After thousands of messages exchanged on the private beta-testers discussion list, a flurry of build releases, and tons of feedback from ColdFusion developers, Macromedia has done a fantastic job with an update to ColdFusion MX. The release notes go into great detail, but I'll cover the high points here.

Performance

Compilation

The compiler went through a major overhaul and now compiles templates at break-neck speeds. Compile time is now so fast that there's now the option to cache compiled templates or compile every request.

Run-time

Run-time performance is now better than 4.5, 5, or previous versions of MX, improving response time and scalability.

Installer

The installer for MX has undergone significant changes. The process has been greatly streamlined.

Platform Support

Operating system support has been increased. ColdFusion MX now supports Windows 2003/IIS 6.0, Red Hat 7.3, 8, and 9, and SuSE 8.

CFMail

Gone are the days of less than enterprise-level cfmail performance. ColdFusion MX is now capable of sending over 1,000,000 emails per hour. Some additional enhancements include support for multi-part mail through the use of the new <cfmailpart> tag, multithreading, connection pooling, server failover, spool-to-memory, support for SMTP authentication, and more.

CFHTTP

ColdFusion developers no longer are stuck with only a subset of the HTTP protocol when using the <cfhttp> tag, which now supports the full set of HTTP 1.1 operations (GET, POST, HEAD, PUT, DELETE, TRACE, and OPTIONS). In addition, developers now have full control over the entire contents of any HTTP request (headers and body), among other enhancements.

Unicode

ColdFusion MX 6.1 includes a driver for Microsoft Access which supports Unicode.

Bug Fixes

Beyond all the enhancements to ColdFusion MX, 6.1 also includes over 400 bug fixes beyond those addressed in the latest release, Updater 3.

Conclusion

I've been a part of the beta program practically since the beginning. I've been very pleased with the work that's been done to arrive at this release and applaud Macromedia for issuing this as a free upgrade to existing customers. If you're running ColdFusion MX, get upgraded today. If not, now's a good time to get familiar with it.

.jeff