This year's ColdFusion conference CFUNITED, formerly CFUN, has a large turnout from Macromedia, and Tim Buntel and Ben Forta kicked off the official start of the even today with blowout keynote address. I've video taped the keynote, and hope to have compressed wmv available for viewing soon.

A few of the big highlights include not just official recognition but sponsorship of the CFEclipse project. CFEclipse is a fantastic plugin for use with the free Eclipse IDE, and the project is managed by Rob Rohan, Simeon Bateman, and Stephen (Spike) Milligan. Ben and Tim invited Simeon Bateman, manager of the Portland CFUG too, up to the dais to give a brief overview of the current status and future of the CFEclipse project. Simeon noted that the project releases have slowed down since much of the fundemental bug fixes have been patched, and they are now working on new features. Coming later this year, watch for CFEclipse 2.0 with a bundle of new features.

Other big news includes the coming release of CFMX 7.1, code named Merrimack, and Ben demonstrated his questionable graphics skills with a scorpion image rising on the screen while introducing the code name and a couple major features of ColdFusion MX 8, Scorpio. As a Macroemdia Support Engineer, the most important ColdFusion MX 8 features to me was the server monitoring feature which will allow runtime introspection of the jvm and what the running threads are doing. I'm psyched about that, and I'm sure the whole developer community will be too, especially those that have ever tried to track down bottlenecks or other issues in an application where the symptoms only seem to appear in production under load.

Well, now I'm off to Ray Camden's talk on the new Verity 5.5 that ships in CFMX 7.... more soon.