coldbox versus drupal

I have been asked to compile a list of major points as to why we
should use coldbox over drupal for re-architecting the back-end of one
of my firm's major applications. since I am relatively new to coldbox
- loving every minute i use it - I wanted to reach out to my fellow
cfml code monkeys. what are your thoughts, can you help me compile a
solid argument? thank you for all of your help, and I hope everyone
is having a great week.


I think the question should be MuraCMS/FarCry/etc. vs. Drupal.

ColdBox is not a CMS.


You should consider what your technology strengths are. If your team
is just as proficient with ColdFusion as it is with PHP, then you
could go either way. If your team is stronger in one area than
another, go that way. On a feature-to-feature comparison, check out
the site for information. I am in an environment where
Drupal is being forced down our throats by non-technical decision
makers, so this is something that I am dealing with too. Personally,
if you don't use PHP currently and don't want to learn it, don't use


Agreed with Oğuz, Coldbox is an MVC framework. The rough PHP
equivalent would be Cake. Drupal (and Joomla) is a content management
system and would compete with Mura and FarCry.

What does your site need to do? I think that if you take a look at it
from a functional perspective (we need to do X, Y and Z) then you can
find the pros and cons of different approaches more easily. Do you
primarily need a CMS? Do you have a lot of custom needs that don't fit
with standardized modules? Are there a lot of back end business


Drupal is an excellent framework for quickly building apps. Main issues I have with it are architectural. If you want to build fairly simple apps and there is a good fit between the features you need and the Drupal plugins, if you have experience maintaining and hosting PHP code it's hard to beat.

The real strength of ColdBox is that it is a RAD framework rather than a set of plug and play modules. As such you have much more flexibility in how you implement features. The trade off is that implementing those features will take longer than just dropping in a plugin.

Generally with Drupal, the experience I've seen is that it is great until it is not. If you want to do something fundamentally inconsistent with the way the framework thinks about security or other core concerns, you'll probably end up recoding the app from scratch. With ColdBox it's much easier to continually refine your code. Some is true in general when comparing frameworks to CMS's. I'd be more likely to compare ColdBox with CodeIgniter or some other PHP RAD framework. I'm not sure there is anything truly comparable to Drupal in the CFML world, although depending on what you're focusing on, Mura is probably in the same kind of space.

Also, one key is skillsets both for development and hosting. If you have a team of CFML developers, I'd consider a ColdFusion based tool. Also, CFML runs on the JVM so you get all of the power and capabilities of Java based hosting solution (with not too much of the complexity).

I'd say some more information about the use case or user stories might help people to be more specific. Is i18n important? Do you mainly need common modules like forums with limited customization or are you creating a lot of app specific code? That's the kind of thing that should drive the decision. Also what about skillsets in house? Do you *have* PHP developers?

I'd also think through how you want to handle automated builds, testing, deployment and the like. I know tools for all of those are available in PHP but haven't played with things like using Hudson for CI on a Drupal project. Is that important to your team in terms of non functional requirements? If so, I'm sure it's possible but I'd definitely google to make sure it is a popular and well supported approach. One nice thing is we're now starting to get a community around testing in the CFML world and while it doesn't rival the ruby or Java worlds, if you have a problem with Hudson and MXUNit you can get input pretty easily . . .

Best Wishes,

thank you all for your feedback,

hope you all had a great weekend,