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I'll be presenting, "Hidden gems in CF2021, a year later", at Adobe CF Summit 2021

Just a heads up, for any who may be interested to hear: I will be one of the presenters at the upcoming Adobe ColdFusion Summit 2021 in December, being held again online this year.

My talk will be a reprisal and update of my traditional "hidden gems" talk, this one focused especially on things that have changed since the initial release of ColdFusion 2021 (and my talk at last year's Summit):

Hidden gems in CF2021, a year later

It's been a year since the release of CF 2021, and also since Charlie Arehart offered his "hidden gems" talk at last year's CF Summit. Perhaps you caught his talk then, or not, and maybe you've started using the release--or still have not. Either way, there've been a number of updates as well as some changes in features since the release. In this updated talk, Charlie helps both audiences consider aspects of ColdFusion 2021 that they may have missed.
Registration at the event is free, via the conference site, and the other couple of dozen sessions (in two tracks) are all listed there now. "See" you there. :-)

Return of AWS Lambda support in ColdFusion 2021 Update 2...well, kinda

Some folks may have heard or noticed that update 2 of CF2021 has returned "CF AWS Lambda" support. And while I was delighted to hear that news, my excitement dimmed when I saw what the "returned feature" was about. (As a reminder, the feature had been removed shortly after the initial release of CF2021, in news I shared then.)

TLDR; While the original CF AWS Lambda feature (removed shortly after the release) let you CREATE AWS Lambda/serverless packages written in CFML, the feature as "returned" to us now in update 2 only allows you to CALL AWS Lambda functions from within CFML. That's QUITE a difference.

And sure, there's value in being able to call AWS LAMBDAS in cfml, as I'll note. (And yes, it's already possible to execute cfml in AWS Lambdas in Lucee via Fuseless, as I also note later.) I just am really hopeful that at some later point the original capability will be returned.

Below, I share how I came to understand things..including more on what was possible before, what we were even teased by over the summer in the prerelease of CF2021 update 2, and then finally what the current capability allows.

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New updates released for Java 8 and 11 (and 17), Oct 2021

New JVM updates have been released yesterday (Oct 19, 2021) for the current long-term support (LTS) releases of Oracle Java, 8, 11, and 17. (Note that prior to Java 9, releases of Java were known technically as 1.x, to 8 is referred to in resources below as 1.8.) While the news has been announced by Oracle and shared in the IT press, I know that some of my readers don't necessarily follow those sources closely.

The new updates are 1.8.0_311, (aka 8u311), 11.0.13, and 17.0.1, respectively).

For more on them, including information on the security fixes and bug fixes they each contain, see the Oracle resources I list below, as well as some additional info I offer for if you may be skipping to this from a JVM update from before Apr 2021, as well as info for Adobe ColdFusion users on where to find the updated Java versions, what JVM versions Adobe CF supports, and more.

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Finding default/initial CF admin config (neo-*.xml) files, now at cfmlrepo.com

Have you ever wished to obtain a copy of one CF's neo-*.xml files (like neo-cron.xml), for the purpose of setting yours back to its defaults? Folks sometimes need to do that to recover from certain problems.

I've seen the problem raised often enough that when I saw someone raising it this weekend, I decided to solve it by creating a new folder in the cfmlrepo.com site, at least for CF2021 and CF2018 (for now), offering there the initial versions of all the neo-*.xml files for those two editions.

For more information, see what I shared (including more background on the issue, where I got the files, where I put the files, and more) in my reply about all this to the CF Community thread where the user raised the need this weekend.

And for the sake of those who may "just want the files" without any need of explanation or warnings:

I welcome thoughts, feedback, or suggestions.

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.

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Pulling Adobe Docker CF images, via Dockerhub or Amazon ECR

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, you can now also get Adobe CF images from Dockerhub, at least as of Sept 2021. Update: When I first wrote this in June, there was still no dockerhub repo. That changed in July when the CF Dockerhub repo was created, and now as of this update on 9/13/2021, you can get the 2021 update 1 image using:
    docker pull adobecoldfusion/coldfusion:latest
  • 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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