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How to get Adobe ColdFusion for FREE

posted under category: ColdFusion on November 12, 2009 by Nathan

There's always all this talk about how ColdFusion costs so much more than the competition. This has of course been debated and debunked, but still, the truth is, ColdFusion still does cost, whether we're talking about the US$1300 standard version or the US$7500 enterprise version, that's real money that you don't always have to pay. I've got two methods that will give it to you for free, and three methods that will show you how to get it for a severe discount.

Free #1- Visit, download a trial version, install it. When it asks for a serial number, tell it to install the developer version. This is literally everything that the $7500 enterprise version has, yours free forever, no license problems, no hidden fees. The only downside is it's limited to IP addresses - the local computer (for development) and 2 or 3 others for development and testing.

Free #2- Hang out at your local Adobe sponsored user group (CFUGs especially). Twice a year, they give out a software package from Adobe, anything they have for up to around US$2000. You can get your free copy of ColdFusion just by being lucky or entering whatever contests they have. This is actually more viable than it may seem. A few years ago, I won this. Months later, I brought my dad to the group and he won. Oh, and since you'll be there, take time to meet interesting people and learn some CFML.

Cheap #1- Maybe you knew this and maybe you didn't, but you really don't have to buy ColdFusion to run a web site with it. $20 or so a month will give you a great generic hosting account. Develop CF locally for free, deploy remotely for cheap, it's an easy win. Also, these hosted servers usually score the expensive enterprise version, so you can even use those cool advanced features.

Cheap #2- If you do go and buy your own copy of ColdFusion Server, you may not know about the changes to the EULA, or License Agreement, since ColdFusion 9. If you buy just one copy of the server software, that grants you the ability to use that license to install on development, testing and staging servers. That's like 4-for-1, a savings of US$3900!

Cheap #3- If you go all out and buy that US$7500 enterprise license, and there are some good reasons to do that, consider deploying to a cloud environment like Amazon EC2 or the like, because you can deploy your enterprise CF copy on 10 cloud servers. That's a savings of US$67,500! It sure does give you more incentive to try out load balancing and the new multi-server configuration tools that ship with CF9.

Nathan is a software developer at The Boeing Company in Charleston, SC. He is essentially a big programming nerd. Really, you could say that makes him a nerd among nerds. Aside from making software for the web, he plays with tech toys and likes to think about programming's big picture while speaking at conferences and generally impressing people with massive nerdiness and straight-faced sarcastic humor. Nathan got his programming start writing batch files in DOS. It should go without saying, but these thought and opinions have nothing to do with Boeing in any way.
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