The license of Coldfusion is, and should be, a very small part of any business budget, especially if you happen to be in a country where bandwidth is more expensive than average, like Australia. Also, Coldfusion 8 has Developer(from memory, limited to 1 IP) and Trial editions(from memory, 30-day trial unlimited IP), which are free. So you can start learning or developing immediately.

A big advantage of coldfusion has is its development time, it was first developed as Rapid Application Development Platform/Framework, and still is very quick to develop and deploy in.The time spent on development is considerably less, even if it saves 1 developer 1 min a day, and who worked about 230 days a year, divide the number of your developers by the licensing fee per year. Same reason why software developers and/or software development companies don’t mind paying for good development tools.

Another is its tie in to Flex, and it will be the defect o choice due to integration with Flash. Thought that may change in the future, since Flex is going opensource and PHP will probably have extensions written for Flex integration. I can’t imagine the .Net platform supporting Flex too much, as it may undermine MS own Silverlight product.

One additional point is that Coldfusion is largely backwards compatible, the last rewrite was CF 6 when CF went to a JRun/JVM backend, after which very few functions/tags have been dropped. Which is something Adobe had the sense to maintain so far in both CF and Flash environment.

Over the next few days, you will see a fair number of people grumbling about the pricing of CF 8, which has not increased dramatically (besides R&D isn’t free, and the software engineers need their paycheck!). But no other web application platform today can offer what Coldfusion out of the box, from image manipulation, PDF integration, Flex integration, Exchange Server integration, dynamic presentaions on the fly, etc.

Coldfusion has lots of features but there is a business case for each,

e.g. PHP will do the job for most companies public facing websites why pay more than you need to ? PHP also has numerous framework and CMS, many of which are opensource. ASP.Net has loads of exposure in Higher Education Institutions, so it should be easier to find suitable staff, and tie-ins to Microsoft’s CRM and Sharepoint products.

A brief summary (As my experiences so far) between Coldfusion, PHP and ASP.


CostsHigh, comes with a lot standardFree to High, Free version is well Free, but there are numerous commercial packages/add-ons like file compression, dynamic caching, advanced server monitoring/managementIncluded if you have a Windows Server License.
ComparationFaster comparativelyFairly Fast but falls somewhere between CF and .Net most of the time, catches up with commercial packages/addonsLonger than the other two
SpeedFast, with proper setup of JVM, even faster. Scales well with size and loadFast though may have problem scaling without addonsDecent, sometimes rather slow.
Integration with other languagesJAVA, Flex/Flashnon-native(non that i know of).Net, Silverlight, C#
Developer CommunityNot as big as PHP or ASP.Net, but still a decent presence is expected in most major cities.Big, anyone can pickup PHP, tend to have a large spectrum of skill levelBig pool from Higher Education Institutes. Well supported and backed by MS

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