Macromedia moves ColdFusion into the Java Age

Two versions of ColdFusion are due to be delivered in 2002

At its Macromedia DevCon 2001 user conference in Orlando Florida, Macromedia detailed what will be the next version of its ColdFusion application development tools.

Code-named Neo, the pending edition will be based on Java, whereas previous versions have used C++ as the foundation, according to Adam Berry, vice president of ColdFusion server business at San Francisco-based Macromedia.

Berry continued that moving Neo to Java will enable the tools to work better with J2EE (Java 2, Enterprise Edition) application servers as well as Web services. To that end, at the user group Macromedia also rallied the support of BEA Systems, IBM, Sun Microsystems, and Intel.

"We believe this is going to help customers by letting them develop more with the infrastructures they have," Berry says.

Chris Dial, an analyst at US-based Forrester Research, said that the move to Java was inevitable.

"It's a great move for Macromedia to tap into the momentum of Java as firms move to Java app servers," Dial says.

Basing the forthcoming version on Java, however, does not mean that Macromedia is leaving Windows in the dust, Berry says. Instead, Neo will support .NET and provide developers tools to work with the .NET platform, including Microsoft servers such as Exchange and SQL Server.

"We're putting Web services at the center of Neo," Berry says.

Neo will not leave previous versions of ColdFusion behind, either, according to Berry. Macromedia plans to make it backwards-compatible, but recommends ColdFusion 5.0 as the best upgrade path.

Macromedia plans to release two editions of Neo. One will ship with Macromedia's JRun application server embedded, and the other will include support for BEA's WebLogic and IBM's WebSphere application servers.

Macromedia has not set a delivery date as of yet, but intends to make Neo available mid-year 2002.

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