ColdFusion and Microservices

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The all-new Adobe ColdFusion 2021 has just been released with dozens of features introduced to boost efficiency, security, scalability, language improvement, in addition to much newer instruments for performance monitoring and profiling. A substantial focus of CF2021 is support of microservices architecture.

As a variant of the service-oriented framework style, Microservices is a pattern that organizes complex applications into a collection of smaller-scale but related services deliveries, which CF2021 supports in a number of ways.

ColdFusion and Microservices, FusionReactor

1. Lightweight Installer Package

CF2021 comes equipped with either a GUI installer or a featherweight express installer package (currently between the range of 100 – 200 MB as against the GUI installer size of about 1GB) designed to allow for the automation of repeatable installations with the exact features you require. The lightweight installer package gets CF up and running in a matter of seconds.

2. Scriptable configuration

CF2021 offers a new scriptable configuration tool, cfsetup, which supports creating json configuration files that can be imported at CF startup. The tool supports displaying configuration settings and more, and it expands greatly on the former (but still-supported) ColdFusion ARchive/CAR feature. It’s now very easy to completely automate the implementation of CF, whether in the cloud or on-premise.

3. Cloud Services integration

CF2021 continues the microservices theme with several substantial new features supporting cloud services (in both AWS and Azure), from storage (AWS S3 and Azure Blob), message queuing (AWS SQS and Azure Message Bus), nosql cloud databases (AWS dynamoDB and Azure Cosmos DB), as well as notification (AWS SNS) and email (AWS SES) services. Again, whether deploying ColdFusion in the cloud or on-premise, CF2021 adds significant new integration possibilities.

4. Serverless deployment via AWS Lambda

Another key aspect of microservices architecture is the option of serverless deployment (also known as “functions as a service”), as implemented in services such as Azure Functions and AWS Lambda. CF2021 continues its microservices support with a feature to deploy CFML to AWS Lambda, so that you have no server to manage and resources are used only on-demand.

5. Provision Docker Images

CF2021 offers Docker images (as were provided also for CF2018 and 2016) which are available via bintray.com and as discussed here. The new versions continues the microservices theme, from being smaller and faster to start as well as supporting two new environment variables related to features above:

  • ImportCFSettings: imports the cfsetup-based JSON configuration file, to automate Admin settings
  • InstallModule: imports a comma-separated list of CF2021 modules to be installed

CF2021 allows you to deploy and scale CFML applications in any environment seamlessly, including via continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD).

ColdFusion and Microservices, FusionReactor

And of course all these CF2021 new features expand upon the various aspects of CF that have long made it capable to develop applications quickly and integrate with external services, whether in the cloud or on-premise. CF2021 also supports configuration of cloud/RDS databases as CF datasources. And through the ColdFusion Enterprise API manager, teams can easily create, manage, and monitor their API services.

6. Other improvements in CF2021

Other notable features added to the CF2021 release include SAML (single sign-in) integration, support for the MongoDB noSQL database, and many language improvements including rest and spread operators, parallelism on arrays and structs, iterator and static block support for CFCs, IIFE (Immediately Invoked Function Expression), and more. CF2021 also provides for direct coding of Java within CFML, as well as still other new features.

Conclusion

With its many new features and focus on modern development, the CF2021 release may be the most professional version to be introduced since the debut of the ColdFusion development platform 25 years ago.

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