Originally designed to make it easier to connect basic HTML pages to a database, ColdFusion was created by Jeremy and JJ Allaire in 1995, and later purchased by Adobe Systems. Subsequent to the original release of the platform, it was upgraded to include an integrated development environment (IDE) and a full scripting language. While many use the term “ColdFusion” to refer to the scripting language itself, the language is properly known as ColdFusion Markup Language, or CFML. More recent versions of ColdFusion include more sophisticated functionality, including the ability to develop rich Internet applications and support for enterprise integration.

The ColdFusion scripting language, CFML, offers similar scripting components to PHP, ASP and JSP, but its tag syntax has more in common with HTML, while its script syntax is reminiscent of JavaScript. The use of the term “ColdFusion” as shorthand for CFML is misleading, in that ColdFusion supports programming languages other than CFML, and there CFML application servers other than ColdFusion, yet the practice of referring to the platform and the scripting language by the same term persists.

ColdFusion offers a range of features straight out of the box, including client and server cache management, client-side code generation, task scheduling, server clustering and GUI administration.