Building web applications in ColdFusion can be expensive. Although there is a vast community of developers constantly engaged in building libraries and modules in ColdFusion, by the end of the day, it comes from Adobe and the company isn’t exactly known for releasing open source or free source development platforms. According to the information available at the Adobe website, the Standard Edition of ColdFusion costs you $2,499 per license (two CPUs) and the Enterprise Edition costs $9,499 per license (two CPUs).
The most affordable way to build ColdFusion applications and web interfaces is to go for ColdFusion hosting, for example, the ColdFusion VPS hosting provided by Hostek.com. As it is mentioned on their website, ColdFusion Enterprise is pre-installed when you avail their hosting and consequently, you can save on licensing costs.
If you are wondering why people pay so much for ColdFusion licensing, it is a very big market in the field of building intranets. In the company-wide intranets, many other applications are used along with the standard web interface. For example, an intranet may extensively use Microsoft office applications such as MS Word, MS Excel and MS Access. These can be easily combined with ColdFusion modules to build enterprise level applications for employees. This facility to incorporate proprietary software is not available in the standard web development platforms. ColdFusion is also widely used among applications where PDF documents are extensively used.
Many government, military and large private companies that heavily depend on various Adobe products prefer to use ColdFusion for both Internet and intranet needs. Since most of these applications are used behind the doors, it’s often, mistakenly, thought that ColdFusion doesn’t have a wider audience or market and hence, the higher licensing fee is bloated.
Whether it is bloated or not depends on personal preference but the moot point is, in niche circles ColdFusion is widely used and both developers and users feel that the cost is justified, and even if not justified, it is unavoidable. Nonetheless, going for a ColdFusion VPS hosting is a better way of saving on the licensing fee and getting the highly conducive ColdFusion development environment with complete support.