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Understanding the 9.0.2 release of ColdFusion, a FAQ for those who missed the news last year

Note: This blog post is from 2013. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily.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.
So perhaps you're currently running CF 9.0 or CF 9.0.1, and you may have noticed that there is a CF 9.0.2. Have you wondered what it's about? And have you noticed that it's not something you can just update to from 9.0 or 9.0.1? It's a complete installer, meaning you need to uninstall CF 9.0 or 9.0.1 before you can move up to it.

Should you? What do you gain? what do you lose? what are some gotchas? That's what this blog entry is about, answering the following questions:

  • First, what is ColdFusion 9.0.2? Why did Adobe create it?
  • What about the 9.0.1 updater? Can we still get that? Yes.
  • So what all does 9.0.2 add and remove?
  • If I download CF 9 today, what do I get?
  • "But if I download 9.0.2 today, I get the latest version of it available, right? I don't need to add hotfixes, do I?" Wrong.
  • Warning: DO NOT install 9.0.1 atop 9.0.2 (nothing will stop you)
  • If I am on 9.0 or 9.0.1, how can I get to 9.0.2?
  • Why might I want to get to 9.0.2 from 9.0 or 9.0.1?
  • How did i miss this? Was 9.0.2 discussed? Yes it was.

First, what is ColdFusion 9.0.2? Why did Adobe create it?

CF 9.0.2 is a strange animal in the annals of CF versions, both because of what it does and does not include, and how it is packaged.

It was made available on the Adobe site in May 2012, the day CF10 was released. And in fact it was created simply because with CF10, Adobe was dropping their license of Verity (and its inclusion in CF product downloads), in favor of the open source alternative, Solr. That was simple enough with CF10: it just didn't include Verity.

But for CF 9, there were already tens of thousands of installs of CF9 in the wild that included Verity already. They couldn't "remove" those already installed. But they did need to remove any CF9 installer available on the Adobe site which included it. Thus was created, CF 9.0.2. Adobe discussed it briefly in a blog entry at the time.

And that same day, CF 9.0, the previous installer for CF 9, was removed from the public links for CF 9 (folks who had a CF support agreement could still get 9.0 from a private site).

And whereas until May 2012, one had to get 9.0 and then add run the 9.0.1 updater, from May 2012 forward, if one downloaded a complete installer for CF 9 from the Adobe site, they would now get 9.0.2.

So again, it's a complete installer, which does not assume to be installed atop a previous CF 9.0 or 9.0.1 installation (in fact, it can't be installed on a box already running CF 9.0 or 9.0.1). And 9.0.2 basically includes all the updates (hotfixes) for CF 9.0 and 9.0.1 as were available as of May 2012: it just lacked Verity.

What about the 9.0.1 updater? Can we still get that? Yes.

Note that Adobe didn't need to remove the free 9.0.1 updater, which is itself an installer (but not a "complete installer". It is designed to be installed atop a current 9.0 installation.)

But beware: do NOT run the 9.0.1 updater on a CF 9.0.2 installation, or you will break it. More on that later.

So what all does 9.0.2 add and remove?

In summary, and according to that Adobe blog entry above (especially in the comments) and also quoting the rather brief CF 9.0.2 release notes, 9.0.2 "is a summation of ColdFusion 9.0.1, ColdFusion 9.0.1 Cumulative HotFixes 1 & 2, all ColdFusion 9.0.1 Security HotFixes, but without Verity."

I would describe CF 9.0.2 as being:

  • CF 9.0
  • plus CF 9.0.1 (which was a free updater to 9.0)
  • plus all the hotfixes that existed for 9.0.1 (as of May 2012)
  • minus Verity (the commercial text search engine which has long been embedded in CF)
  • plus just a couple of minor things that were added to CF10 (see last section below on why this is not so)
  • plus an updated JVM (to 1.6.0_29).

If I download CF 9 today, what do I get?

You get 9.0.2.

If you want 9.0.1 to add to an existing 9.0 install, you can get that as well. (See the "ColdFusion 9 Update 1 (9.0.1) " section of the page, ColdFusion Updaters, Patches, and Hot Fixes Overview (3 sections down from the "ColdFusion 9 Installers" that that url takes you to.)

But if you want 9.0 (perhaps because you owned it in the past and need to reinstall it, and you did not keep the file), note that only those with an Adobe support agreement can obtain 9.0 from Adobe.

"But if I download 9.0.2 today, I get the latest version of it available, right? I don't need to add hotfixes, do I?" Wrong.

As has always been the case with CF, you generally WILL need to apply hotfixes to a release when you download it. Once an installer has been posted it is NOT updated as new hotfixes, cumulative hotfixes (CHFs), and security hotfixes are released.

There are just so many platforms supported that it would be too much work to update the installer. they would need to thoroughly test that installer against all the operating systems they support, including their various supported versions, all the web servers and their supported versions, all the databases and their supported versions, and permutations of all these.

So that's not generally done until a few CHFs are made available, and then a new updater is created. (I discussed this some years ago, in CFMyths: "When I download CF to install it from scratch, it has the latest fixes/updaters".)

Since May 2012, there have been a cumulative hotfix for 9.0.2 as well as security hotfixes, some of which are for 9.0.2.

Warning: DO NOT install 9.0.1 atop 9.0.2 (nothing will stop you)

I mentioned this above, but I want to draw out the point. BEWARE that if you are running 9.0.2, you should NOT run the 9.0.1 installer. That will break your 9.0.2 install, because it will put in place files that are meant for CF 9.0.1, not your more-updated 9.0.2.

The problem is that the installer for 9.0.1 was built 3 years ago, well before 9.0.2, so it DOES NOT check to stop you from installing it atop 9.0.2.

The problem that this creates is very similar to the kind of problems that people have when they misapply hotfixes, something I talked about in a previous entry, CF911: Are you finding CF (or CF Admin) busted after applying a hotfix? A few possible reasons.

If I am on 9.0 or 9.0.1, how can I get to 9.0.2?

Well, you have no choice but to uninstall your current 9.0 or 9.0.1 implementation, then install 9.0.2.

Do beware that in removing 9.0 or 9.0.1, you will be completely removing it, including access to all your old CF Admin settings. If you are running CF Enterprise, you could use the "car file" mechanism to save off those settings. If you are running CF Standard, you can save off the neo-*.xml files before uninstalling and then use this documented trick to reinstate them in the new installation.

Why might I want to get to 9.0.2 from 9.0 or 9.0.1?

Well, again, you don't NEED to. You do lose Verity in the move, after all. But someone might want to "move up to 9.0.2" to be "closer" to being on 10, since it both removes Verity and/or because it also applies hotfixes and security hotfixes that would have had to be manually applied to 9.0 and 9.0.1 (at least those that were available as of May 2012. Again, you need to apply any updates added to 9.0.2 since then) and had an updated JVM.

Speaking of security updates, do beware that in moving to 9.0.2, you are getting all the security hotfixes that were available for it at the time it was released, and the concerns that I've raised before about the implications of security hotfixes are as important with 9.0.2 as with any other CF release.

How did I miss this? Was 9.0.2 discussed? Yes it was.

All this news about 9.0.2, including the removal of 9.0, 9.0.1, and 8 with the release of 19, was clarified around that time in a couple posts from the CF team:

I also discussed it briefly in a blog entry at the time: Getting #ColdFusion 8/9 downloads (with Verity): ways that may work even after today

Same for the planned removal of Verity from CF (10). Adobe had said they would do that when they came out with CF9, and that's when they introduced Solr as the alternative (open source) text search engine to Verity. They warned that folks using Verity should start testing with Solr if they planned to move to CF10 (especially important since Solr was not 100% plug compatible with Verity).

What "minor things from CF10" are included in 9.0.2?

Update: as for the assertion that there were some minor new things of CF 10 moved into 9.0.2, that turned out to be a misunderstanding due to a documentation mistake. See the comments from Henry Ho, offering additional links with clarification. Thanks, Henry.

Finally, I mentioned above that some "minor things" from CF10 were slipped into CF 9.0.2. This is quite an oddity, and has not been too widely discussed. Ray Camden blogged on it, pointing out that he'd found that 9.0.2 included some of the changes from CF10 regarding queryNew/queryAddRow.

So there you have it. All you wanted to know about 9.0.2 and more. I've just had to answer these questions so often, and I had long meant to do a blog entry to address them. Let me know if you have more questions or follow-ups, or do please spread the word about the entry if you think it to be information that others would appreciate.

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thanks charlie you are a super*
# Posted By jon | 8/19/13 4:33 PM
Charlie, there's NO language goodie added in CF902.

# Posted By Henry Ho | 8/19/13 9:26 PM
Thanks, Henry. I had never looked into things beyond seeing Ray's entry back at the time. Good to see that it was just a mistake in the docs, now corrected. (Meaning, "good to see that there was not some CF10 stuff brought back in 9.0.2, which could have led to confusion in not also being in 9.0 or 9.0.1.")

I'll strike the references above, but will leave them and these comments to help educate any others who had heard that news but not the update/corrections.
If any readers of this 2013 blog entry may be looking for the CF9 installers referred to above, they are no longer easily accessible on the Adobe site, but you can find them on a separate downloads repository created by Gavin Pickin. See http://bit.ly/cfdown...
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