ColdFusion Builder 2 adds a Free Edition

This post is more than 2 years old.

Looks like Todd Sharp beat me to the punch on Twitter (that's ok, I'm just going to bring the misery hammer into effect on him!) but for folks who aren't on I thought I'd share some exciting news. Adobe will be releasing ColdFusion Builder 2 soon, and one of the new features is an "Express" edition. After your 60 day trial ends (which you have to admit is a good long trial!), CFBuilder2 will revert to an Express Edition. Under this mode the following features will be disabled:

  • code assist for extensions (powerful feature, but no one is using it yet afaik)
  • code insight (this is NOT syntax helping)
  • extension callbacks (a good extension will note this during startup and try to handle it)
  • RDSNo registration of remote servers
  • quick fix
  • debugging... but just of remote projects (so you can still use the debugger locally which makes more sense imo)
  • refactoring
  • ColdFusion search...but you can still use the built in search and some folks prefer that anyway
  • code formatting (never used it)
  • FTP support (ditto)
  • log viewer - you can add this from other sources, or even just simply run tail from the command line
  • local file support (ditto)
  • code hyperlinks (no idea what this is)
  • hover help

So - a few things are painful here, but for a free edition, I think it's pretty darn awesome. Thank you Adobe!

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About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

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Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Doug posted on 4/27/2011 at 5:48 PM

I dunno, maybe I should give CF Builder another try. Still a diehard fan of Homesite + 5.5.

Comment 2 by Big Mad Kev posted on 4/27/2011 at 5:49 PM

I think code hyperlinks is using hovering over an function call or createobject location and pressing CTRL will hyper link to the file / function/

Comment 3 by Raymond Camden posted on 4/27/2011 at 5:51 PM

@Doug: Lord yes. Give up the ghost, man. ;)

@BigMadKev: Ah. Shows how much I use that feature. ;)

Comment 4 by Doug posted on 4/27/2011 at 5:57 PM

Heh. Well, we're still on CF8 here, and it's last update does provide tag support for it. It's just a nice, fast editor.

Comment 5 by Raymond Camden posted on 4/27/2011 at 5:59 PM

CFBuilder has support for 7 and 8 as well as 9. :)

Comment 6 by Big Mad Kev posted on 4/27/2011 at 6:08 PM

@Ray it sooooooo helps when you work with a legacy application :)

Comment 7 by Simon Romanski posted on 4/27/2011 at 6:19 PM

It's a shame that the express edition disables RDS. I wonder if you could manually add that back in.

Comment 8 by Raymond Camden posted on 4/27/2011 at 6:29 PM

My Adobe source actually said:

" connection to remote server"

which I read as RDS. I wonder if that's the right translation though. I'll try to find out.

Comment 9 by John Farrar posted on 4/27/2011 at 6:33 PM

@Simon, what features are you using in RDS that could not be replaced with extensions? (Meaning we could replace those for some as libraries, community contributions. Note: I prefer RDS also.)

Comment 10 by Raymond Camden posted on 4/27/2011 at 6:42 PM

RDS covers 2 main features:

1) Ability to browse tables and write queries.
You can the query part by right clicking on a cfquery tag now and using the newer SQL editor.
You could do a new view for that with an extension like John suggested. (Damn good idea John.)

2) Browse remote files
a) In theory you could use CFFTP with an extension. Unfortunately you couldn't open a file in the editor and support saving it back remotely. If you just wanted a read only view though it's possible.

Comment 11 by Raymond Camden posted on 4/27/2011 at 7:00 PM

FYI, I may be wrong. This is not 10)% yet, but it could be that the "connection to remote server" meant in the Servers panel only.

Once I've 100% confirmed, I'll update the blog psot.

Comment 12 by Raymond Camden posted on 4/27/2011 at 7:24 PM

Wow, sorry for all the typos there. I _do_ know how to type. Honest.

Comment 13 by Jeremy Battle posted on 4/27/2011 at 7:28 PM

Don't feel bad Ray, typing is overrated, I expect my IDE to do most of that for me ;)

Comment 14 by Simon Romanski posted on 4/27/2011 at 7:37 PM

My servers sit in a data center and my primary means of managing my CF files is with RDS. It seems like there could be a work around to get RDS back on the express edition. However, if FTP & local file support are also removed it just seems like Adobe is making it more difficult to use for simple file access. I would totally pay for CF Builder if connecting to a remote server (for debugging) was possible without a VPN.

Comment 15 by James Moberg posted on 4/27/2011 at 7:59 PM

With RDS, FTP and local file support disabled after 60 days, how do you open & save files? (or does "local file support" mean something else?)

Comment 16 by Raymond Camden posted on 4/27/2011 at 8:04 PM

FIles in Eclipse products are opened via projects. CFB has a view that lets you browse the file system and open random files. I'm assuming that view would be disabled. I never use it myself.

Comment 17 by James Moberg posted on 4/27/2011 at 8:15 PM

Bummer (re: Local files). This is a show stopper for me as a Free edition for even casual use.

Doug, I'm still using HomeSite 5.5+ too. I tried DreamWeaver CS5, but didn't like the "end-of-line" function kicking me to the end of the entire block, some other navigation inconsistencies & the local/remote copying/confirmations. Too bad Adobe hasn't made any updates available for Homesite for CF9. I know it was discontinued in 2009 so that they could focus on CFBuilder. Maybe they can sell it off. It's still better than many of the editors available.

Comment 18 by Raymond Camden posted on 4/27/2011 at 8:15 PM

James - why wouldn't you just have a project for your local files? I do all of my work locally and all within projects.

Comment 19 by James Moberg posted on 4/27/2011 at 8:32 PM

Because the local files I'm accessing are on multiple servers located on the same network and accessible via UNC path.

I've been using an awesome file manager called Total Commander since '96 ( It's still better than any of the native Window's "file open" or CFBuilder's project management dialogs IMHO. I can double click or select any file(s) that I want to open, and they are opened in the assigned programs. I have lots of helper apps added to the menu/toolbar that further simplify working with XML, CSV and comparing files. I have "2 keystroke" bookmarks to all accessible servers and sub-directories. Forcing me to use the CFBuilder project management windows locally severely impacts my ability to navigate & manage files efficiently. I know that using a "project" will identify all included and related files, but I don't need or miss this feature.

Comment 20 by Raymond Camden posted on 4/27/2011 at 8:36 PM

Then I'd respectfully say that Eclipse's main model of work is perhaps not appropriate for you. ;) The project directed view was a bit of a change for me as well (I was a HomeSite++ user), but now it just seems natural for me.

Comment 21 by Yves posted on 4/27/2011 at 8:38 PM

Awesome. I'm a "CFEclipse guy"... but I will surely give this a look. :-)

Comment 22 by Raymond Camden posted on 4/27/2011 at 9:27 PM

Got confirmation from Adobe - RDS does work.

Comment 23 by Ben Nadel posted on 4/28/2011 at 1:47 AM

This is pretty exciting! Even with some disabled features, I think having a free AND robust editor supported by Adobe is going to be a huge benefit to ColdFusion.

Comment 24 by Marcin Szczepanski posted on 4/28/2011 at 2:28 AM

@James - in an Eclipse project you can add a Folder that's a "Link Folder" to another folder on your file system (it's part of the dialog when you create a folder), this would let you create a project that's a collection of links to other folders that aren't stored within your workspace.

Comment 25 by CJ McCarey posted on 4/28/2011 at 3:06 AM

When is this bad boy coming out? I'm excited to check out the free because if it's solid I'll be buying it in no time.

Comment 26 by Dave Merrill posted on 4/28/2011 at 9:45 PM

Folks should give IntelliJ IDEA a try. Love it. Has warts, what doesn't, but it's pretty great. (If you're on a mac, make sure to check out the appearance options; I hear it's dead ugly by default.)

Comment 27 by CJ McCarey posted on 4/28/2011 at 9:55 PM

@Dave - I don't see anything stating support for Coldfusion on the IntelliJ site. Am I missing something?

Comment 28 by Dave Merrill posted on 4/28/2011 at 10:39 PM

Well dang, I don't see anything saying that either, maybe we're both blind. But I assure you, it's in there. There was a free plugin for a long time, then it was rolled into the shipping version, I think the paid version only. I'll ping them about why no mention on the site.

Supports tons of languages, and it's just really smart.

Comment 29 by Raymond Camden posted on 4/28/2011 at 11:18 PM

@CJ MacCarey:

I've been told CFB2 will come out #REDACTED#.

Comment 30 by Ben Riordan posted on 4/29/2011 at 9:33 AM already show cfb2, still links to 1 though for a download. A bit misleading.

Comment 31 by Ciaran Archer posted on 4/29/2011 at 11:30 AM

This is great news, and long overdue. A proper free well-supported editor will help the language. I've been disappointed with CF Builder in the past (and I stick with CFEclipse) but I'll try it again when this Express edition comes out.

Comment 32 by Larry C. Lyons posted on 4/29/2011 at 7:02 PM

@Ben Nadel:
I think having a free AND robust editor

*Cough* *Cough* CFEclipse *Cough* *Cough*

That said the upgrade price (CFBuilder 1 to CFBuilder2) is very reasonable - $109. When I did my preorder yesterday, the email said my download would be available on Monday May 2.

Comment 33 by Brian Swartzfager posted on 4/29/2011 at 7:35 PM

@Marcin I don't know if your tip about "Link Folders" helped James, but it did help me (thanks!).

Comment 34 by Jeremy Moore posted on 4/29/2011 at 10:01 PM

I pre-ordered Flash Builder Premium upgrade (from 4 Premium - $50) and it also said May 2. I don't know if has been mentioned in many places, but the Adobe Creative Suites that include Flash Builder will have the Premium version of Flash Builder in CS5.5 - this means they will also include CF Builder 2! Pretty cool if you already have one of the suites (Web Premium or Master Collection). It could make the price of the upgrade more reasonable if you do not have CFB yet.

Comment 35 by WPS posted on 6/1/2011 at 3:12 PM

@Jeremy - Premium version of Flash Builder in CS5.5 - this means they will also include CF Builder 2!

Doesn't look like it according to their website. It would be very good if they included CFB2 as part of the "WEB" Premium edition - after all, it's used to create web applications!

Comment 36 by Andor posted on 11/5/2011 at 2:02 AM

As long as ColdFusion Builder doesn't support HTML5 and throws errors all around the place if you dare to use it, the whole product is pretty damn useless I'm afraid, free or otherwise. How can you write CFML without HTML? Shape up, Adobe!

Comment 37 by Raymond Camden posted on 11/5/2011 at 2:05 AM

Odd - I do HTML all day with CFB and have no problems. Are you saying you can't write <header>? The editor prevents you? It doesn't do that for me.

Comment 38 by Brian Lang posted on 2/21/2012 at 5:18 AM

CFBuilder 2 is throwing errors for article, header, nav and time in an html5 document. Any idea why or how to fix??

Comment 39 by Raymond Camden posted on 2/21/2012 at 10:53 AM

No idea unfortunately. Right now the HTML5 support isn't really an option. You can - of course - ignore them.

Comment 40 by Brian FitzGerald posted on 2/21/2012 at 8:14 PM

CFBuilder 2.0.0's simple find/replace on a single file will not work for me via a ColdFusion RDS connection. Actually the problem only shows up for file types other than .cfm.

For example, I cannot do a simple find/replace on a .css file in builder across RDS. Have you come across this before at all Ray? It's keeping me from being able to use the product.

Comment 41 by Raymond Camden posted on 2/22/2012 at 9:33 AM

I never use RDS for editing. Sorry, can't help you there. I'd just search your local copy of the files, which should be the same as production (one would hope).

Comment 42 by Brian FitzGerald posted on 2/22/2012 at 9:48 AM

Well, I wish I did have a local copy of the files, but development is being done on a remote development server... hence the issue. It would be nice if the feature worked, but oh well, Dreamweaver still does so I'll just use that and uninstall CFBuilder - no worries.

Anyhoo, thanks for the article.