Essential Software for ColdFusion Development

I recently went through a rather severe computer tragedy from which I am just now recovering. As such, I have had the opportunity to rebuild my computer from scratch. Here is the software I deemed essential for my work as a ColdFusion developer. I'm curious what others have installed.

These are roughly in the order that I install them

  • Firefox: First thing I install on any computer.
  • IIS: Not really software, but I did have to enable it. Apache may be "better", but I like IIS personally and it is easy to get going. Just be sure to enable all of the correct services before you install ColdFusion
  • SQL Server Express: It is free for local development and a really good database program.
  • MS Office: The last of the Microsoft software. Despite all of the Microsoft haters out there, MS Excel is still my favorite program ever and MS Access is actually a pretty good local database.
  • ColdFusion: It's what I do.
  • ColdFusion Builder: I still miss ColdFusion Studio, but this is really growing on me.
  • Adobe CS Web Premium: I love Fireworks and it is handy to have Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Flash as well.
  • Pidgin: Currently my IM of choice. Works well across lots of networks and runs fast.
  • CloudBerry Backup Desktop: I have tried Mozy and Rackspace's JungleDisk and liked them both well enough, but a friend recommended this so I am giving it a try.
  • ShadowProtect: Windows 7 has image back-ups, but the hardware independent restore feature of ShadowProtect seems like it could be really handy.
  • BeyondCompare: Simply the best file comparison program I have found.
  • Git for Windows: I'm in the early stages of learning Git, but I love it so far.

So, what do you think? Did I miss anything essential?

For anyone wondering what happened to my upcoming list of "How I got Started in ColdFusion" entries, I lost them but I know how to get that back so I will try to get on that soon. Sorry for the delay.

Comments (Comment Moderation is enabled. Your comment will not appear until approved.)
+1 for Beyond Compare.
I use Opera for my IRC trolling, but to be honest IRC kinda seems like hanging out in a room full of people.
I know I should learn Git.
If I were setting up a new computer, I'd probably put Tweetdeck on it.
I use Chrome for all my Google apps, like Gmail, calendar...
# Posted By Phillip Senn | 8/17/11 2:32 PM
+ for Araxis Merge (file comparison)
# Posted By Frédéric Sugnaux | 8/17/11 3:19 PM
Great list. If you use BeyondCompare and Eclipse - checkout BeyondCVS - it integrates BC and Eclipse.

I'd add Ant and AutoHotkey (automation), 7Zip (file compression), Dropbox, Notepad++ (gen editor) and VirtualBox.
# Posted By Jim Priest | 8/17/11 3:30 PM
I would definitely throw backblaze into the mix.

It is 5 bucks a month for _unlimited_ space. You can restore over the web or have them snail mail you a cd or thumb drive.
# Posted By CJ McCarey | 8/17/11 6:17 PM
Not really software..but a plug in... Firebug and Web Developer
# Posted By Chris | 8/17/11 6:46 PM
I'll give a +1 for Firebug and the Web Developer Toolbar. Invaluable.

IIS is easy, but if your not using a "professional" version of Windows, then IIS is limited as it only allows a single domain to be accessible at a time. Apache does not have that limitation. Learning curve, absolutely, but ultimately worth it.

BeyondCompare is good, but I prefer WinMerge. For one thing, it's free, but it is also very full featured.

eGit is a great Git plugin for Eclipse, allowing me to handle my source control directly within the IDE.
# Posted By Steve 'Cutter' Blades | 8/18/11 5:09 AM
For my ColdFusion development I install the following:
- Coda by Panic as my code editor
- Google Chrome as my default web browser, Safari as second and FireFox as a third (with Firebug)
- Fusion by VMWare where I run a copy of the environments I developing for (one is Windows Server, SQL Server, Apache + ColdFusion, Internet Explorer; one is Ubuntu Server, MySQL, Apache + Tomcat + Railo). I prefer not to have these running in the background of my system so I isolate them in VM's
- GitBox for my version control, although I use the Terminal app just about the same amount of time
- Kaleidoscope for file comparison
- Pixelmator for image manipulation
# Posted By Troy M | 8/18/11 10:07 AM
Great suggestions!

I definitely forgot to install those Firefox plugins. Off to do that now...

As to the other stuff, definitely stuff that I will look into.

Thanks everybody!
# Posted By Steve Bryant | 8/18/11 10:12 AM

Its mostly a nice set of tools. but one thing I have found is that CS 5.5 Web Premium is overkill, for me at least. I rarely use DW, preferring CFBuilder/CFEclipse. The only program in the package I really use is Fireworks.

But thanks for the suggestions, they are going to be useful. However I'd include MySQL on the list and BadBoy ( automator.
# Posted By Larry C. Lyons | 8/22/11 7:34 AM

I had that debate myself. What did it for me was that I needed to create a Dreamweaver template for a client (a task a may need to do sometimes in the future as well). So, I use Fireworks frequently, Photoshop rarely (but not never), and Dreamweaver at least once.

I also tell myself that I am going to use the Flash IDE. I don't, but somehow I like the option that I could. Someday.

As to Bad Boy, what is the major difference between that and Selenium?
# Posted By Steve Bryant | 8/22/11 10:55 AM
Differences between Selenium and Badboy. I have not used Selenium to definitively say, but I have found that Badboy is much easier to use. Its a matter of browsing the target pages essentially in a browser. All browser activity is recorded. Anyhow Mark Kruger of CFWebtools has a very good rundown on some of the things that Badboy can do.

Aside from functional testing. You can record the progress through the target site, then export it as a test case for jMeter load testing. I've also used this app for a lot of web automation.
# Posted By Larry C. Lyons | 8/22/11 11:01 AM

Very nifty! I will have to check into that.

Of course, I immediately thought that it would be nice if those products used an interchangeable standard for Selenium, jMeter, and Badboy. Then I realized what the result would be of that effort:
# Posted By Steve Bryant | 8/22/11 1:48 PM
Its very useful. In one project they had a manual process to download a 2 gig data file every day at 6 AM. The powers that be required the download to happen before 7AM. So regularly some poor fool (usually me) had to get up early and download it using a remote connection. Unfortunately it was behind some windows security that precluded using CFHTTP. So I recorded a script in BadBoy to log into the site, then run the download and then kick off a CFML gateway to run once the download finished. The gateway kicked off a batch file that loaded the data file into the client's database and finally emailed notification when all was done. After getting the script right, I set up a schedule within badboy to run the script every day at 6am. Worked like a charm.
# Posted By Larry C. Lyons | 8/22/11 2:24 PM
# Posted By Steve Bryant | 8/23/11 10:35 AM
I've been meaning to say that there was an episode of "Out Loud" that was titled "Tools I use".
# Posted By Phillip Senn | 8/23/11 11:48 AM

Good stuff. I will have to check that one out as well.
# Posted By Steve Bryant | 8/24/11 11:21 AM
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