ColdFusion has been around practically as long as the web itself . Today it retains a loyal but relatively small developer base (Adobe counts it at around 750K developers compared to my own estimates of about 48 trillion for .NET).
Overall CF has lost market share percentage to competing technologies for years (ASP, Java, PHP, etc.) and in virtually all cases when a developer tool loses momentum like this, it results in an inevitable march to oblivion — albeit sometimes a very slow one. AD tools generaly dont make a market turn-around, instead developers migrate to the next big thing and rarely look back. But if it CAN happen then it SHOULD happen with ColdFusion. It is far to easy to pigeon-hole CF as a ‘legacy’ toolset but if you did you’d be wrong.
Adobe has just released version 9 with an impressive list of new features that stand toe-to-toe with anything you’ll find from Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, or any of the elite open source options as well.
Yes, CF is still very much a proprietary toolset — despite growing OSS options. But many web developers are also finding that sometimes a little proprietary (emphase on “little”) is worth it if you can cut your development time by an order magnitude.
Here’s the bottom line: no other web development toolset available today gives you an equal balance of flexibilility, scalability and out-of-the-box RAD experience for dynamic web applications than ColdFusion. There are plenty that do a better job one of these areas; there are few that do a slightly better job in two out of three; but there are none that match CF in all three areas.
Have you looked at ColdFusion recently? If not then start with my recent research note (assuming your a Gartner client of course)and then check out the newest version at http://www.adobe.com/products/coldfusion/
p.s. looks like Adobe has a copy of the report here as well.