You will be redirected in 30 seconds or close now.

ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Jeremy Geelan, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson

Related Topics: ColdFusion, Java IoT, Adobe Flex, Machine Learning , Agile Computing

ColdFusion: Article

Scorpio and Apollo - Coming Soon to a Town Near You!

'Scorpio,' the highly anticipated eighth major release of ColdFusion is coming soon to a town near you.

Yes, you read the title correctly: "Scorpio," the highly anticipated eighth major release of ColdFusion is coming soon to a town near you. Even before the release of the highly successful ColdFusion MX 7 two years ago, the ColdFusion team was already hard at work scheming, experimenting, planning, building, creating...and the result is "Scorpio."

Building on top of the powerful platform introduced in ColdFusion MX, and the solid feature set of ColdFusion MX 7, Scorpio piles on new features and technologies for developers, administrators, technical decision makers, and more. The official release of Scorpio is projected to be around the mid-2007 timeframe, but you don't have to wait until then to see it for yourself.

Ben Forta (as well as Tim Buntel in some locations) will be demonstrating lots of Scorpio throughout an extended user group tour in the spring, where attendees will get to see Scorpio in action, as well as gain access to the pre-release beta, and get the chance to win Adobe software. At the time of this writing there are 25 presentations scheduled from April 23 to May 21, but the schedule of dates/locations is being updated regularly. To check if a ColdFusion user group near you is participating, visit the schedule at http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Scorpio.

What are the new features in Scorpio? Scorpio is currently in beta and members of the beta are under NDA, so new features can't be discussed. It has been announced that in addition to the user group tour dates, Scorpio topics will also be discussed at the CFObjective and CFUnited conferences. I and many other developers blogged about features we'd like to see - google the phrase "ColdFusion 8 wish list" (or "Scorpio wish list") to find many of those entries. You can also visit the Scorpio wiki at http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Scorpio and look at the "Things that customers are looking for" section at the bottom of the page to see other features being requested. Of course, a wish list isn't the same as a feature list, so there are no guarantees, but Adobe does pay a lot of attention to what the community and the customers are asking for most often. Even if I could post a feature list, it's important to note that the product is currently in beta, so a feature here today could be gone tomorrow (and vice versa). One thing's for sure though - this truly is a very highly anticipated release (just look at the number of hits you get searching for wish lists) and the server team promises it's going to be another major feature-packed release (as opposed to a "patch" release), so keep your eyes and ears open for the tour and get ready to code. If you are not already on the Scorpio Beta and would like to apply to be on it, the URL is https://prerelease.adobe.com/callout/apply.html? callid={E9F64ADB-DADA-485E-BFFE-60E0D783EBEF} (there's also a link on the Scorpio Wiki referenced earlier).

One other very recent noteworthy announcement from Adobe is the availability of the Apollo alpha. Apollo is a cross-operating system runtime environment developed by Adobe that allows Web developers to leverage their current knowledge of Flex, ActionScript/Flash, HTML, JavaScript, HTML, and AJAX to build desktop applications (or, as the Adobe Apollo Wiki describes it, "to build and deploy rich Internet applications [RIAs] to the desktop"). Apollo is currently supported on Windows and OSX and plans are in the works to support Linux in the near future. There are many planned features such as PDF support, the ability to launch external applications, and many more (a more complete list is on the Apollo FAQ at http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Apollo:developerfaq# What_are_some_of_the_features_

Many developers and clients have asked me why a ColdFusion developer should be interested in Apollo, and how Apollo impacts the role of the CF developer in an organization. These are very good questions that I plan to address in more detail in a future editorial, but for now I'll offer this brief bit of insight.

As for why a ColdFusion developer may be interested in Apollo, there are two ways in which I see Apollo being extraordinarily useful for us. One is the obvious fact that using ColdFusion alone, your application is Web based and runs on an application server, whereas Apollo let's you build something that runs on the desktop. This means your end users don't need to remember or bookmark any URL (just access the application from their desktop), your applications can do things that Web applications can't traditionally do such as access the file system and other resources on the client machine, and end users can even use your application when they don't have any Internet connectivity or when your servers are not online. This last benefit also makes Apollo ideal when users may want to take the application home or to some other remote location, do their work (storing data locally and using data they've retrieved from the server for offline use), and then possibly synch the work they've done offline with your servers when they return to the office or obtain connectivity. I also see Apollo as being very useful in that developers will be able to distribute prototypes, demos, and/or finished products to end users not only via the Web but on CD and other physical storage devices. Can't you already do this with Java? Well, kind of but not entirely and the short answer to that question is "no" (yes, you can run a desktop app written in Java anywhere you have a runtime and yes, you can do some simple Web scripting rendering with Java) - but Apollo really is different, and Apollo allows Web developers to leverage their existing skills to build these applications - the significance of which cannot be overstated.

Regarding how Apollo impacts the role of ColdFusion or ColdFusion developers in an organization - that's tough to say so early in the game and it also depends largely on the nature of the application(s) on a project-by-project basis. In an Apollo application, the role of ColdFusion will typically be that of a service provider. It's a typical client/server relationship where data persistence is (most likely) being performed on the client and business logic may or may not be performed on the client depending on whether this logic must be server-side or may need to be available to applications other than the Apollo client apps. Logic written using CFCs can be used by Apollo, Flex 2, and ColdFusion applications and can be exposed as a Web service that's consumable by any other SOAP-enabled environment. Logic in an Apollo app is available to the Apollo app. On the other hand, logic in the Apollo app runs client side, thus greatly reducing server load as well as dependence on an active Internet connection. It's important to keep in mind that in addition to offering services that provide database interaction and/or perform business logic on the server, ColdFusion will be a good candidate to provide services that generate/manipulate documents, leverage products deployed on the enterprise (Verity, mail servers, Java/COM/CORBA objects, etc.), and that access other server-side resources (such as the servers local file system).

If you aren't interested in developing desktop applications or distributing your current content to the desktop, then Apollo may not be something you need immediately dive into, but it's definitely something to better familiarize yourself with in the event that it suits your needs in the future. If nothing else, it's a skill that will most likely make you a more marketable developer and could make your contributions in the workplace more valuable. Though the features are yet to be publicly announced, Scorpio certainly looks to be a ColdFusion release with many significant new features that allow you to do more, more easily and/or in better ways, so I strongly recommend attending the user group presentation nearest you and signing up for the Scorpio beta. If you're fortunate enough to not only be a CF developer but to also be one of the early adopters of Flex, then 2007 looks to be a very productive, interesting, and fun year for you and your organization. Keep your eye on the Adobe Labs site for breaking news, downloads, and other information, as Adobe is doing a fantastic job releasing loads of "goodies" at a great rate.

More Stories By Simon Horwith

Simon Horwith is the CIO at AboutWeb, LLC, a Washington, DC based company specializing in staff augmentation, consulting, and training. Simon is a Macromedia Certified Master Instructor and is a member of Team Macromedia. He has been using ColdFusion since version 1.5 and specializes in ColdFusion application architecture, including architecting applications that integrate with Java, Flash, Flex, and a myriad of other technologies. In addition to presenting at CFUGs and conferences around the world, he has also been a contributing author of several books and technical papers.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
Cell networks have the advantage of long-range communications, reaching an estimated 90% of the world. But cell networks such as 2G, 3G and LTE consume lots of power and were designed for connecting people. They are not optimized for low- or battery-powered devices or for IoT applications with infrequently transmitted data. Cell IoT modules that support narrow-band IoT and 4G cell networks will enable cell connectivity, device management, and app enablement for low-power wide-area network IoT. B...
The hierarchical architecture that distributes "compute" within the network specially at the edge can enable new services by harnessing emerging technologies. But Edge-Compute comes at increased cost that needs to be managed and potentially augmented by creative architecture solutions as there will always a catching-up with the capacity demands. Processing power in smartphones has enhanced YoY and there is increasingly spare compute capacity that can be potentially pooled. Uber has successfully ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...