Professional or Enterprise?
There are two different versions of the commercial product: Professional and Enterprise.
The Professional and Enterprise versions of ColdFusion are the comprehensive commercial products. They both support the entire tag and function set of the ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML). There are a few differences that account for their respective price tags, and it is very important that you know these differences, understand the audience for your ColdFusion applications, and anticipate what your needs will be several months from now. The main differences are that the Enterprise version has support for the following:
- Is available on Sun Solaris and HP-UX
- Allows for dynamic load balancing via cluster CATS
- Supports automatic server failover
- Allows for connectivity to Enterprise Java Beans and CORBA
- Supports native drivers for Oracle and Sybase, as well as Merant drivers
- Features server sandbox security
- Features advanced server monitoring
If it still seems unclear what version you want, then ask yourself a few questions:
- How mission-critical is your Web site? That is, if your site goes down, can you fail over to another box automatically?
- Will you be hosting multiple applications or Web sites developed by third parties who need only selective access to services?
- What databases do you need to support? Will you be using Oracle or SQL Server?
- Will ColdFusion need to run on a cluster now or in the next several months?
In brief, the Enterprise version of ColdFusion is meant for large organizations that need to do everything they can to ensure that their sites (or their clients' sites) are up the maximum possible time and that need to support the fastest and most reliable databases and operating systems. The Professional version is just fine for most ColdFusion work.