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Lots more to the current CF2021, 2018 prerelease than folks may realize

Have you checked out the many things coming in the updates for CF2021 and 2018 in prerelease the past few weeks? Anyone is welcome to join the prerelease, logging in with an Adobe account. It's a lot more substantial than I think most realize.

There's more changes to CF in the prerelease than just "Azul Java support", and indeed it's about more than just CF itself (but the various released CF installers and CFBuilder as well). In this post I list those things, both features and resources, both to inform those who may be interested in the various things that are coming and to help motivate some to check out the prerelease before final release (which could be any day now).

[Update on 7/20/21: Just hours after I posted this last night, Adobe announced suddenly via a public CF forum post that they were putting the move to Azul on hold to Dec 2021. There had been no mention of that in the prerelease before then. And I can see now in the prerelease that the new installers have been removed, but the changes per the CF updates and for Lambda/serverless are expected to proceed.

You can see a question I asked in reply to that forum post, about what this means for the features that WERE seemingly only in the new installers. I've asked it in the prerelease forum as well, not knowing who if anyone may answer me.

It is indeed just terrible timing that this announcement came out just literally hours after what I wrote, throwing things into a state of confusion currently. Still, much of what I write below still stands. I'll update things as they may change]

What new/changed features the prerelease offers

In brief, the prerelease addresses these changes or improvements:

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Video now posted of my DevWeek talk on "ColdFusion at 25", more modern than most think

If you may have missed my talk at the Adobe CF Developer Week 2021 in June 22-24, the session recording is now posted online, via tv.adobe.com.

Adobe informed speakers after the session about how their session was rated by attendees. Mine got 4.5 out of 5 for "content quality of the session" and 4.4 out of 5 for "speaker's knowledge of the subject". I hope those folks will help me know where I could improve on those. I got no feedback, though I offer my email and social media handle on the title page and every slide. :-)

I offer a PDF of those slides (as well as a link to the recording and the session description) on my "presentations" page link for the talk.

One other thing: the formal title I'd chosen (months ago) was indeed, "ColdFusion at 25: not the kid most have stuck in their minds". But I realize now there's klunkiness to that subtitle ("not the kid most have stuck in their minds"). More important it didn't convey as readily the main point I was making.

So I've changed the subtitle on my site, to match what I say in the blog post title above ("more modern than most think"). And I'll use that if I present it again. Also I've changed it in the PDF offered on my site above, and FWIW I've tweaked the slides just a bit already since the talk, also now posted.

Again, if you saw/watch the talk or slides and may have any additional feedback for me, I welcome it here or privately, including open twitter DM's. (Sadly, the tv.adobe.com site offers no commenting feature.)

FusionReactor 8.7.2 released

Just a quick note to report that FusionReactor 8.7.2 has been released, on July 5 2021. You can see the changes (new features/improvements) and bug fixes (there are just several rather modest ones this release) in the release notes doc for all FR 8 versions.

If you may lose track of that link, note that a link to it is also offered on the FR downloads page, where it appears as a "release notes" link in the blue banner shown above the available downloads.

As an aside, the FR folks themselves may or may not share news of a point release (perhaps tweeting via their twitter account, if not a blog post, or perhaps in a direct email to customers). They do tend to do soft rollouts of updates, putting them out for a few days before spreading the news.

So how do I know of it? Well, I use a nifty (old-school) free service called followthatpage.com, which I have watching that page for any changed, so I know if/when they do update the release notes. :-) And I share the news here because I know that many of my readers are FusionReactor users, who are of a sort that might like to know this new in advance.

Pulling Adobe Docker CF images, for now via Amazon ECR, and soon via Dockerhub

Here's some good news for those interested in using the Adobe CF Docker images: it turns out you are NOT required to do the clunky "download/docker load" dance that had been announced in this Adobe blog post on Apr 30, the day before the announced closure date of the previous registry they used, Bintray. There are three other alternatives to do a traditional docker pull, which I didn't know about and I suspect others may not either:
  • First, you can now pull images from Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR), including both the CF2021 image and 2018, as well as the add-on and PMT images for CF2021. These are official Adobe images, to be clear. A simple example--that works today--and will give you the CF2021 update 1 image is the following:
    docker pull public.ecr.aws/adobe/coldfusion:latest
  • Second, soon you will be able to download them from DockerHub as well ("the way it's supposed to be", some would say). No date set for that, but indications are that it will be "very soon", according to Adobe. Update: As of June 22, 2021 Adobe has now created a repo on Dockerhub. For now, there are no images there yet, as of a check on July 6, 2021. But keep an eye on it, as it seems they will appear soon.
  • Update: As of a check July 6. 2021, the bintray repo is indeed no longer available. That said, you can still use the images you may have pulled, even using the eaps.bintray.com/coldfusion repo name prefix before the image names. It's only pull requests that will fail. Going forward, use the other options above. Here's what I had written back on June 17: Finally, despite what the Adobe and Bintray sites said about the May 1 "closure" of bintray, saying that images would be inaccessible after that date, Docker images at Bintray DO remain available for now. This includes CF2021 update 1, CF2018 update 11, CF2016 update 17, and more, so existing docker pulls against those do still work, at least as I write today, June 17 2021

Both the first two were mentioned in a comment yesterday on the Adobe CF forums. And I discovered how the continued Bintray image availability while writing up this post to share the news about those other two!

For more information, including additional background on this transition, more on using the ECR images, and still more links to resources discussing these things, including docs on using the Adobe CF images that many never seem to notice, read on. (I also did an "in brief" version of this post on the Adobe CF portal, where I share the "least you need to know" above. Again, for the rest which should be interesting stuff for many, read on.)

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My upcoming talk, "ColdFusion at 25: not the kid most have stuck in their minds"

As you may have heard by now, the free Adobe CF Developer Week 2021 will be held June 22-24. My session will be on June 22 at 4p Central in Track 2. While currently the DevWeek site only offers session titles and speakers (descriptions were added after I posted this: click the + sign to the right of each talk), here is mine, from the "presentations" page here on my site:

ColdFusion at 25: not the kid most have stuck in their minds

As ColdFusion turns 26 next month, many seem stuck remembering it only as the "teen" they knew or even the "child", when instead it's grown up to be a capable "adult", impressive in many ways, and even more so recently. In this session, we'll look back at how CF has indeed evolved into a very capable platform, with quite modern features that seem to surprise many--including people working with it currently. If you struggle "finding CF people" or "getting buy-in", perhaps these observations could help you with both challenges. If nothing else, they're things designed simply to help you get your job done, while keeping up with modern practices.

We'll start with many modern coding techniques--which will be familiar to those using more "modern" languages but that many don't realize CF supports, and may have for years. We'll then look at ways that things such as CF installation/deployment, configuration/administration, monitoring, security, and more have improved over the years. And we'll look not only at CF itself but the community surrounding it, ranging from resources for help and learning to tools and services that others have created, making CF a far more complete ecosystem than most give it credit. Put another way: it's not your father's CF!

I look forward to presenting this topic and hope you'll come check it out.

I'll be speaking on the Online CFMeetup this week, on installing CF2021

I thought some readers may want to hear that I'll be speaking on the Online CFMeetup this week, specifically "Installing CF2021: choices, challenges, and solutions".

That may sound like a boring or simplistic topic to some. "Doesn't everyone already know how to install CF?" Trust me, they do not. :-) I help people do it every week, whether CF2021 or earlier versions. There are various tips I can and will share, and of course some about CF2021 in particular. But much will benefit you even if still using an older CF version.

For more on the talk, including a description (and my bio) see the meetup event page, which offers details like the URL for attending, the date and time (Thursday at 12p Eastern), and more.

I have just realized that I've been derelict in announcing here on my blog when I'm giving such talks. I did 3 meetup sessions last year, as well as a couple of AMA ("ask me anything") sessions with Dan Wilson, who has been helping me in running the group the past year, with my sincere thanks! :-)

New updates released for Java 8 and 11, April 20 2021

For those using the Long-term support (LTS) versions of Oracle Java, 8 and 11, please note that there were new updates released last week (Apr 20), specifically Java 11.0.11 and 8.0_291. For more on each, see the:

For some, that's all they need to hear. For others, read on.

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Confirming ColdFusion's Java version via CFML code

Have you ever wished you could confirm with 100% certainty what Java version is in use by the CF instance you are running? Or where the JVM's location is (in case you are told to modify files related to it)?

Some good news is that ColdFusion offers simple ways/variables that can show you each of these, via CFML code. In this post, I share that. I share first a simple single variable which works in CF2018 and above, then I offer a variation for those on CF2016 and earlier, as well as variations for Lucee.

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As Rakshith moves on, ColdFusion Product Management past and future

Some of you may heard that late last week Adobe CF Product Manager Rakshith Naresh announced in various online communities that he was stepping down from the role and indeed moving on from Adobe. Here's his post on the Facebook CF Programmers group. As he noted there, he had "found an interesting opportunity outside of Adobe", and he added that "ColdFusion continues to be an important part [of] Adobe and nothing changes for the product with this. Adobe is actively looking to hire a replacement for my role."

Of course I wish Rakshith all the best. He guided the release of CF2021, which many think is one of the best new CF releases in that timeframe, and he will be missed. But time marches on, as does CF.

In this post, I reminisce first about who the past (surprisingly few) CF Product Managers were, and then I muse about what the next CF PM will face, and what all this means for CF going forward.

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Version numbers of libraries underlying ColdFusion 2021

Are you wondering what updates have been made (in terms of version numbers) to the libraries underlying CF2021?

For instance, what's the version of ehcache? What about Java, Tomcat, Hibernate, Quartz, jQuery, and so on?

In this post, I offer a rundown of what seem the most significant libraries and their versions, as deployed in the first release of ColdFusion (2021 Release). This is something I have been doing in my "hidden gems" talks for the past several releases. I also explain here how I find these version numbers, which isn't always obvious, in case that may help anyone (and also because some libraries may change with future updates to CF2021). I also offer some commentary on why this matter of library versions is important to some, as well as some counterpoints to the demands some have that every library should always be the absolute latest version (and why that's just not practicable).

If you just want the version numbers without the "waffle", look for the bulleted list of them below. :-)

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