Adobe Advances ColdFusion With Public Beta

Adobe's ColdFusion beta, previously code-named "Scorpio," is a feature-complete version of the software Adobe hopes to ship this summer. ColdFusion 8's advances include deeper integration with Adobe's software stack, such as PDF forms and its Flex 2 development platform, .Net assembly support, an Eclipse plug-in AJAX wizard, and performance enhancements.

First released in 1995 by Allaire, ColdFusion began as an application server and development toolset for building data-driven Web sites. Bought by Macromedia in 2001, which later merged into Adobe, ColdFusion now competes with Microsoft's ASP.Net and with scripting languages like PHP.

ColdFusion 8 will mark the software's first major new version since early 2005. It comes as Microsoft and Adobe gird for a heated battle over the Web development tools market.

Microsoft's recently released Expression Studio line is a client IDE and tool set that will vie with Adobe's DreamWeaver and other applications from Adobe's Creative Suite. Microsoft's Silverlight multimedia client application, due in August, will compete with Adobe's Flash, while Adobe prepares Apollo, a platform for melding online and offline content that it hopes will become a killer tool for rich-application developers.

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