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What a Difference a Year Makes!

What a Difference a Year Makes!

As October comes around, it's time for another Macromedia DevCon, generally regarded as the largest gathering of ColdFusion developers each year, along with users of Macromedia's other technologies. The theme of this year's conference, which reflects the strategy we've watched unfold throughout this past year, is clearly one of integration. It's no secret that Macromedia would like to be the provider of all your Web application design and development needs, and many of this year's classes cover just that. For those not wanting to put all their eggs in one basket, however, they remain dedicated to working with existing technologies, as we can see in this month's news. I am a great supporter of integration, and hope these efforts work as well as planned.

This has certainly been a banner year for ColdFusion, with the release of ColdFusion MX. Rewritten from the ground up over a period of more than two years, and with only a handful of visible quirks thus far, it's the largest and one of the more extended complete releases in recent memory.

Year 2002 has been a banner one for Macromedia, and they've raised the bar to make 2003 even better. At DevCon we should gain our first glimpse of what's ahead. I for one hope to see increased stability, along with the usual commitment to new feature and integration potential.

Macromedia has also released three new versions of the ColdFusion MX Application Server, which can now run on top of some of the most popular Java/J2EE servers. The new versions are specifically optimized for IBM's WebSphere Application Server, the Sun ONE Application Server, and Macromedia JRun. (The distinction should be made here that this is the full release of JRun as opposed to that shipping with the regular version of CFMX). The new releases will enable ColdFusion developers to work even more closely with the Java language. One of the greatest benefits that customers should realize is the ability to deploy higher-load applications, further entwining the scalability, reliability, and power of the Java language with ColdFusion.

Another side effect we should see is the increased use of ColdFusion on enterprise Java platforms, bringing new developers over to ColdFusion. The ability to run it on top of their existing server setups should be a great boon and increase the global use of CF. Look for reviews of all three new versions in upcoming issues of ColdFusion Developer's Journal.

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This issue is filled with all kinds of useful tips to make your development lives easier and more productive. Dennis Baldwin writes on getting connected with Flash debugging, using the NetConnection Debugger to simplify your Flash/CF application development. Jason Clark, of FuseTalk, Inc., gives some more great tips on building application login systems, packaging your apps for sale, and more. Steve Drucker takes a detailed look at CommonSpot's Content Server 3.0 from PaperThin, with a glowing review for those looking for content management tools.

Charlie Arehart serves up Part 1 of a series on how to precompile CFMX templates, Simon Horwith provides some useful SQL info in "Tales from the List," and Steve Bryant covers error handling in JavaScript for those using it in conjunction with CF code.

Last, but never least, Hal Helms explores a "young-minded" approach to building applications.

Enjoy, and stay tuned to CFDJ and www.ColdFusionJournal.com for total coverage of this year's Macromedia DevCon.

More Stories By Robert Diamond

Robert Diamond is the founder and editor-in-chief of BroadwayWorld.com, the premiere theater site on the net now receiving over 100,000 unique visitors a day. He is also the owner of Wisdom Digital Media - a leading designer of entertainment and technology web sites. He is also the lead producer on BroadwayWorld.com's consistently sold-out Joe's Pub concert series, and Standing Ovations benefit concerts. Diamond was also named one of the "Top thirty magazine industry executives under the age of 30" by Folio magazine. Robert holds a BS degree in information management and technology from the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. Visit his blog at www.robertdiamond.com.

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