Monday, March 8, 2004

BlueDragon 6.1 Beta 3

It's here! Today I got an e-mail from New Atlanta informing me that they had refreshed Beta 3 of BlueDragon, which as I posted here before is an alternative CFML server. It installed on Mac OS 10.3.2 without a hitch and Mach-II seems to run perfectly. Best of all, it's FREE for production use!

There are some differences of course between BlueDragon and Macromedia's ColdFusion, but from what I've read the differences are minimal. The new version even supports CFCs and XML, but before diving in head-first you're definitely going to want to check the CFML Compatibility Guide to make sure there aren't any specific features of your current or future applications that would cause problems.

The main thing I want to emphasize is that this can only be a good thing for ColdFusion as a language. Having multiple server implementations will make the language stronger in my opinion, and the other big point here is that New Atlanta's standard version of BlueDragon is FREE to use in production. There are some limitations (some Java features, more limited database access and drivers, etc.), but having a free option for CF is a FANTASTIC step in the right direction.

New Atlanta also offers BlueDragon JX, a version without any of the limitations of the free version, and at least as of version 3.0 the price is only $549. This gives CFML a fantastic free option as well as an alternative, less expensive CFML engine, and choice in my mind is GREAT for the ColdFusion community. I'll post more here as I experiment with BlueDragon further, but I strongly encourage all CFers to check it out!

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