|By Robert Diamond||
|June 22, 2000 12:00 AM EDT||
That's the latest buzzword in the ColdFusion industry today, and by the looks of it you'll soon be hearing it a lot more - so now's the time to prepare. As I'm sure most of you have already read in the past few issues of CFDJ - in articles by Ben Forta and an interview by Ajit Sagar with Jeremy Allaire - ColdFusion is headed onto the Java train...and for Allaire it's full speed ahead.
To bring you quickly up to speed, the next generation of Allaire's application server technology - code-named "Pharaoh" - is going to combine ColdFusion and JRun's app servers into a single powerful behemoth, all running off a new Java-based server. It will have support for everything that CF can do now, and with Java behind it it promises to be faster and more robust and to have more platform support than ever before. Added to all this will be the features of JRun, so in addition to CFML there'll be a full implementation of Sun Microsystems' J2EE platform specs. And if the first thing that comes to your mind is the same that came to mine, don't worry: we've been assured that it will have full backwards compatibility with both previous versions of JRun and of ColdFusion. Whew...
This combination isn't much of a surprise; onlookers have been eagerly waiting for such an announcement since Allaire acquired JRun last year. With the new server now just around the corner, they're finally getting what they want.
I remember being at JavaOne last year, when the acquisition of LiveSoftware by Allaire was announced. The whispers of this project began way back then. Talking with other CF developers at the conference, we speculated for quite a while on where this would eventually lead. At first Allaire's intentions were described as more inoperability between the two platforms, first seen with CFX_J, ColdFusion's inaugural attempt to interface with Java. At the same time Live Software was developing Taglets, which allowed developers to create custom tags running on JRun. One such tag was <CF_Anywhere>, which was a miniversion of CFML running totally off Java. With the groundwork in place it was only a matter of time before the next phase arose and here it is...but are you ready for it?
What makes "Pharaoh" appealing to most is that none of the great new possibilities that are going to be available with a Java-based app server requires any knowledge of Java. Allaire keeps plugging the fact that you won't need to learn Java, you won't have to use Java to develop in ColdFusion - in fact, you won't even have to know that it's there running everything in the background. CF will simply be sitting on top of servlets that you won't ever have to interface with.
While all this appears to be true, what Allaire will be talking about even more in the coming months is that knowing Java will put you at a huge advantage over all those who don't. The entire package will be based on 100% Java and J2EE services, so the more familiar you are with those, the more you'll be able to get out of it.
What do we here at CFDJ recommend? If you don't know Java, start learning it now...while not essential at this point, you'll thank us later.
One Other Bit of News...
New to the CFDJ Web site (www.ColdFusionJournal.com) is our "Live Poll" - a quick, one-question poll to gauge the heartbeat of the industry on the latest topics of discussion. Check it out to see what everyone else is saying and to make sure your own voice is heard. We'll change the question every couple of weeks, so it's bound to be a great addition to the site. If ever you have a suggestion for a "Live Poll" question, please don't hesitate to e-mail me!
Till next time...
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