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Get a headstart on checking out Update 3 for ColdFusion 11

Note: This blog post is from 2014. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
If you didn't catch it, Adobe has come out with a prerelease version of the pending Update 3 for ColdFusion 11, which (like update 14 for CF10) adds many things:
  • bug fixes (over 160)
  • support for new OS's, databases, application servers, and web servers
  • support for Java 8
  • as well as updates to underlying technologies like Tomcat (now 7.0.54)

Update: Adobe released yet another version of this Update 3 prerelease, on Nov 19. See the blog entry for more about that, but the info below still stands and you will want to keep reading here if applying update 3 for the first time (indeed, even after the update comes in "final" form). That said, do see the updated blog entry (or more specifically the link to PDFs offered there) for more on what is in that newer version of the update.

For more on this update, read on here.

Note that while Tomcat is automatically updated, Java is not. That's up to you to do. They do indicate that after the release, new installers for CF11 will come with Java 8. (If you've not updated the JVM that CF uses, it's really pretty easy. 5 minutes work and a restart of CF, and easily reverted if you do things carefully. One of the best and relatively recent discussions of the steps is this article from good ol' Ben Forta, from 2013.)

See the blog entry above for more on the details of what's changed (it links to 2 PDFs, and the release notes has some known issues, albeit with little context). The blog entry also has the steps to follow to apply the update. Do be careful there.

Do test out the update yourself

It's important that folks who rely on CF11 try the update out (on non-production systems, of course).

Many decried that CF10 Update 14 came out and had issues, so Adobe is providing this prerelease for people to check it out and iron out the kinks.

Of course, some will then say Adobe's using users as guinea pigs. They're damned if they do, damned if they don't.

And yes, of course one could say "well they could do a better job vetting the release". It's complex software, and while all software has bugs, complex software can even more, and especially when CF has lots of integration and moving parts, and there are so many different platforms--and different ways that even folks on the same environment may configure things differently (For instance, even if you're on Windows, what version? and what edition? and what database server? And what version and edition of that? And are you using IIS or Apache? And what version of Java are you using? Which edition of CF? And how have you configured each of these? Do you see all the permutations?)

So really: test it out for yourself, for your environment. You can wait and see if "others do the dirty work first". But what if that's how most respond? And what if your situation is just a little different than the few who may try it out?

Still, do keep an eye on comments in that Adobe blog entry over time, to learn from any challenges that others may face.

And of course the whole point of it being a prerelease is that if there ARE problems they can be reported and resolved before everyone starts applying the update when it shows up officially in the CF Admin update feature. So take advantage of this chance to report any problems and get them resolved.

For more content like this: Need more help with problems?
  • If you may prefer direct help, rather than digging around here/elsewhere or via comments, I can help via my consulting services
  • See that for more on how I can help a) over the web, safely and securely, b) usually very quickly, c) teaching you as we go, and d) with satisfaction guaranteed
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