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Adobe Macromedia ColdFusion 7 PC Review - -

Installation 8.8
Ease of use 8.0
Usefulness 8.8
Value 8.8
Distributor: Adobe
Review Date:
June 2008
Jeremy Morrison


Adobe Macromedia Coldfusion MX7

Although not the latest version of ColdFusion, impulsegamer was given the opportunity to review Adobe's Macromedia ColdFusion MX7 that is still one of the most definitive internet applications available and allows you to create a wide variety of internet applications.

In its essence, ColdFusion is a powerful J2EE application (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition) that uses the ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML) and can be used on a variety of different formats and platforms to ensure maximum reach around the glove. 

Creating Flash-based forms and PDF files has never been easier and although this program is catered for the computer professional, amateurs will also have no difficulty in mastering this power software package.

There are a variety of online tutorials and books available to assist users to master this easy to use program. Another noticeable feature of this current incarnation is the stream-lined interface that assists in improving productivity and makes it easier to navigate.

Key Aspects

  • Printable web content – ColdFusion MX 7 introduces an easy, powerful way to dynamically transform html content into highquality, printable pdf or Macromedia FlashPaper formats with the addition of a single tag.

  • Rich, highquality forms – ColdFusion MX7 makes it fast and easy for developers to create greatlooking Flash forms and XML forms in minutes by using just a few ColdFusion tags.

  • Integrated, structured business reporting – ColdFusion MX 7 reporting adds powerful, banded report design and generation capabilities, enabling developers to quickly and easily design highly structured business reports and integrate them into web applications. Now use ColdFusion to add reporting and document printing to any web application technology.

Creating Flash-based forms has truly never been simpler and give the user a variety of options, ensuring that even the most complicated form can be designed with ease whether it contains trees or even calendar components.

ColdFusion also supports XForms as well as Flash-based forms and both systems allow you to change the appearance and the complexity of the forms. I must admit that I was able to design a professional and fully working form in under 5 minutes, however more apt users will easily beat this time.

Although you need to know basic coding for this program, the developers have improved the way ColdFusion validates your code and with the new cftimer tag, this allows for easier debugging and once again improved creation performance.

ColdFusion allows the user to create both PDF and FlashPaper 2 files with just a simple tag and the end-result will be identical to your original document. This is great for news for users wishing to create printable web content and not only allows you to add headers and footers but you can also save the output to email and the like if needed. 

The report feature of ColdFusion is also quite powerful that can be used for a variety of functions and designers, business and researchers will definitely find this feature quite useful. Add in the ability to create a variety of powerful charts and graphs, thanks to the new CFCHAT engine gives the user access to over 200 templates which still allows you to control the final look such as colours and animations. 

Key Benefits

  • Easy to learn, develop in record time. Becoming productive sooner and delivering applications faster reduces the total cost of Internet application development.

  • ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML), the tagbased scripting language in ColdFusion, is modeled after html, making it easy to get up and running quickly – encapsulating complex actions into simple, intuitive tags. ColdFusion MX 7 boosts CFML with an array of powerful new and extended tags.

  • New ColdFusion Dreamweaver extensions make it faster and easier than ever to develop ColdFusion applications using Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004.

  • Build and consume SOAP web services in record time using CFCs (ColdFusion Components), separating business logic from presentation tier. Use CFCs in all types of applications, including html, Flash, web services, SMS, IM, and more.

  • Take advantage of major updates to the already powerful set of application services in ColdFusion, including the latest Verity fulltext search engine and dramatic improvements to charting and graphing. Provide an unparalleled user experience. Users will increase productivity and interact with applications in superior ways.

  • Build accessible, highquality forms in minutes using the new rich Flash and XML forms capabilities. Complex, multistep forms are now easy to create using familiar CFML tags. Easily reskin forms across applications.

  • Transform web content into wellformatted, printable PDF or FlashPaper 2 documents in the context of an application using the powerful new CFDOCUMENT capability. Easily add printing to existing applications with only a few lines of additional code.

  • ColdFusion MX 7 adds powerful new business reporting capabilities to fully integrate structured business reporting inside web applications. Satisfy business reporting requirements while reducing or eliminating the need for costly thirdparty reporting products. Create a new class of applications. Extend proven rapid application development techniques to new application types.
    ColdFusion MX 7 provides groundbreaking new capabilities enabling the creation of a new class of applications accessible through Short Message Service (SMS) textmessaging on mobile devices. SMS extends the reach of applications beyond the desktop, providing users with complete mobility.

  • The Instant Messaging (IM) world is about to go through a rapid transformation where IM clients are used to interact with Internet applications. ColdFusion MX 7 makes it easy to create applications for IM known today as “bots.” Leverage “IM presence services” (the ability to know
    when a user is available and online) in applications to determine the current availability of a user before sending a new message. Connect to Lotus Sametime or XMPP, the emerging IM standard. Flexible, multiplatform deployment. Streamline deployment and enjoy greater scalability, reliability, and security without greater cost.

  • ColdFusion MX 7 provides new, flexible options for application deployment. Package an application AND the ColdFusion runtime into a single EAR for fast Java deployment. Distribute applications as Java bytecode, without CFML source, helping protect source code investments. Easily create new application instances, delivering high availability of individual applications.

Another impressive new feature is that ColdFusion is no longer dependent on HTTP, however has the ability to connect to a variety of networks and even has a new "event gateways" feature which allows the program to use SMS text messaging. 

System administrators will be pleased to know that applications can be stored as EAR or WAR files, ensuring increased productivity and cross-platform compatibility. Supporting a variety of different operating systems that include Windows, Linux and Unix, the software supports some of the world's most powerful platforms such as SunONE, IBM WebSphere and JRun.

NT system administrators will be pleased to know that the program supports Integrated NT Domain authentication, ensuring a much broader usage and security option.

My favourite aspect of ColdFusion MX7 is the improved text searching capabilities that includes the Verity fulltext search engine that gives the user a variety of different searching filters, including hierarchical category searching and even spelling correction suggestions, ensuring a more professional end product.

In conclusion, ColdFusion MX7 is still a viable business application that we could happily recommend to a variety of different users. The ability to create almost instantaneous Flash-based forms, FlashPaper 2 files and PDF files is a godsend. Another noticeable aspect of this product is the increased productivity of application creation, thanks to the speed of the program.

System Requirements

Windows (Standard and Enterprise)
· Intel Pentium II processor or higher
· 512 MB RAM
· 500 MB harddisk space
· 2000 Server SP3 or higher
· 2000 Advanced Server, 2000 Datacenter Server
· 2003 Web Edition, 2003 Standard Edition, 2003 Enterprise Edition
· 2000 Professional SP3 or higher (1)
· XP Professional, XP Home (1)

Linux (Standard and Enterprise)
· Intel Pentium II processor or higher
· 512 MB RAM
· 500 MB harddisk space
· Red Hat Linux AS & ES 2.1 or 3.0
· SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8x
· TurboLinux 8 Server (Japanese Only)

· SPARC, PARISC 1.1 or 2.0, or POWER/3 processor
· 512 MB RAM
· 500 MB harddisk space
· Sun Solaris 8, 9, or 10
· IBM AIX 5L 5.1 (2)
· Apple Mac OS 10.3 (1)

Supported Application Servers
· Macromedia JRun 4, Updater 4 or higher
· IBM WebSphere Application Server – Express, Version 5.1
· IBM WebSphere Application Server, Version 4, 5.0, 5.0.2, 5.1
· IBM WebSphere Application Server – Network Deployment, Version 5.0, 5.0.2, 5.1 NonClustered, Single Server Only (3)
· IBM WebSphere Application Server for Developers 5.0
· BEA WebLogic Server 7, 8.1


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