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ColdFusion 8 represents

The new Adobe ColdFusion 8 represents a major improvement over previous versions of the software. First of all, it enjoys a significant boost in performance, capable of processing considerably more application page requests. The overall server performance is now 4.25 times faster than MX 7. In addition, the performance improvement in specific functional areas is up to 38.7 times over the previous version.

Among those functional areas, server performance, when run with the BlogCFC application, is up by 48% over MX 7. Likewise, the <CFParam> tag now works 38.7 times faster than the previous version. What this means is that ColdFusion 8 allows for creating Web applications that perform under server load with exceptional speed and stability.

Another new feature is the server and multi-server monitor. Because it gives constantly updated information about server activity, including requests, queries, memory usage and errors, the monitor allows for the fine-tuning of applications, both in development and in production. Issues such as memory shortages and slow pages can be avoided by setting up the proper alerts.

ColdFusion 8 also took a significant jump forward in the ability to deal with Adobe Acrobat PDF files. The software allows a user to dynamically convert existing HTML content to PDF format. This allows for the production of print-quality output, including headers and footers, multiple page sizes, landscape or portrait orientations, the ability to save output to disk or e-mail, and much more.

Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) applications have become extremely popular in the Web development industry in the past few years. Ajax applications can change data on a Web page without having to reload the entire page, a huge advantage in both speed and efficiency in data delivery. ColdFusion 8 allows for easy deployment of Ajax with a new set of tags and functions to help the user work with this new application.

Of course, it is difficult to discuss computer software without some mention of Microsoft. Previous versions of ColdFusion had no native way of integrating the software into the Microsoft .NET platform. Version 8 addresses this need with full .NET integration that allows for access to assembly classes as CFML objects. With ColdFusion 8, a user can work with .NET objects just as easily as Java assets, and when the software is running on a UNIX, Linux, Solaris, or Mac OS X operating system, it can access and use .NET assemblies elsewhere on the network.

Integration with Microsoft Exchange Server has also been accomplished, facilitating server tasks such as managing calendar events, contact lists and e-mail.

To help a programmer view what is occurring in a given application as code is being executed, ColdFusion 8 has introduced an interactive line debugger, which can be used to set breakpoints, step over, into, or out of code, inspect variables, and view log files.

Another great feature, the combination of ColdFusion 8 and Adobe Flex, enables a user to build high-performance applications that run identically on all major browsers and operating systems.

There have been a significant number of powerful new tags added to the software, including the CFTHREAD tag, which allows creation, combination or temporary suspension of specific ColdFusion threads.

For image manipulation, there are more than 50 new tags and functions like CFIMAGE tag, which provides shortcuts to the most common image actions, including reading, writing, resizing, rotating, and converting to another format.

For the more entertainment-based Web sites, ColdFusion 8 allows for dynamically-created multimedia experiences and eLearning courses with animation, audio, and video. These fist-class presentations are generated right on the server with the latest data and media content from multiple sources.

In keeping with the latest technology used in news-related Web sites, the new CFFEED tag reads and creates RSS and Atom feeds to easily build complicated content syndication applications.

Among the long list of new tags are the CFZIP and CFZIPPARAM tag, which allow for the management of ZIP and JAR archive files.

Lastly, ColdFusion 8 supports a new DBINFO tag to programmatically access information about a data source and allows for stored procedures and queries using CFQUERYPARAM to be cached. In addition, it includes expanded database driver support with new options for various database programs including SQL Server, Oracle 10g, Sybase ASE15, MySQL 4 and 5, PostgreSQL 8, and others.

In conclusion, ColdFusion 8 is now a much more complete, self-contained software package that introduces a host of new features that will greatly benefit both programmers and Web site owners alike, with a better, faster, more stable product.


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