CFML 2016 Survey Results

Author: Steven Neiland

Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

Last week I posted a survey to get feedback on the state of cfml and devobjective after this years conference. Now I had planned on releasing these numbers alongside a blog post I've been writing about my own thoughts, but some of the numbers surprised me so instead Im going to try break the numbers down and see if I can draw some conclusions of my own.

Firstly these questions were limited for the most part to simple selection with only limited free text entries. This was intentional so that the responses would be more focused. There were a total of 67 surveys completed with mostly all questions answered. The response rate will be given for questions that did not get 100% completion.

What cfml engines do you work with (Multiple Choice)

These numbers would seem to suggest that Adobe ColdFusion is still the market leader, or at least for my blog readers. Lucee is a reasonably close second with Railo and OpenBD falling far behind. So far nothing too surprising.

Adobe ColdFusion 50
Lucee 38
Railo 6
Open BD 2
Non CFML 3

However when we look closer of the 50 Adobe ColdFusion surveys only 23 are dedicated CF, the other 27 are using a combination of the other cfml engines. Of course we could say the same of Lucee that only 11 are dedicated Lucee and the other 27 are a mix.

Are you transitioning to a different language/engine

To make more sense of these numbers we can now look at the direction of migration to and from the different engines.

Staying with Current Engine(s) 37
Transitioning to Lucee 22
Transitioning to Railo 1
Transitioning to Adobe ColdFusion 0
Transitioning to Non CFML Language 7

We now see a marked shift towards Lucee. Lets rerun the numbers in terms of a total count by engine after transitioning:

Adobe ColdFusion26

It would appear that Lucee is on track to be the future leader cfml engine.

Do you think Adobe ColdFusion is on the right track

So that now begs the question of why ACF is losing numbers. Well it would appear the majority believe that Adobe is on the wrong track with ColdFusion.

Yes No
19 48

Do you think Lucee is on the right track - (Response Rate: 97%)

While the exact opposite appears to be the case for LAS and Lucee.

Yes No
51 14

Did you attend DevObjective 2016 and if not why

At this point of the survey we shift focus to DevObjective which had a significantly lower attendance than previous years. I dont know the exact number but I believe it was in the range of ~130 attended including presenters.

For this reason I asked who attended and of those who didn't why not.

Yes I attended 10
No - Could not afford 14
No - Too far away 11
No - Could not get time off work 9
No - Scheduling conflict 6
No - Going to other conference 6
No - Other reason 5
No - Did not know about conference 4
No - No topic of interest 2

It seems that scheduling, cost and distance were the main reasons people did not go. Certainly there is nothing unusual in that. While the cost might seem somewhat high I don't think its unreasonable when we compare it to other conferences.

Other Reasons

So why else did people not attend.

  1. Could not afford / Not enough time.
  2. Don't really like conferences
  3. I think its poorly organised and badly marketed, I expected a small turn out and the networking is part of the benefit
  4. Don't live in the USA
  5. not interested anymore

That third point really struck a nerve with me. Leading all the way up to the conference I had a feeling that attendance would be low and that someone else had the same feeling only underlines a key problem with the conference.

While the shift in focus to include other technologies is a good thing, I personally believe that the removal of any mention of cfml from the conference site other than the sessions page and the limited to non existent marketing really hurt the numbers this year.

Do you think Devobjective made the correct choice when they changed away from being ColdFusion focused

Regardless of the marketing though the majority of people agree with the name and focus change of the conference.

Yes No
41 22

Would you attend DevObjective in the future

Im hopeful that based at least on this response that devobjective still has a future, but its going to need some work to bring the numbers back up.

Yes No
44 19

Are you planning on attending CFSummit this year

Since I've never attended CFSummit or any Adobe only conference/event I cant really say if this number is typical or not. However it would appear that my blog readers are not too interested in CFSummit.

Yes No
11 56

Would you attend a Lucee conference

I threw this question in on the off chance that a Lucee conference could be in the works. If it was it should based on these number get at least similar attendance as this years devobjective.

Yes No
45 21

What do you think should be the remit for the Lucee Technical Advisory Group (Multiple Choice)

Of all the questions I asked in the survey, this is by far the most important one to me. Before looking at these numbers you should know that according to the TAG itself, they have limited themselves to the Lucee Language and nothing more in their discussions.

CFML Language (Compatibility questions etc) 50
The Lucee Language 47
Backend engine considerations 26
Deployment Technology Considerations (docker) 24
New features discussion and approval 37
Other 7


  1. IDE integration
  2. Extension ecosystem
  3. Provide steering to the development team on processes
  4. more cloud consideration
  5. Documentation, issue triage, community outreach
  6. Driving the Lucee platform forward
  7. too late for me, switched to Python

It would appear that people who are not on the TAG have a different opinion as to what the TAG should be discussing. In fact just 7 people listed only the Lucee Language. To me this is a clear disconnect of what the community expects from what they are getting.

If want want to look at the raw data yourself please feel free: Download Excel

Reader Comments

Brad Wood's Gravatar
Brad Wood
Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at 11:57:10 AM Coordinated Universal Time

Thanks for these results Steve. Overall, they represent a very narrow segment of CFML devs, but they're still very interesting. I have already been forwarding this post around internally at Lucee and to the dev.O() organizers.

Regarding the "Do you think Adobe ColdFusion is on the right track" question. That was hard to answer since I don't think everything they're doing is right nor do I think everything they're doing is wrong. Overall, I see them marketing to a different segment of businesses with different needs, and I think Adobe has figured out how to successfully get large sums of $$ from their target audience, which at some level means they're being successful. Therefore, I voted "yes" on that question even though I'm not in their target audience.

I also really liked seeing the results of the question about the TAG (I am the current TAG chair). I think the hardest thing is simply finding people with enough free time to spend on such an expansive list of topics as volunteers. The largest limiting factor of the TAG so far has simply been people's busy schedules. I'd love feedback on how to find people in the community willing to help that also understand how many hours they'd be giving up to do all these things.

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