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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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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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Hotfix released for CF2021 date-mask compatibility issue

Good news to share: if you're concerned about being impacted by a pressing compatibility issue in ColdFusion 2021 (regarding using "D" in a dateformat mask), Adobe released a fix for the problem last week. There are 3 simple steps to implementing that hotfix.

For more on the problem, see see my recent post on the issue. For more on the fix, see that Adobe technote or read on for some additional details.

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Breaking change in CF2021, new date format mask of D may be serious problem for old code

Wow. Beware of this subtle breaking change in CF2021, something discovered since its release (was not documented as one of the "new" things, nor was it documented at all in the beta).

[Update: the week after I posted this, Adobe posted an optional fix for this. See my more recent post as well as the comment below from Sauarav, where they have offered both a hotfix jar and a jvm argument that you can use, if you want to revert CF2021 to treating the "D" datemask format as it had in prior releases. Read on for an explanation of the problem, to appreciate the available solution. In time I'll do a separate post with more on the update.]

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Be aware that updates to ColdFusion 2016 will end Feb 2021

Are you still running ColdFusion 2016? Did you know that its "core" support (meaning, public updates from Adobe) will end in just a couple of months, Feb 21 2021? Same for CFBuilder 2016.

The recent release of CF2021 is a great sign for the continued vitality of CF, but this looming deadline is a reminder that as the years roll on, we not only get new versions but we say good-bye to old ones.

Wondering what you can do? or when CF2018 or CF2021 support ends? And what's the difference between "core" and paid Adobe support plans? For more on these, as well as official Adobe documentation that discusses such things, read on.

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The many new and improved features in CF2021

You may have heard that the newest version of CF has been released, ColdFusion 2021. If you've not yet taken a look at what's new, you may be very surprised to find how much there is: from substantial support for several cloud services, to significant changes in CF installation/configuration/deployment, to dozens of new language features, as well as single sign on/SAML support, new kinds of databases supported, several enhancements to the PMT, cf admin-related changes, and more.

As with each CF release, there are features great and small--ones that may "sell" it, and ones that may simply make your life easier.

This is a follow-up to my post from last month, Getting started with "Project Stratus" public beta, aka CF2021. In that I highlighted some key info one would need to get started USING the prerelease, which came out in August, but I only briefly mentioned then some of the key new features. (I also explained why I had referred even then to it being CF2021, given info I'd found in the prerelease.)

In this post, I want to highlight more clearly what those new features are, nearly 60 of them in several categories!--just with a brief mention of the feature and perhaps its sub-features--and most important with a pointer to where to find them discussed in far more detail.

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Getting started with "Project Stratus" public beta, aka CF2021

Did you know that the public beta for CF2020 (or "CF2021", as I think the name will be) is now open, since August 2020? It's formally known by its code-name, "Project Stratus", or as some call it, "CF Next".

What matters most is that it's one of the boldest new versions of CF in quite some time. In this post, I want to share some tips about getting started with the beta, as I have seen many in the community left wondering about some things.

My focus here is not on "what's new" (I'll offer a brief list here, and more in a later post), but really just "how to get started", especially during the beta (or "prerelease") as some things are not as obvious as they perhaps should be. In fact, I make some pointed suggestions that I hope Adobe will consider, as well as share tips for you in the meantime.

In this post, I cover:

  • How easily anyone can join the public beta (Don't miss all that's on the prerelease front page)
  • Available documentation resources, don't miss them! (The 500-page (!) release notes, and separate system requirements and known issues docs)
  • Getting help with the prerelease, don't go it alone! (Filing bug reports, feature requests for the prerelease; asking for help and learning in the available prerelease forums)
  • The available installers and more
  • A taste of what's new (more to come in a later post)
  • About the use of the codename, Project Stratus

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CF911: 'Help! I've updated the JVM which ColdFusion uses, and now it won't start!'

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.
[Originally posted in Dec 2014, updated as recently as Apr 2021]

Has this happened to you? You wanted to update the JVM which CF uses to use a new version...

  • so you found some resource on the web showing how to update, and it seemed simple enough
  • and then you tried restarting CF and wham, it won't start, or the admin won't open, or code starts failing
  • and maybe it's that things didn't fail immediately, but within hours or days folks report things breaking since you made the change
  • and now you're stuck wondering, "what happened? and how am I supposed to fix this?"

It's a tough position to be in, and tragic of course if CF won't start. But no, you do NOT need to reinstall CF!

Often it's just one thing you did by mistake, though there are indeed several possible reasons why your attempt to update CF's JVM can fail or lead to unexpected problems. And as you google about, you may find all kinds of helpful but often misinformed or spartan suggestions that may or may not help much.

So I offer here over a dozen of things you can and should consider/look at, some of which you may quickly recover from or be able to undo (depends on what you did). And all this applies to Lucee, Railo, and BlueDragon as well, though folder locations will differ.

If you're facing this bind right now, you can skip over the following to the the section, "Seeing better error info, when the CF service won't start", and then the section after that "So what went wrong?", where I present each likely problem and solution.

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