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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a leading digital experience intelligence company, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint Systems is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into your customer-critical services to help you consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed for digital business, C...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smart...
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions with...
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, discussed the best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
Technology vendors and analysts are eager to paint a rosy picture of how wonderful IoT is and why your deployment will be great with the use of their products and services. While it is easy to showcase successful IoT solutions, identifying IoT systems that missed the mark or failed can often provide more in the way of key lessons learned. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Peter Vanderminden, Principal Industry Analyst for IoT & Digital Supply Chain to Flatiron Strategies, will focus on how IoT depl...
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it m...
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet and...
"Tintri was started in 2008 with the express purpose of building a storage appliance that is ideal for virtualized environments. We support a lot of different hypervisor platforms from VMware to OpenStack to Hyper-V," explained Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus o...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, discussed the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...