Lucee allows you to program web sites easily. As a Web Programming language, it contains everything you need to write HTML pages, create forms, send emails, access databases, create automatic tasks, and more. It is like any other programming language with data, ifs, loops and outputs. However, Lucee uses a language called "CFML" which was designed for easy integration into HTML. CFML stands for ColdFusion Markup Language and is a tag based language just like HTML. This makes getting started in CFML relatively easy. Here is an example of CFML:
Note: The language is fully supported in both tags and script, you can use what you are most comfortable with!
A software which is a Rapid Application Development framework means that you can get up and running quickly and write very productive code. Lucee makes this possible by providing a web portal which to change all of its settings (no configuration files), a way to segregate your web sites securely, a way to visually debug all of your code, and it can automatically update itself so that you don't have to worry about installing new versions. It also provides a simple way to structure your web applications that is not intrusive and that you can build on with other software projects if you need to.
With Lucee you can develop blogs, ecommerce stores, social networks, administrative interfaces, parse emails, manipulate batch images, create web services (think Twilio.com) and any kind of website and web application that you see. Lucee is especially suited for startups that need to develop prototypes quickly.
Lucee cannot be used to develop native desktop apps, but you can develop desktop browser apps. Lucee cannot be used to develop native mobile apps, but you can use Lucee for the back end server of mobile apps.
Java and the Java Virtual Machine is the major competing platform in the enterprise space today. Java is produced by Oracle and competes directly with Microsoft. The Java language is also used to power Android phones, and Java is having a resurgence amongst web developers who want a stable and highly scalable platform. All CFML engines run on Java and are compiled to Java. They have the same power and flexibility that any Java application has as they share a common lineage. As you progress in your knowledge and need to perform advanced programming or something outside of what Lucee provides, you have the entire Java universe at hand and you can call Java directly from your Lucee code.
Lucee is an Open Source implementation of the Adobe ColdFusion commercial product. The CFML code that you will write in this tutorial can in fact run on the product from Adobe too. There is also an additional Open Source project called OpenBD with will also run CFML code. Each of these products is called a "CFML Engine" because you can port your code from one of these products to another. If there are features of the commercial Adobe product that you would find useful, your training here will be transferable to it.
ColdFusion was first developed in 1995 by a company called Allair, then later Macromedia, then most recently Adobe. There have been 11 manjor releases of ColdFusion as of 2016. Lucee was started as Railo in 2002 as a student product and was launched in 2005. Lucee's mission is to be feature compatible with the current version of ColdFusion and then go beyond for new features required by the community.
Lucee, OpenDB and Coldfusion have the following community highlights:
- 7 worldwide conferences regarding the platform
- Currently 1018 open source additions (blogs, shopping carts, utilities) for CFML http://www.riaforge.org/
- Currently 1141 open source code snippets for commonly performed tasks on http://CFLib.org
- Other helpful tutorials like Learn CF in a week
- Community groups covering a range of topics: Lucee
- Many folks blogging about CFML and programming topics: Coldfusion Bloggers
People use Lucee because it is a mature platform, stable, open source, free, and helps people develop web applications quickly and easily, but have the power to take them to major enterprise systems as they grow. Lucee has an opportunity to empower individuals and entrepreneurs to 'get something done', particularly when they have not had success learning other languages and platforms.