ColdFusion to Lucee Migration: A Primer

Adobe ColdFusion is a (still) popular web application development environment that uses a tag-based scripting language (ColdFusion Markup Language, AKA CFML) to build modern web apps quickly. CFML also has CFScript, which enables developers to use a syntax like JavaScript for many operations. Many large companies choose ColdFusion because of it’s scalability, security, reliability and rapid development capabilities. On the downside, users are often faced with modernization challenges and high licensing costs. Enter Lucee, an open-source replacement engine that is highly compatible with Adobe ColdFusion (ACF). Nearly all CFML/CFScript code that runs on ACF will run on Lucee without modification. If you’re considering a Lucee migration, we outline a few factors to consider.

Benefits of Lucee Migration

In many cases, Lucee is a solid choice. It’s fast, stable, highly compatible with most elements of CFML, and enjoys great community support.

  • Adobe ColdFusion is aimed at enterprise customers. If you’re considering migrating from fully licensed to Lucee, you’ll undoubtedly lower your costs.
  • Lucee runs easily in various cloud environments like AWS or Google Cloud. ColdFusion is less flexible with respect to cloud licensing & technology.
  • Both Lucee and ACF compile and run CFML, but many tests show that Lucee is much faster.
  • Lucee uses less resources and it has a smaller installation footprint than ACF.
  • Lucee offers better web administration options – Lucee encapsulates settings for things like Java better (which helps in shared hosting environments).
  • The Lucee community tends to be faster to address support issues than Adobe.

Challenges of Lucee Migration

The primary challenge of a migration is that there are known compatibility issues. You can learn more about differences here on the Lucee website.

In general, it’s wise to create a test environment and compile your CFML there to see what breaks. First, look over the list of known differences to determine if you need to adapt code (the “knowns”) and address them. Then drill down on regular testing to find other compatibility issues (the “unknowns”).

ColdFusion Migration and Lucee Impact

We would like to share some thoughts on ColdFusion migration in terms of the long-term impact. Lucee is but one option. For clarity, check out our post on the economic and business reasons

Keeping Up with Lucee

Lucee Association Switzerland, a non-profit organization, leads the open source project. Webapper serves as a member of this important community.

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