The Internet has evolved from a collection of static HTML pages to an application deployment platform. First, the Internet changed from consisting of static web pages to providing dynamic, interactive content. Rather than providing unchanging content where organizations merely advertise goods and services, dynamic pages enable companies to conduct business ranging from e-commerce to managing internal business processes. For example, a static HTML page lets a bookstore publish its location, list services such as the ability to place special orders, and advertise upcoming events like book signings. A dynamic website for the same bookstore lets customers order books online, write reviews of books they read, and even get suggestions for purchasing books based on their reading preferences.
More recently, the Internet has become the underlying infrastructure for a wide variety of applications. With the arrival of technologies such as XML, web services, J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition), and Microsoft .NET, the Internet has become a multifaceted tool for integrating business activities. Now, enterprises can use the Internet to integrate distributed activities, such as customer service, order entry, order fulfillment, and billing.
Adobe ColdFusion is a rapid application development environment that lets you build dynamic websites and Internet applications quickly and easily. It lets you develop sophisticated websites and Internet applications without knowing the details of many complex technologies, yet it lets advanced developers take advantage of the full capabilities of many of the latest Internet technologies.