I've been asked by several BlueDragon customers and prospects to comment on the recent release of ColdFusion 8, particularly regarding the price increase of CF8 Enterprise from $5999 to $7499.
First, I can state unequivocally that we have no plans to increase the price of any BlueDragon edition. Second, for our customers in the UK, we're very close to announcing the opening of our London-based New Atlanta UK office and we think you'll be quite pleased with our UK-based pricing.
Additional comments regarding BlueDragon 7.0 pricing:
- When BD 7.0 was released in March 2007, we introduced new lower pricing for BlueDragon.NET. The new BD.NET Standard edition is available for $1999/server for unlimited CPUs. The features of BD.NET Standard are not crippled or limited in any way versus BD.NET Enterprise; the only differences between BD.NET Standard and Enterprise are the supported databases and Windows editions (details on our web site).
- BD.NET Enterprise remains priced at $2999/CPU (yes, I know that 1-CPU servers are increasingly rare--though not yet fully extinct--so the effective starting price for a 2-CPU server is $5998, equivalent to the old CFMX7 Enterprise price before the CF8 price increase).
- BlueDragon Server JX remains priced at $899/server for unlimited CPUs. The common tendency is for people to compare BlueDragon Server JX to ColdFusion (MX) Standard, which remains priced at $1299/server for unlimited CPUs. However, BD Server JX has some features that are found only in CF Enterprise--such as the built-in Oracle JDBC driver--and none of the BD Server JX features are crippled or limited as they are in CF8 Standard. For example, CFTHREAD and PDF generation via CFDOCUMENT work just as well in BD Server JX as they do in more expensive BD editions. Therefore, the true value of BD Server JX is much more than the $400 price difference between it and CF Standard.
- BlueDragon for J2EE Servers (BD/J2EE) remains priced at $2999/CPU ($5998 for a 2-CPU server).
- BlueDragon Server remains free for non-commercial use.
What about features? As I've mentioned previously, many of the "new" features in CF8 were first introduced in BlueDragon 7.0 or earlier releases (some more than five years ago, in 2002!). Here's an incomplete list of "new" CF8 features that are also found in BD 7.0:
- .NET integration
- image processing (CFIMAGE)
- query caching with CFQUERYPARAM
- CFC serialization (J2EE Session scope clustering)
- duplicate() for CFCs
- CFC interfaces
- multi-threaded programming (CFTHREAD)
- per-application mappings
- onMissingTemplate() event handler for Application.cfc
- Windows Vista / IIS7 support
- Mac OS X Intel support
- JBoss support
- JDK 1.5 and 1.6 support
Yes, there are major features in CF8 that are not (yet) available in BlueDragon. However, there are major features in BlueDragon 7.0 that are not available in CF8, and may never be. For example, the ".NET integration" feature in CF8 is implemented via Java-to-.NET bridge technology. It's not really true ".NET integration" such as you get with BD.NET; perhaps ".NET interoperability" would be a better term for CF8. The Java-to-.NET bridge technology has a number of limitations that will become apparent as people actually try to use it (and as I plan to discuss in detail in a future blog entry, or possibly publish in a white paper). The only way to get true .NET integration with CFML is via BlueDragon.NET, unless/until Adobe decides to rewrite CF from Java to .NET (which seems unlikely) as we did with BD several years ago. For a complete list of unique BlueDragon features, see the BlueDragon 7.0 CFML Enhancements Guide.
The bottom line is that when doing a "BD versus CF" evaluation, the major questions remain the same: What features do I need? and, What price do I want to pay? The new features of BD 7.0 and CF8 have affected the equation in favor of one or the other--though maybe not as much as you might think--depending on which features are most important to you. The price increase for CF8 Enterprise almost certainly shifts the value part of the equation in BlueDragon's favor. Of course, there are other intangibles to consider, such as the company's overall responsiveness and tech support, and how much "brand loyalty" you feel one way or the other.
Finally, look for the public beta of BlueDragon 7.0.1 later this month (August). The major new feature will be native 64-bit support for Windows and Linux in all BlueDragon editions (except the free BD Server). The built-in JVM for BD Server and BD Server JX will also be upgraded from JDK 1.5 to 1.6.