ColdFusion vs. ASP.NET

Any type of migration starts with getting a better understanding of how each capability of the source system map towards every capability of the target system. Does there happen to be any missing functionality within the target system that could possibly require added purchase of an entire set of third party components? Are there any substantial capabilities the target system may give off? The purpose of this paper is to give a comparative of the capabilities of ColdFusion MX by Macromedia to ASP.NET of Microsoft on the note of a solid application development framework. As such, we will examine how certain common tasks are done through each and get a clearer view on the similarities and differences on these two contending platforms.

Architectural Framework Comparison

The most rudimentary of all architectural niceties between ColdFusion MX and ASP.NET would be its underlying framework to which each is based on. ColdFusion MX is based on Java that runs on top of the JRun server by Macromedia. It also benefits several other industry standard J2EE app servers. All CFML pages undergo parsing and conversion into Java-based source code at runtime. It then gets compiled as Java bytecode before its execution. Once the initial compilation is completed, the cached bytecode designated for a page will be re-executed even without further compilation or parsing.

On the other hand, ASP.NET stands by the .NET Framework of Microsoft. The same thing applies at runtime; all ASP.NET pages created undergo parsing and source code conversion for a compatible language — oftentimes C# Microsoft Visual Basic .NET. Compilation into Microsoft Intermediate Language or MSIL, a bytecode independent from a processor and akin to Java bytecode, follows. This MSIL will be compiled for native machine coding as preparation for execution. The cached NMC for every page will be re-executed even without further compilation or parsing.

Basically, we can see a common pattern between the two platforms with its methodologies and procedural movements in terms of source coding and data parsing.

The Pros

For all we know, ColdFusion has a lot in its arsenal that makes it worth migrating to from your current ASP.NET platform. First to note would be it custom tag features of ColdFusion that greatly resemble the user controls that of ASP.NET’s. Unlike the user control, custom tags allow the user to mark up HTML and send its output into the browser. They can also give full-fledged control over objects with their own unique methods and properties. In a strong sense do these custom tags outrun the capacities of ASP.NET’s user controls.

Newly introduced for ColdFusion MX would be the ColdFusion Components or CFCs in short represent the very first real step designed for the platform to revolutionary functionalities such as encapsulation and other maintenance and flexibility advantages of a real object-edged system. CFCs are able to run multiple instances altogether on one page, with every instance having its exclusive data contained therein the same way it can easily maneuver its own contents.

Also, the omnipresent acceptance of ColdFusion doesn’t just come out of blind faith of the users. It is backed by other evident advantages of the platform, which would include its system being fairly easy to learn and adapt, allowing developers to get up to speed on CFScript and CFML in a matter of days or weeks should they be oriented to the basics of Java.

The Cons

While the ColdFusion platform does seem to be promising, you can’t really have it all. Just as ASP.NET has its own basket of erratum, ColdFusion has a few noticeable drawbacks. One of which would be its stringent demand for system memory, particularly on CFML engine integration. It does have a memory quantum compared to the typical C++ and on the usual, it would take around 2GB of permgen memory for its operational efficiency to manifest. Also, it lacks support sources from the open source community itself, which from time to time may require the user to work things around on his own. Empirical attempts to accurately put it.

The Verdict

Overall, migrating from ColdFusion to ASP.NET is considerably a simple task to undertake. It can be pretty straightforward throughout the process, especially if you first settle with the basic features and functionality of it. After all, there’s plenty of time to learn and it takes a meager of time to actually take in the gist of other boons and essential elements in ColdFusion’s reservation.