Welcome!

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

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the real benefits to focus on, how to understand the requirements of a successful solution, the flow of ...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Focused on this fast-growing market’s needs, Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation (Nasdaq: VTSS), a leading provider of IC solutions to advance "Ethernet Everywhere" in Carrier, Enterprise and Internet of Things (IoT) networks, introduced its IStaX™ software (VSC6815SDK), a robust protocol stack to simplify deployment and management of Industrial-IoT network applications such as Industrial Ethernet switching, surveillance, video distribution, LCD signage, intelligent sensors, and metering equipment. Leveraging technologies proven in the Carrier and Enterprise markets, IStaX is designed to work ac...
C-Labs LLC, a leading provider of remote and mobile access for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced the appointment of John Traynor to the position of chief operating officer. Previously a strategic advisor to the firm, Mr. Traynor will now oversee sales, marketing, finance, and operations. Mr. Traynor is based out of the C-Labs office in Redmond, Washington. He reports to Chris Muench, Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Traynor brings valuable business leadership and technology industry expertise to C-Labs. With over 30 years' experience in the high-tech sector, John Traynor has held numerous...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world. The next @ThingsExpo will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, in Santa Clara, California. Since its launch in 2008, Cloud Expo TV commercials have been aired and CNBC, Fox News Network, and Bloomberg TV. Please enjoy our 2014 commercial.