Thread: CF Development

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    CF Development

    I am taking over an application that was written in CF. I am a total nubee on CF. My most immediate concern is some slight changes that I need to make. I have Cold Fusion installed, but I don't see anywhere that I have an ability to modify the CFC and CFM files. Do I have to purchase CF Builder just modify this code? Are there other development tools available?
    The application runs just fine and there really is not a need to make any major changes, just some minor tweaks going forward. I welcome any suggestions.
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    Hi there, the good news is that CFML code is (typically) plain text, so you should be able to edit the code with any editor at all (even notepad). There is a notion of precompiled or encoded templates, which would then NOT be plain text, but it's rare that most would encounter that.

    Now, while Notepad will suffice, other editors will of course be MUCH better (for all kinds of reasons).

    And even popular generic editors like Notepad++ and Sublime Text offer CFML support, believe it or not (via addins). It may interest you to see that I keep a list of such editors supporting CFML at (this is one category in dozens that I keep on that CFML resource and tool site,

    You then ask if you must purchase CF Builder, and of course the answer is no, you need not. Should you consider it? Perhaps. It can do some things regarding CFML development that no other editor can, but many folks never leverage such features (so you may find complaining they "don't need it"). You'll also see some complain that they don't like it because it's based on Eclipse (the open-source Java editor), which doesn't appeal to many.

    Finally about CFB, you'll have others complaining that they "don't want to pay for it", and more good news is that you don't HAVE to. There is a free version, called "CF Builder Express", and after the 60-day trial, it reverts to that if you don't buy it. That has some of the more important features removed, but again since many never use those, they may not notice them missing. (But again, for many, using any of the other more common editors, with their CFML support, may more than suffice.)

    Finally, since you say you're new to CF, you would do well to avail yourself of resources to help get you started. And whether you have years of dev experience in other languages or are pretty new to development, there are resources that can definitely help you get started with CF, from any level of prior experience.

    The first I'd recommend would be "learn CF in a week", at It's a community-contributed completely online (and fairly modern) resource which has been highly praised since its creation a few years ago.

    Second would be the CFML documentation. Many don't realize there is any, or they know only of the "CFML Reference" which you'll often find in google searches. But there is also a "Devleoping ColdFusion Applications" guide which is a real "user guide". It's a couple thousand pages, so very substantial, but starts slowly and builds up. And there are several more docs (including a CFBuilder Guide).

    You can find all the docs for CF at (and for the docs for older versions of CF, see

    And FWIW, just as I have lists of alternative CFML editors at the CF411 site, I also have lists of such "CFML resource sites" (like as a category at And I have a category of additional CF doc resources at (which some find easier to use than the docs themslves, though most focus only on the CFML Reference). I also have free CF training resources, if that may interest you, at

    And as you can imagine I have several dozen other categories of CF tools and resource in the rest of the site. :-)

    Hope that's helpful, beyond just the simple question you asked. The old "teach a man to fish" analogy. :-)

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