators or development teams now have complete control over their applications. They can tune the settings, lock down the security settings, modify the configuration, all without affecting other people's applications. This not only gives more flexibility but also greater reliability in terms of performance. Now, if one application has a problem--a long running request, a database not responding--it will not affect other applications that are running on the same server.
Email integration has been extended to have built-in support for multipart email making it possible to send HTML and rich content based email from the API, which has also been streamlined in this release. On the delivery side, email has been enhanced to be more high performing and reliable. In this release, ColdFusion has switched to a multi-threaded architecture that uses thread pooling. In the Enterprise version of ColdFusion, email can be delivered 50 times faster than in previous releases. In addition, users can now set up fail-over servers that will automatically fail over if one email server is not responding.
Other areas of enhancement include full control over HTTP header and body content, expanded proxy and timeout support, and access to all standard Http 1.1 operations. In the Web Services arena, the core engine has been updated to Apache Axis 1.1, interoperability with .Net services has been increased and there is full support for SSL and proxies.
Based on customer feedback, over 400 customer-identified issues have been fixed. Included among the fixes were issues that were making it difficult for users to migrate their applications to development in previous releases.
ColdFusion 6.1 delivers an increase in performance over the previous release of 170% providing two and a half times greater throughput than with ColdFusion 5. The ColdFusion compiler has been optimized, reducing the time it takes to write a page, compile and preview it by a factor of 10.
Macromedia ColdFusion MX 6.1 is available for immediate purchase from the Macromedia Online Store (http://www.macromedia.com/store/). The update is free for existing ColdFusion MX customers. ColdFusion MX Standard 6.1 is priced at $1299 per server, with upgrades from ColdFusion 4.5 and 5 at $649 per server. ColdFusion MX Enterprise 6.1 is priced at $5999 per two processors, with upgrades from ColdFusion 4.5 and 5 available for $2999 per two processors. Volume, education, and government licensing is available. Detailed information and the update can be found at http://www.macromedia.com/go/cfmx/.