I seem to be getting more and more questions like: “How can I get better Java support in CF4.5?” and “I need Web Service calls to timeout but am still using CFMX” and “I know CFMX6.1 has a better , but I am still at CF5″, you get the idea. There are regular posts on cf-talk and other lists asking about how to get new stuff to work on older versions of ColdFusion, a common one now seems to be “how can I use Web Services with ColdFusion 4 or 5?”.
At the risk of sounding flippant I’ll point out the obvious: upgrade! I use Microsoft Word extensively, I write entire books using it. The latest Word has much improved comments and tracking features, features I wanted. It did not even occur to me to ask Microsoft to implement those enhancements in Word 2000 (the version I was using), I wanted new features so I upgraded. It seems pretty simple and rational to me.
And yet for some reason some ColdFusion users want new features added to older versions. I expect Macromedia (and Microsoft, and every software company) to update older versions of software if there is a legitimate need (for example, the discovery of critical problems or security issues), but adding new features to old versions?
You need new stuff? Here is a solution: UPGRADE! Duh! Don’t want to (or can’t) upgrade? Then do without or make do. It seems rather simple and obvious to me.

8 thoughts

  1. To be fair, much of the time people stuck on CF5 and earlier are stuck there because corporate IT won’t upgrade servers — in a corporate environment the CF developer RARELY has any real influence over upgrading the server software, and once something is "working" the IT staff is loathe to change it. Add on top of that a lot of (largely unfair) rumors about stability issues with CFMX and it becomes much less of a simple decision.

  2. One common complaint I hear is that ‘corporate IT’ are there for themselves and don’t tend to do what the rest of the company wants/demands to be financially successful.
    If a developer needs to implement a program to meet business needs, and that implementation requires a new tag, functionality, etc. Shouldn’t IT upgrade in order to meet the requirements of supplying the functionality necessary to get the job done? Sure, if the box has a lot of software on it and upgrading for you will make 1 app work and kill 10 older ones, then they have an excuse…but that is about it 🙂

  3. Nag nag NAG!!! hahaha Sounds pretty obvious to me, been using MX6.1 from it’s release date, but i noticed some slight frustration in your post.. am i right?? 😉

  4. To upgrade or not to upgrade was indeed the question. Well in my experience it is IT, NOT the programmer who refuses to upgrade. Unfortunate really as IT haven’t really got a clue about the benefits and pitfalls of upgrading. They work on the premise that if anything can go wrong it will and they are then left with the pieces to put back together. I personally have upgraded CF5 and MX to 6.1 in various scenarios and have yet to experience a problem. Now as much as I would like to think so, I am not the best upgrader in the world capable of spotting every possible instance of error.<P>Macromedia has put a lot of hard work (I was involved in the Red Sky beta program) into ensuring upgrade issues were resolved so as you say UPGRADE!!!<P>P.S. love the rants, keep them coming, it makes me smile 😉

  5. Upgrade?
    That’s not an option here. I’m fortunate that they still allow me to use ColdFusion. It runs on our servers for our customers, not for in-house use.
    Also, our ordering process has a one-year turnaround time. Sad but true. And we are not allowed to purchase our own software.

  6. Not to sound flippant, but thousands of bucks is still thousands of bucks! Upgrade one server …OK, but when you have 9 or 10 servers, that’s real money. In many cases we spent thousands to get to the version we’re on, and got substandard product. Sheesh. And still, there is no guarantee that the new version will satisfy your needs! (As I have found out. I had to throw away a brand new version of CF because a working feature got broke in an "upgrade". Poof! $5K gone)

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