Macromedia ships ColdFusion MX for Java

Macromedia Inc. on Monday will announce shipment of ColdFusion MX for J2EE Application Servers, a scripting technology that now can be deployed on application servers from IBM Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc., and Macromedia Inc., the company said.

ColdFusion, which features an accompanying run-time environment, enables development of applications such as dynamic Web sites, intranets, and content management systems. Other applications that can be deployed include full-text searching, charting, and a graphic engine.

The product, originally described by Macromedia in April, enables deployment of Web services by automatically handling interactions between programs and SOAP, according to Macromedia.

The J2EE version of the product supports IBM’s WebSphere Application Server as well as the Sun ONE and Macromedia JRun application servers. A version for the BEA WebLogic application server is planned for late 2002. IBM will be reselling ColdFusion MX while Sun will co-market it with San Francisco-based Macromedia.

Adding support for third-party application servers means developers can use ColdFusion capabilities on these platforms, said Phil Costa, senior product marketing manager for ColdFusion, in Newton, Mass. This means enterprises will have fewer environments to manage.

ColdFusion is a rapid application development technology that uses a high-level scripting language integrated with Macromedia tools such as Dreamweaver MX. “As a result, companies that have invested in that infrastructure can develop applications faster and get their development team up to speed and productive more quickly than if they had went to [Java development language] directly,” Costa said.

Through use of the ColdFusion Components capability of ColdFusion MX, developers can encapsulate and reuse code to build applications that can be automatically accessed as Web services or as remote services for Macromedia Flash clients using Macromedia Flash Remoting, according to the company. This enables connecting of applications using Macromedia Flash Player to server-side business logic and data, Macromedia said.

A ColdFusion MX user at Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Ind., said he has been using the product running on top of IBM WebSphere for a Web-based conference scheduling application.

“It helps us tie in more with or other enterprise applications,” said Mark Aiman, director of Web architecture at Purdue.

The university’s graphical application takes care of scheduling externally hosted conferences, handling arrangements such as room locations. The application accesses enterprise data such as course and student information. Purdue plans to add a portal server to the application, Aiman said.

ColdFusion MX plus WebSphere provides for a “very fast rapid application development environment for Web services,” Aiman said.

While BEA has been recognized as the industry leader in application servers, it is not the first to get the ColdFusion MX port. Costa attributed this to “a combination of user demand and business relations.”

To extend support of ColdFusion MX applications to the Microsoft .Net programming framework, Macromedia is enabling connectivity to .Net through Web services. Applications also can be linked to Microsoft COM objects.

ColdFusion MX For J2EE Application Servers costs US$3,399 per processor. Specific versions are labeled ColdFusion MX For IBM WebSphere Application Server and ColdFusion MX for Sun ONE.