Welcome!

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

ColdFusion: Article

Scalability and Rapid Development

Scalability and Rapid Development

One of ColdFusion's long-standing advantages over other Web development environments is time-to-market. It's not uncommon to hear stories of start-to-finish ColdFusion projects that take less than a month...or even a week. But these ultratight schedules allow little or no time for proper planning and testing prior to launch.

ColdFusion's simplicity and speed of development, which allows for the creation of powerful applications, doesn't reduce the importance of appropriate planning and testing in developing scalable applications. In the end, every Web application undergoes testing for both functionality and scalability. Some are tested prior to release as part of the development process. Others aren't fully tested until after their release, and by unsuspecting customers.

A firm understanding of the nature of rapid development and a brief review of the processes that lay the foundation for scalable application development will allow us to better understand how to achieve scalable applications rapidly.

Rapid Development for the Web
ColdFusion isn't the first product to offer rapid development other non-Web tools have similar accelerated development cycles. What is special about rapid development for the Web? The big difference lies in the deployment environment.

First, in the client/server world applications are generally released to a predictable, relatively small, restricted number of users in a controlled environment.

Web applications on the other hand are often released to an un-known, virtually unlimited number of potentially simultaneous users in the frequently unpredictable environment of the Web.

Second, while rolling out a client/server application often requires a significant effort, the effort required to deploy a Web application can be minimal. By simply deploying a code set to a single Web server, you can immediately reach thousands of users.

The possibility that you could so easily deploy an application to hundreds of thousands of simultaneous users adds significant risk to an application that wasn't developed with proper development methodology - and to the company behind it. With sound development practices, however, these risks can be minimized while still achieving rapid application development.

Scalable Application Development
Regardless of the development tools you use, the same basic principles of sound development hold. Appropriate resources need to be allocated for architectural planning, site reporting, database tuning, code analysis and tuning, representative staging, load and regression testing, server tuning, spike readiness, recovery planning and monitoring. While ColdFusion can substantially compress the time needed for some of these stages, it doesn't reduce the need for a proper development process.

A number of key considerations come into play when developing and deploying scalable Web applications. The information below is excerpted from a more detailed Allaire Knowledge Base article, #12970, available at http://www2.allaire.com/Handlers/index.cfm?ID=12970&Method=Full:

1. Architectural Planning
Plan the deployment, staging and development environments before launching your Web application. At the same time, growth requirements, security, proper testing and potential points of failure should be kept in mind. To better structure your code, understand your application's scalability requirements and existing constraints before starting development.

2. Site Reporting
Design your site with reporting in mind. Site reporting can range from log analysis to business and marketing trends to usage analysis. At its most basic level, it can provide useful diagnostic information about the relative traffic to different portions of your application or Web site. This information can be invaluable for troubleshooting and site planning. More sophisticated reporting can sometimes offer detailed information about site traffic, including the correlation of such information to back-end databases for more descriptive reporting. Some development architectures facilitate reporting while others hinder it.

3. Database Tuning
Run the database server(s) well below 50% of capacity to allow for load spikes. The vast majority of performance bottlenecks in database-driven applications stem from poorly tuned databases and queries. Every database-driven application can benefit from the active participation of a skilled database administrator (DBA) for both query and database tuning.

4. Code Analysis and Tuning
Consider a variety of alternative coding constructs to achieve optimum functionality and performance. Bear in mind that some are more efficient than others for a given task. Best-practices documents and the ColdFusion Server debugging features, including page-processing statistics, can facilitate your code quality analysis.

5. Representative Staging
Include allowances for application testing in a representative staging environment. You can use this environment to detect and correct deployment configuration issues before reaching final deployment.

6. Load and Regression Testing
Test your applications thoroughly for both functionality and performance under load. Many Web applications and sites in use have been only marginally tested under load prior to deployment, if at all. These applications often work fine under minimal or moderate load, but become unstable or unbearably lethargic under heavy load.

7. Server Tuning
Tune your servers thoroughly. Proper and thorough server tuning can often achieve significant performance improvements. Each Web application has its own distinct demands, stressing specific server resources and often requiring a distinct server configuration for optimal performance.

8. Spike Readiness
Plan for load spikes and develop contingency plans for rapid emergency system expansion. Load spikes can come when you least expect them. Your systems should be able to handle at least twice the regular peak load without additional resources. The extra bandwidth not only protects you against unexpected load spikes, it also can ensure application availability during unexpected partial outages or system maintenance.

9. Recovery Planning
Make a contingency plan for every possible failure point in your application deployment environment. Determine your acceptable downtime threshold, and plan your contingency plans accordingly.

10. Monitoring
Plan for monitoring. A scalable, stable Web project often involves various forms of monitoring, be they implicit or explicit. Any portion of your deployment environment that can fail is a candidate for some form of monitoring, be it periodic manual verification or some form of automated detection.

Conclusion
Tag-based technologies like ColdFusion provide extremely productive, scalable, rapid-development tools that can substantially reduce your time and costs of developing, deploying and maintaining Web applications. Remember, however, that they're not alternatives to proper development methodologies. They are catalysts to accelerate various stages of those methodologies.

As Web technology evolves, we'll continue to evolve our products to make those technologies imminently usable and accessible to Web developers. Web technologies will come and go, but sound development practices are here to stay.

More Stories By Brian Surkan

Brian Surkan has been with Allaire for almost three years. For the last year and a half he has focused on the day-to-day product management of ColdFusion Server. As a technical product
manager, he stewards the ongoing evolution of the ColdFusion product.

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.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Intelligent Automation is now one of the key business imperatives for CIOs and CISOs impacting all areas of business today. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Boeggeman, VP Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, will talk about how business value is created and delivered through intelligent automation to today’s enterprises. The open ecosystem platform approach toward Intelligent Automation that Ayehu delivers to the market is core to enabling the creation of the self-driving enterprise.
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, shared examples from a wide range of industries – including en...
Consumers increasingly expect their electronic "things" to be connected to smart phones, tablets and the Internet. When that thing happens to be a medical device, the risks and benefits of connectivity must be carefully weighed. Once the decision is made that connecting the device is beneficial, medical device manufacturers must design their products to maintain patient safety and prevent compromised personal health information in the face of cybersecurity threats. In his session at @ThingsExpo...
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
Because IoT devices are deployed in mission-critical environments more than ever before, it’s increasingly imperative they be truly smart. IoT sensors simply stockpiling data isn’t useful. IoT must be artificially and naturally intelligent in order to provide more value In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Engineering System Architect at Greenwave Systems, will discuss how IoT artificial intelligence (AI) can be carried out via edge analytics and machine learning techn...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, will examine the regulations and provide insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence a...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics ...
In the enterprise today, connected IoT devices are everywhere – both inside and outside corporate environments. The need to identify, manage, control and secure a quickly growing web of connections and outside devices is making the already challenging task of security even more important, and onerous. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Rich Boyer, CISO and Chief Architect for Security at NTT i3, discussed new ways of thinking and the approaches needed to address the emerging challenges of security i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
There is only one world-class Cloud event on earth, and that is Cloud Expo – which returns to Silicon Valley for the 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center, October 31 - November 2, 2017. Every Global 2000 enterprise in the world is now integrating cloud computing in some form into its IT development and operations. Midsize and small businesses are also migrating to the cloud in increasing numbers. Companies are each developing their unique mix of cloud technologies and service...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Akvelon will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Akvelon is a business and technology consulting firm that specializes in applying cutting-edge technology to problems in fields as diverse as mobile technology, sports technology, finance, and healthcare.
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, will introduce two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera offers a radically new approach to data management, where innovative software makes data infrastructure invisible, elastic and able to perform at the highest level. It eliminates hardware lock-in and gives IT organizations the choice to source x86 server nodes, with business model option...