Why Use ColdFusion?

I keep hearing criticism from others that ColdFusion is old-fashioned and dead. Not so. Not by a long shot.

This year (2020) in October, we will attend the ColdFusion Summit (a developers and managers conference) for the sixth year in a row. It is a two-day conference with multiple, simultaneous sessions. Sessions focus heavily on new features of the ColdFusion world, future enhancements and security.

The newest version of ColdFusion will be released later this year and will expand on becoming the hub in a net of disparate microservices as well as a tool to create microservices. It is every bit a modern tool that keeps evolving. Every two years a new version is available.

What about cost?

ColdFusion server costs money. If you host your own server (or server farm), licensing is a serious issue. Years ago I discovered Hostek. They provide ColdFusion (and many other elements of the necessary stack) in a wide range of service models. You can have a site on a shared box for as little as $6 per month. Or, you can have managed services with dozens of boxes via their Managed Services model. Plus, everything in between. Best of all they are a major sponsor of the ColdFusion Summits and I have seen them working closely with the Adobe ColdFusion team.

Having your site at Hostek is secure (and GDPR compliant) and very affordable. No need for updating the servers or server software nor for making backups. I had a client clobber a database and call me at 7am in a panic. I called Hostek and they asked me if I wanted the 6am, the 2am or the previous 10pm backup restored. I selected the 2am backup and a couple minutes later the database was restored.

What about security?

I use a combination of Hostek, ColdFusion and MySQL (among other tools) for my applications. Hostek provides the physical security and the ColdFusion production server lockdown protection. ColdFusion has over 50 elements where the server can be locked down to prevent unauthorized access.

ColdFusion provides a <cfqueryparam> tag that prevents SQL Injection Attacks plus helps the database create query cache plans that help improve performance. Key fields (columns) in my database are encrypted on save and decrypted on view so a stolen database will avail nothing. Finally, every page checks for a valid, secure login using tools to auto-logout users if idle time is exceeded and to create a secure login based on user ID and password values.

ColdFusion also truncates a string variable upon seeing a carriage return/line feed. This helps prevent javascript injection attacks via the subject line of a Contact Us form (for instance).

It is not possible to totally prevent a serious hacker from doing damage. Just like it is not possible to prevent data from being stolen from an in-house server system. However, there are enough tools available with ColdFusion to protect sensitive data in the normal case.

What else?

67% of all data loss (deliberate or accidental) is caused by employees. Password sharing is a common issue. Disallowing multiple simultaneous logins with the same credentials is prohibited in my code (ColdFusion makes this easy). Also, logins from unusual devices, locations or times of day can be controlled.

Simple Interface and Feature Rich

Besides security and cost benefits, ColdFusion is a tag based (or script based for java and javascript developers) language that is very easy to learn. Developing robust applications and consuming 3rd party services is very easy. Therefore cost to the client for development or application evolution is far less expensive. The code is compact and easy to maintain.

These are just some of the benefits. The biggest for me is that ColdFusion is evolved in a logical and thoughtful way by the Adobe corporation. They are a powerhouse in the Internet community and have the resources to produce a quality product. Other languages provide excellent tools and are to be considered. However, they are developed by smaller companies or are open source and not subject to strong quality control. The good news is that, in most cases, these tools can be used in conjunction with ColdFusion.

Working Out Of Office

Working away from the office is a viable option and, in many cases, the preferred way for mature employees to work.

From 2005 to 2007, my wife worked from Las Vegas for a San Jose, CA insurance company as an in-house underwriter. She managed a very large case load when technology was not as advanced as today. It was a win-win for her and her company. She was a known self-motivated employee and her company decided to experiment with the concept in order to retain her services. Physical case files were shipped via DHL daily and everything else was done through fax and Cloud tools.

There are many aspects to consider when allowing (or encouraging) some of your work force to work away from the office. These include the maturity of the employee, the type of work to be done, how well management can track productivity and quality control, etc.

Given that an employee is mature enough and the work load can be done away from the office, working off-site is the answer.

First, let’s consider the cost to the company. Cloud database systems can be expensive but our experience at S W Business Solutions shows that expensive is a relative term. Most business software is subscription based. S W Business Solutions, LLC uses this model where a fee (nominally $1,000) is paid during development and then a fee is charged thereafter. This puts the burden of development costs onto us. We make conversion to the Cloud affordable.

One major cost saving is computer system infrastructure. You no longer need your IT team to maintain expensive computer servers and networks. Even if you provide your staff with laptops and printers, the cost is dramatically less than a server, routers, switches, cabling and workstations.

Further you do not have to pay the cost for database backups, anti-virus software and operating system upgrade labor. All of that is provided for one low monthly cost by your internet service provider. We recommend Hostek (www.hostek.com) because they provide solutions on shared systems for as little as $10 per month up to full server-farm managed systems. Hostek is GDPR compliant and has a very strong focus on data security.

We suggest that you quantify your IT and server system costs. Then factor in the cost of flooring for your staff; desks, chairs, partitions, utilities, etc. When you compare the bottom line with the cost to move to a physically distributed work force, there are true savings to be had.

This is not to say that all of your team must work out of the office all of the time. Physical meetings, performance reviews, project reviews and kick-off meetings can still be held in an office. However, it could be a smaller office with a small in-office staff and a large conference room that is shared with other businesses and reserved as needed.

Many of these exist in and around Las Vegas such as Regus Office Spaces. I am sure that each major city and many towns have such office spaces available. Such an office space provides a receptionist, snack area, lounge and restrooms for which you, as the business owner, are not responsible. You still have a physical address for your business and a focal point for clients and vendors.

Such a model as I have quickly described above is a great way to dramatically reduce costs.

Worried about employee performance away from the watchful eyes of management? Fear not.

S W Business Solutions, LLC has been providing productivity and performance analytics since 1988. This includes “tattle-tails” where improper behavior is captured and reported to management. One instance comes to mind where we caught a $38,000 embezzlement in 1994 at a check cashing chain; $31,000 was recovered. Another was where we caught industrial espionage being performed by an estimator in a concrete construction company. We have tracked cross-sale ratios, excess employee time off, policy compliance violations and many more behavior traits. Managing employees in the Cloud is indeed possible and effective.

The reality is that working away from the office is a reality. S W Business Solutions, LLC. specializes in Cloud hosted browser-based business database applications. We provide the online tools so that employees can work away from the office without the company paying a fortune for remote login to their in-house servers.

Data security is actually better in the Cloud than on your in-house server. Break-ins occur and serves are stolen. Also, according to a Cyber Security PhD candidate we know, 67% of all data theft (deliberate and accidental) is caused by employees. On an in-house server system, the employee can insert a thumb drive and steal all kinds of data. This is so very much harder to do when the data is in the Cloud at a secure facility.

Please contact us at michael@swbslv.com. We can help you with your planning and implementation of your move to a physically distributed work force. We have 20 years experience in middle management with TRW, Inc and GTE Sylvania, Inc. plus 30+ years of business software development and consulting. Best of all; our rates are affordable.

Tracking Online Employees

Working from home is currently a requirement due to the quarantine. However, it is actually a very cost effective way to work for a lot of businesses.

The downside is that it requires mature, self-motivated staff. That is not always the reality. So what can a manager do to ensure employees are actually working?

The answer is behavior metrics. S W Business Solutions develops robust, cloud-based, browser-hosted database business applications. These are custom pieces of software that can track whatever a manager needs.

We have existing systems that track behaviors such as login time, logout time, excessive idle time and work flow analysis. Every event (clicking save or opening a record) can be tracked and analyzed with minimal additional burden on the system. Reports and graphs can be generated that can be reviewed by authorized management to determine production rates and worker effectivity.

S W Business Solutions is managed by a former mid-level manager for a TRW company. We are business professionals that have the experience to write effective business software.

Cyber Security

Hosting your data in the Cloud is serious business. However, thanks to concerted efforts by the industry, data security in the Cloud is as safe as on your in-house server.

Which is not to say it is safe. Nearly 67% of all data loss (deliberate or accidental) is caused by employees – not international rogue hackers.

The likelihood of being hacked in actually a bit higher on your in-house server as most employees have access to your server files and can copy files onto thumb drives if they wish. Stealing data directly from an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is much harder.

I have a page in the menu bar that talks about how we at S W Business Solutions protects client’s data in our Cloud-based browser applications.

The benefits of global access to your data and device independence far outweigh any concern about data safety.

Cloud Based Software


Traditional business software required expensive in-house computer networks and workstations. Such a system could cost thousands of dollars.

Software users were required to be in the office in order to use the system. That is now all in the past.


Today, the Cloud (Internet) is available almost anywhere. Restaurants, coffee shops and shopping malls offer free Wifi. Your software should reside in the Cloud so you can access your important information from anywhere on any Internet enabled tablet, laptop or desktop computer.

SWBS uses modern development tools and SQL database engines to convert old server-based software into Cloud-based modern database applications that run in any browser. You no longer need to invest in expensive servers, networks or workstations. You no longer need to hire expensive IT teams to maintain all of that computer infrastructure. A tablet and an Internet connection are all you need. Best of all, the hassle of backing up and managing your server and your data are now done by secure hosting facilities such as Hostek.com. Once your business application is created, you only pay a small monthly fee (as low as $10/month in most cases) for hosting.

No hardware costs and minimal monthly hosting costs is a Win-Win situation.


We have vast experience in many diverse business environments. Our past solutions include environmental engineering sales and reporting systems, check cashing network balancing, bad check tracking, water treatment engineering sales management, event planning, inventory systems, contact relationship management, project estimating, job costing, referral management, receivables tracking and receivables forecasting among many others.

Several projects have required us to export data from other programs and websites running on mini-computers or PCs. These data have then been imported into our software, audited for data completion and compliance and then merged into a consolidated database for analysis and reporting.

We also work with website developers by adding database systems to websites (such as this one).

Do you have monthly MS-Excel spreadsheets? Wish you could do month-over-month reports? We can help you by converting your individual spreadsheets to a powerful consolidated database program.