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
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion 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. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http:...
Amazon is pursuing new markets and disrupting industries at an incredible pace. Almost every industry seems to be in its crosshairs. Companies and industries that once thought they were safe are now worried about being “Amazoned.”. The new watch word should be “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” In his session 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Kocher, a co-founder of Grey Heron, will address questions such as: What new areas is Amazon disrupting? How are they doing this? Where are they likely to go? What are th...
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, will discuss how by using...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japanese Pavilion 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. Ruby Development Inc. builds new services in short period of time and provides a continuous support of those services based on Ruby on Rails. For more information, please visit https://github.com/RubyDevInc.
As businesses evolve, they need technology that is simple to help them succeed today and flexible enough to help them build for tomorrow. Chrome is fit for the workplace of the future — providing a secure, consistent user experience across a range of devices that can be used anywhere. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will take a look at various options as to how ChromeOS can be leveraged to interact with people on the devices, and formats th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Yuasa System will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion 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. Yuasa System is introducing a multi-purpose endurance testing system for flexible displays, OLED devices, flexible substrates, flat cables, and films in smartphones, wearables, automobiles, and healthcare.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion 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. Taica manufacturers Alpha-GEL brand silicone components and materials, which maintain outstanding performance over a wide temperature range -40C to +200C. For more information, visit http://www.taica.co.jp/english/.
Organizations do not need a Big Data strategy; they need a business strategy that incorporates Big Data. Most organizations lack a road map for using Big Data to optimize key business processes, deliver a differentiated customer experience, or uncover new business opportunities. They do not understand what’s possible with respect to integrating Big Data into the business model.
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, will discuss how they b...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities – ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups. As a result, many firms employ new business models that place enormous impor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion 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. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
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...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, 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. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale 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. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...
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.
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.