I run into the question “What is the best IDE for CFM” here and there. So I thought I’d post my response here as well for others to find:
I personally use ColdFusion Builder and Sublime Text 3 for my projects at CF Webtools.
There are only two IDE’s for ColdFusion: ColdFusion Builder and IntelliJ IDEA. An IDE, as opposed to a code editor, has the ability to communicate with a ColdFusion server instance and debug your code. It can also introspect your code, offering code hints based upon what your code is doing.
- ColdFusion Builder is actively updated. Versions 1 and 2 had massive footprints that really turned me off. I have found that version 3 is much faster and therefore I find much more useable than the previous two.
- IntelliJ IDEA has stopped ColdFusion updates from what I’ve read and does not list ColdFusion as a supported language. I do understand that what used to support CF was only the Ultimate Edition. Though Roger commented that he saw a ColdFusion update on February 3rd. I’ve never used this product so it’s hard for me to have good info here.
Everything else is just a code editor such as SublimeText, Brackets, CF Eclipse, and NotePad++. A code editor, as opposed to an IDE, does not debug or introspect your code. All are good products (I really like SublimeText). But none of them keep up to date with ColdFusion language enhancements and again they are not IDE’s.
- CFEclipse might be the most recent with their 1.4.6 release that “only” took 2 years to come up with.
- cfbrackets for Brackets is still in Beta and hasn’t been updated since June of 2014. It also doesn’t support cfscript which is a huge negative for me.
- The CF Plugin for Sublime Text doesn’t support CF11 and you can’t install it on ST3 via the package manager.
Then of course there are outdated code editors such as:
- Dreamweaver which had ColdFusion support up until CC 2014
- Homesite a die-hard of many legacy CF devs
- ColdFusion Studio which is an updated version of Homesite
If you’re looking for a true IDE I would stick with ColdFusion Builder for the sole reason is it continues to receive ColdFusion updates. But then again “best” is subjective.