So I figured I better head this off at the pass, because I'm already getting questions in my inbox about whether this is the end of the road with Transfer , and what I plan to do with it, and OMGZ! TRANSFER IZ DEADZ!!!.
Let it be known, it couldn't be farther from the truth.
Transfer is not dead, development will still continue way into the future, and I can see a healthy life-cycle for its continuance.
A few points for your consideration:
- ColdFusion 9 is not even here yet. Nobody even knows the exact date it will be shipped. You want ORM? You can have it right now with Transfer! No waiting around, no fussing. The documentation is written, the example applications are there, and you already have a large community to integrate with.
- Hibernate integration may not even be implemented with ColdFusion 9. Yes, we've seen some short demo's, but we've seen demo's of functionality in pre-release at keynotes before, and they didn't make it into production before. Hibernate and ORM is a pretty complex beast, and especially tying that into CFCs, so any number of things could make it ship late, or not at all.
- ColdFusion 9 will cost you $$$ to upgrade. So you're not getting all this for free. Transfer can be used right now for $0, and will always be $0. It is only then up to you whether you want to pay for support, or training, consulting or even new features!
- The Transfer release cycle will always be faster than ColdFusion's. If there is a feature you want in CF's ORM support, you'll have to wait ~18 months. The Transfer release cycle is around the several month mark, and with the sponsored development program, the features you want in your ORM support can generally be developed in the same week you request them in, in fact the last sponsored development I completed I did in 6 hours! (Yet to be blogged, although in SVN).
- We don't know how well the ORM integration in ColdFusion 9 will be developed. While I love the hard work that Adobe does, we can all remember Flash Forms. Lots of Shiney, not very useful (maybe that was too low a blow? ). My point is, there is no point in putting the nail in the coffin until we really know what we are dealing with.
- There are plenty of businesses and projects out there using Transfer already, and there is no reason they would suddenly stop using it, and switch (although that is a possibility). As long as people keep using Transfer, I will keep developing it.
- Transfer is a proven technology that has undergone a lot of rigorous testing. While Hibernate can say the same, we have yet to see how the ColdFusion and CFC integration will perform.
- There is no reason why Transfer can't take advantage of some of the ORM integration tools. For example, if a CFC annotation structure is setup for use with Hibernate, there is no reason Transfer couldn't use the same annotations, so using one tool or another is quite seamless.
- All in all, competition is a good thing. Having competition forces everyone involved to strive to become best in breed. So this will actually be a good thing, both for Transfer and for ColdFusion.
I don't want to be showering doubt over the ColdFusion 9 integration with Hibernate, it makes sense for them to do it, and I can completely see where it is coming from, and there are a lot of smart people behind it. But, there is still a lot of unknown factors here, and a lot of reasons to still use Transfer, so don't feel like the project, or the business is going to die, because its not.
I'm really excited by some of the announcements I've been seeing with ColdFusion 9, including the ORM integration, and I think the next few years will be an exciting time for the ColdFusion community.