Sunday, April 25, 2004

BlueDragon Release Getting Closer ...

I haven't had time to post about this in a while, but the release of BlueDragon is getting nearer by the day. I was very happy with Beta 3, and although RC1 had a couple of issues that didn't exist in Beta 3, the folks at New Atlanta are VERY committed to making BlueDragon great. When the CIO personally e-mails and offers to call you and do a remote desktop session with you to figure out a bug you've discovered, that's what I call good customer support!


 


I've been porting a Java application that I sold to a couple of companies over to ColdFusion and Mach II and I decided this was a great oppotunity to put BlueDragon through its paces since Beta 3 added the support for CFCs that was required for Mach II to run. I've been building this applicaiton on a Mac since BlueDragon works very well on OS X, and other than a bug with defaulting CFCs string args to "" (this has been fixed in RC2 which should come out any day now), it's been running perfectly.


I've said this many times before, but I think this is a very good thing for the CF community. First of all, New Atlanta is offering a version of BlueDragon that is free to use in production environments. It lacks very few of the features found in the JX version of BlueDragon, so for the vast, vast majority of CFMX applications, there will soon be a free application server. When budgets are tight or people just don't want to pay for an app server when they already have .NET, PHP, or what have you, I think this is a great opportunity to level the playing field. I've always said CF is a bargain for what you get in return, but in reality the issue of price still comes up in a lot of discussions.


New Atlanta's "pay" version (BlueDragon Server JX) is apparently only going to cost $549, which is cheaper than the upgrade from CF 5 to CFMX, and there are a lot of neat features in JX. The addition of some new tags to the language (e.g. cfimage, cfforward, and cfimap) are nice (though these can admittedly be added to CFMX via custom tags or by doing Java calls), and on the CFC side they have also added a "real" constructor tag, cfconstructor. The ability to serve up CF and JSP pages from the same app server is also very cool, and you can even include JSP pages in your CF pages. For the application I've been buildling in BlueDragon I'll definitely be buying the JX version because I think the features are well worth the sticker price.


If you're into CF and haven't checked out BlueDragon, I strongly encourage you to do so. It's a great product, it's EXTREMELY well supported, and the higher-ups at New Atlanta really listen to and care about the users. I firmly believe that BlueDragon will only make CF stronger.

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