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 is only one IDE for ColdFusion: ColdFusion Builder. 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 usable than the previous two.
Everything else is just a code editor (enhanced text editor). A code editor, as opposed to an IDE, does not debug or introspect your code. In order of my recommendation:
- ColdFusion Builder Express makes the list as the Express version. Basically use the trial version for 60 days, then it’ll revert to a more basic and free version without the IDE functionality.
- CFEclipse might be the most recent with their 1.4.6 release that “only” took 2 years to come up with. But it is free.
- 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. Brackets is open source.
- IntelliJ IDEA stopped ColdFusion updates for awhile, but their early release of 15 has support for it again. I’ve heard some good things about this, but one major downside is the cost ($500 commercial || $200 personal). As of v14 it doesn’t seem to support IDE functions such as debugging and CFC introspection but it does have console support.
Then of course there are outdated code editors such as: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.