The Internet, and more specifically the World Wide Web portion of the Internet, has been very much at the forefront during the past few years. Web sites may have started out as hand-coded HTML pages interpreted by very simple document viewers, but the advent of larger Web sites with more information spawned the need to create more complex sites. These dynamic content sites, which can have features based on time of day, user cookies, and newest information in a certain database, have become an obvious must in the world of Web programming.
Looking for a high-end app server on which to run Cold Fusion? Macromedia’s
ColdFusion 5.0 may well be your best option.
Macromedia has been a leader in Web development since the early days when it introduced its multimedia content delivery system “Shockwave Flash.” Due to its recent merger with Allaire, Macromedia has also gotten into the Cold Fusion business. Cold Fusion, or more specifically Cold Fusion Markup Language (CFML), is a tag-based scripting language used to develop and deploy Web sites faster. It is similar to PHP in terms of what it is used for.
Macromedia’s ColdFusion server is a very flexible. To store the huge amounts of data that go along with Web pages, ColdFusion uses ODBC to work with many different types of databases. Macromedia offers unstructured content searching so that users don’t have to sift through a million and a half pages of text to find what they are looking for.
This feature alone is very handy for the simple fact of programming savings. More often than not, a Web site’s programmers end up creating their own algorithm in the code they create, costing programming time and sometimes efficiency. In this case, some of the best Web programmers in the trade have already coded the algorithms. When it comes to the actual programming, the programmers can use most standards, including Enhanced JavaBeans, COM, and CORBA, or they can code on their own in C, C++, or Java.
ColdFusion server offers Web-based administration, which is becoming the norm. Tests of this product found a Web interface that is very clean and self-explanatory.
ColdFusion server also offers application-monitoring services that can react to an application’s state based on a script that the administrator specifies. SNMP support comes standard, as well as integrated server log analysis that assists in locating application problems and performance bottlenecks, and other such points of failure.
Macromedia’s application deployment in ColdFusion server is a very nice setup. For the ease of deployment, administrators can package applications together and implement them via those means, saving time, and therefore money and downtime.
Macromedia’s ColdFusion server is a high-priced (it is priced starting at $1,295 per server), and high-end, Cold Fusion server. Its features promise high uptime combined with stability and monitoring tools for easy administration. We believe the app server is a very robust Cold Fusion server suitable for any high-end need.
Pros:Strong feature set, well-designed interface, precoded algorithms, runs on a variety of platforms
Cons:Pricey, may be too high end for some organizations
Version Reviewed: 5.0
Date Reviewed: 9/20/01
Last Updated: 9/20/01
Reviewed by: M.A. Dockter