ColdFusion Frameworks


As the complexity of web applications has increased, many ColdFusion developers rely on ColdFusion frameworks to produce the features their clients want at a reasonable speed. An intuitive and flexible framework can also make website maintenance much easier. Over the last several years, a number of ColdFusion frameworks have entered the scene. These include Fusebox, Mach-II, Model-Glue, and ColdFusion on Wheels. These ColdFusion frameworks are based on differing architectures and contain different feature sets.


Fusebox is one of the oldest ColdFusion frameworks, and touts itself as "the most popular framework for building ColdFusion and PHP web applications." Fusebox applications are composed of Circuits. Each Circuit corresponds to a directory in the application. Each Circuit contains at least one Fuseaction, which shepherd requests to its Fuses, which are individual ColdFusion templates. The structure of the application and the behavior of the aforementioned components is written in XML. Fusebox does not explicitly support either Model-View-Controller or "classic" Object-Oriented architecture, but allows for the use of either. Fusebox can be extended through plugins.


Mach-II is a Model-View-Controller-based ColdFusion framework. In Mach-II, code is not called explicitly, but rather is invoked due to various events which can be established and orchestrated in XML files. Adobe, the current owners of the ColdFusion platform, have based approximately half of their public websites on Mach-II. Many other businesses of all sizes rely on Mach-II for their website architecture.


Model-Glue is another ColdFusion framework that uses the Model-View-Controller pattern and implicitly invokes code. It can be integrated with other ColdFusion frameworks, such as ColdSpring, Tartan, and various Object-Relational Mapping frameworks. The website for Adobe Groups uses Model-Glue.

ColdFusion on Wheels

ColdFusion on Wheels also uses the Model-View-Controller architectural pattern as its foundation, but as the name implies, it hews closer to the well-known Ruby on Rails framework than the other MVC-based ColdFusion frameworks. Its aesthetic and website features are consciously patterned after Ruby on Rails. ColdFusion on Wheels is scaled for medium-sized web applications.

ColdFusion frameworks help standardize development and get the process done faster, but they cannot replace the role of skilled ColdFusion developers that know how to fulfill their clients' goals. Choosing a ColdFusion developer that knows how to make the best use of ColdFusion frameworks is crucial to the continued success of a web application.