Damon Cooper's BLOG
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December 5, 2004
ColdFusion: Beware of Imitations
I'm looking at a report that shows thousands upon thousands of ColdFusion compatibility test failures on the latest copycat server.

Unfortunately, the company making the copycat software isn't yet aware of them, and doesn't know what these failures are, even after years of struggling to become "compatible". I'd estimate it will be a 5-10 year effort at their current pace before these issues are discovered and solved, if ever. Unfortunately, their customers will be their main Quality Assurance team through this effort, learning the hard way what "penny-wise, pound foolish" means.

The particular ColdFusion compatibility test suite used to create the report I'm looking at represents tens and tens of millions of dollars in investment and many years of engineering and QA effort, support calls, onsite customer consulting engagements, Customer Advisory Board meetings, and a relentless drive towards engineering excellence and innovation to get built.

While it's understandable that claims of "Compatible, but Cheaper" are an effective ploy by copycats to trick unknowing customers into trying copycat software, these claims really are too-good-to-be-true. Worse, they can be misleading, confusing and even damaging to customer who believe them and find a very different reality the hard way.

Prospective customers should be really beware of 1) claims of "compatibility" and 2) promises of future development efforts to remain compatible. The first is simply not true today (and is not "close enough", as I look through this report…I was shocked to see the most basic types of issues that exist). The second promise of "future feature copying" is a promise they cannot keep.

We're working vigorously to protect our valuable intellectual property, defend against inappropriate use of our legal trademarks and brands, protect the massive investment in hard-won research and development assets, and work to ensure continued customer confidence, trust and investments in our products.

Our very loyal developers, customers, shareholders, partners and others expect us to protect them and their interests, and we're working to ensure that they can count on our responsible stewardship of the Macromedia products they depend on, believe in, and need from us going forward.

We're building the future of ColdFusion, and it's truly, truly amazing. Not just this next release, but the next few releases. I honestly can't see how the next releases of ColdFusion cannot but cause a "never going back" upheaval in solutions development and raise the bar for solutions and customer expectations, unlike anything we've seen in the last 10 years.

Macromedia ColdFusion will continue to enjoy massive resource and R&D investment, is staffed by 100% world-class talent, and is a vibrant and essential part of the Macromedia product lineup. Being part of such a great company, ColdFusion is able to tap and draw upon the resources and engineering resources across the entire company, from all product teams. Macromedia is the company that is changing the web, mobile devices, and the way people work and use the Internet and develop applications.

Macromedia ColdFusion will be your key to leveraging these advances in your organization for your customers. Caveat Emptor: beware of, and accept no imitations.

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