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Released today: CF2016, or 'ColdFusion (2016 release)'. What's new, and more

Note: This blog post is from 2016. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily.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're not following the Adobe CF team blog, you may have missed the announcement there today of the newest version of CF, ColdFusion 2016. More on the name in a moment.

And while that Adobe blog post mentions a few of the main new features, as is nearly always the case it leaves out many other new features which may interest folks. It also doesn't point to resources to learn more. I do those things here in this post.

What's in a name?

First, let's talk about the name of the new release, formerly code-named Raijin. Adobe did not follow the convention of the past 20 years, naming it ColdFusion 12, or what we'd all call CF12, but instead they've switched to dated names, as in ColdFusion 2016, or what they formally are naming it, "ColdFusion (2016 release)", or what we'll all likely call it: CF2016. I'm not sure I like this new nomenclature, for a number of reasons, but I suppose time will tell how it goes.

What's new? The main features

Again, the CF team blog post highlights 4 primary new features (with a paragraph on each):

  • Security Code Analyzer
  • Performance improvements
  • PDF improvements
  • API Manager

I won't elaborate on what these offer. See the docs and other resources (which I list below) for more info.

I will note a couple of things that may interest some.

First is something that may be a bummer to some: the Security Code Analyzer ONLY runs with the Enterprise edition of CF...not with the free developer edition, though of course yes with the free trial, which is Enterprise for 30 days unless you add a Standard license key. Also, the analyzer only runs in CFBuilder (and that only in CFBuilder 2016, for now--though note that as before, purchasers of CF get free licenses to CFBuilder, one for each CF Standard license and three for each CF Enterprise license. See Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) | Adobe ColdFusion Builder (2016 release), and the section, "Is ColdFusion Builder 2016 included with Adobe ColdFusion 2016?").

What else is new? Some less prominent features

As always is the case, there's more to this new release than what's listed in those main bullet points Just some other things (not the complete list) are:

  • new command-line interface (CLI)
  • ability to store sessions someplace other than CF's memory (a redis cache)
  • still more PDF enhancements (than listed in the Adobe blog post)
  • several CFML enhancements (language and tags/functions)
  • support for NTLM in cfobject, cfinvoke, cfsharepoint
  • the removal of the CF Admin from public access (by default)
  • the moving of cfscripts to its own directory, not in CFIDE (cf_scripts, in the CF wwwroot, and pointed to as a virtual directory in IIS, Apache, etc.)
  • and more

As for the details, again see the docs (and more, and surely many will be blogging soon especially on the language enhancements, and their opinions on these and other changes).

Where to find out more

Update: First, see an article on the Adobe site, done by CF Product Manager, Rakshith Naresh, called "What's new in ColdFusion (2016 release)". I hadn't seen that article, posted the same day I did this, on the 16th.

So about the docs, folks can learn more about CF 2016 in a few places:

  • First especially the What's new page
  • And of course the entire doc set is now updated for 2016, though some of it still focuses on CF11 as being "the new release", which is unfortunate. For instance, the under-appreciated manual, Developing Applications manual starts with a "Changes in ColdFusion" section that is only about CF11.

    (Seems even some at Adobe don't fully appreciate that great manual. It's over 1100 pages printed. If you seek a "book about CF", this is it, and has been in each release of CF since 6, though many still only refer to the CFML Reference manual. Each has its place. Even if it's not updated for 2016, everyone should be familiar with the Developing Apps manual.)

    The PDF versions of the CF 2016 manuals can be found at here.

  • Note that there are release notes, but they are focused more on known issues rather than new features.
  • There is also the "buying guide" resource which offers a table of features compared and contrasted between CF2016 and 11/10/9, offered separately for Standard and Enterprise.
  • And each of those points to a page with more details on the CF 2016 features, for Standard and Enterprise

Videos, for those who prefer them to reading

Besides the docs, you can also get an 8-minute video overview available on the Adobe CF team youtube page, and there are several other videos there on the API Manager and one on the Security code analyzer.

Some warts in the CF site's online resources

I mentioned some issues with the docs above. That's not the only place in the online resources that have warts related to CF1 vs CF2016

For instance, after downloading CF, we are taken to a getting started page, whose links still go to CF11 resources, such as the "What is new in ColdFusion?" link which goes to the CF11 version of that page. Also there is nothing on CF 2016 yet at the CF Developer Center page.

Hopefully such links and content references will be changed over time.

More to come, including more hidden gems

And there are still more hidden gems to uncover, and you know I'll be gathering those up to offer in time. (For those not familiar with my work, I have done a "hidden gems" article or presentation on each release of CF back to 3.0.1. Just google: coldfusion hidden gems, to find them, here and elsewhere.)

In the meantime, comments are welcome (but if you have beefs to raise to Adobe, you'd really be better off raising them on the Adobe log post rather than here, so that they see them).

For more content like this from Charlie Arehart: Need more help with problems?
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https://helpx.adobe....,%20editions,%20and%20upgrading reads, “I already have a license for an earlier version of ColdFusion. What are my upgrade options? Special upgrade pricing is available to those customers who have valid ColdFusion 10 or 11 licenses. Customers running ColdFusion 9 or earlier are not eligible for upgrade pricing. See the upgrade details page for more information.”

But that links to a page with no obvious upgrade pricing that I can see. Any ideas?
John, the front page of the ColdFusion product area (quick shortcut: coldfusion.com) does have upgrade pricing and more.

I don't know why the page they refer you to (http://www.adobe.com...) only shows full prices and not upgrades. Again, that's something to take to the Adobe blog post, really.

Did you find mine here helpful, otherwise?
> John, the front page of the ColdFusion product area (quick shortcut: coldfusion.com) does have upgrade pricing and more.

I'm not seeing it. Perhaps I'm blind...
John, when I go to that page (coldfusion.com), the first text on the screen (in a blue box) says, "Upgrade to ColdFusion Enterprise Edition for just US$4,249.00".

And I have noticed that if you click the "learn more" links offered there for either CF Standard or Enterprise, each offers the upgrade price in a blue box at the top of the page.

I do agree that the new design is not like the old one, where the editions and their prices were listed on the right.

Hope that's helpful. (BTW, I have nothing to do with any of these choices or matters, of course. I'm just a messenger.)
Great news about the CFIDE and scripts directory changes!

Have to admit, I don't see the attraction of the CLI. There was a period where several CF Bloggers were totally nuts over CF not having a CLI, but I never got it. Watched the Command Box demo, and that was super cool, but solved problems that I personally never seem to have had. Would be very interested to see what uses folks have for it, as I seem to completely be missing something important here.
# Posted By Mark Gregory | 2/16/16 1:24 PM
Mark, that would not be the first feature CF added where some of us were left scratching our heads, while others raved. (And I'm with you on that one, but I know that for many others it really is indeed a big deal for them.)

And of course, it goes both ways. Some scream and holler about things that seem horrible to them, where some of us go, "meh". Different strokes. :-)

Nice summary as usual. Looking forward to the gems..Any update on the SOLR integration. In CF11 it's like two versions behind.

# Posted By Mike | 2/17/16 7:50 AM
Mike, if I'm reading things right, it's 5.2.1, which is indeed a good bit more updated than the 3.4 that was included in CF11 and 10.

I plan to do a post where I list the version of embedded software like that, as of CF 2016.
And yep, I just confirmed it using the Solr admin embedded in Cf, which for my deployment at least was at http://localhost:898...
On the 18th, most of the documentation PDF's at (helpx.adobe.com/coldfusion/home.html) were updated with new 2016 versions. Solves most of the documentation gaps identified in your 2/16 post.
# Posted By Tom K | 2/19/16 1:01 PM
I gave a presentation awhile ago to our local CF group for CommandBox.


I would be interested to know how Adobe handled this in ColdFusion. The benefit of CommandBox is you also have the 'box' eco-system under the hood.

The allure of CLI is writing automation. If you aren't automating things (setup, deployment, testing, etc.) then maybe you don't need it. And if you are automating things (you should be) - it's very nice to be able to do it using a familiar language - ColdFusion vs having to use something else - bash, Python, etc.
Jim, I love the preso you did for your UG. Excellent overview.

In response to The ACF CLI vs CommandBox, they're not really in competition per se. Basically CommandBox, which runs on Lucee right now, is useful for:
- CommandLine .cfm file execution
- interactive shell with tab completion, history, and ASCII art :)
- Embedded server
- Package manager with local artifacts cache
- Scripting syntax that combines native OS binaries with CFML functions and a command architecture
- Modularly extensible with config settings and built-in event listeners

By comparison, the ACF 2016 CLI is useful for:
- CommandLine .cfm file execution

Don't take that as an indictment of Adobe though, I'm not sure they should be re-inventing those wheels. Rakshith talked with Ortus back during the Alpha and we agreed to work on a version of CommandBox that would also run on top of the Adobe CLI (since it's mostly written in CFML modules anyway). I've done some internal work on this, but it didn't make it out in time for the ACF 2016 release (which caught me a bit by surprise). Hopefully we'll be able to bring about the ACF-powered version of CommandBox in future release that's not too far away.
Is SQL Server 2016 supported?
# Posted By Buddy Langston | 6/12/16 7:47 PM
Buddy, no, SQL Server 2016 is not listed as formally supported by CF 2016 (at least for now, in June 2016).

That said, SS2016 was only released 12 days ago. It's not typical of Adobe to have "immediate support" for such things (though of course we can all argue that with pre-release versions of such things, it's reasonable to hope that they would).

But consider 3 things:

1) Just because it's not "formally supported" doesn't mean it will not work. I suspect it would, especially for anyone not taking advantage of any unique features that would somehow relate to what's returned to CF. Lots of new features in any DBMS may have no direct bearing on what goes back and forth between CF and the DB.

2) You need not rely on asking me, to know if CF supports something like that. :-) This is documented. See the details of what OS's, DB's, web servers, and other systems are supported at Support matrix (supported OS's, web servers, databases, etc.) https://helpx.adobe....

3) It is certainly likely that they will have support for it in an upcoming update. The prerelease for Update 2 makes no mention of it (http://blogs.coldfus...), but it could be perhaps added before the final release (though I doubt it).

I suspect it would be in some future release. It took several months after Windows 10 for CF to list support it. Again, before anyone complains, see my observation at the opening of my comment agreeing with you. :-)
Your link to get the PDF version of the 2016 docs actually takes you to a page only containing HTML versions of the documentation. Doesn't look like PDF versions are available anywhere
# Posted By Simon Horwith | 6/29/17 1:00 PM
Simon, thanks for wanting to point out a seeming mistake, but let me say first that the link did indeed take one to PDFs when I wrote this in Feb of 2016. You can even see someone commenting above about the same link regarding PDFs later that week.

But it does seem that Adobe took them away from there.

And second I will say this: the PDFs for CF2016 were actually horrid. They would generally have just the first section of any chapter and then offered a link (in the PDF) to the rest of the docs online. It was practically useless, in the sense of having a single PDF that presented a given manual in ints entirety.

I know they are working on that (because I have pressed on this very issue), and though I didn't expect this, perhaps they removed it out of embarrassment once they realized how bad it was.

I will leave the link as is for now, in case someday they put them back there. And if someone else sees it and wants to point out the issue, hopefully they'll see your comment and my reply.
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