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Adobe ColdFusion 10 Updater Woes

  • Saturday, March 09 2013

I just installed ColdFusion 10 on Windows 8 and while I got it installed it could have been easier.

Adobe documentation is generally pretty good. What frustrates me is they allow you to submit feedback but it seems like no one ever reads this and integrates the feedback back into the documentation. So you need to read all the docs, then wade though comments and figure out which comments are useful and relevant.

Upon installation I immediately checked out the new 'auto updater' which promptly notified me that I needed to manually install something if my ColdFusion version was at 282462.

While I know where to find the CF version, if I'm new to ColdFusion I may not. Why isn't the current ColdFusion verion # displayed on this update page?

I'm not sure I need this manual update or not so I go read the docs and I'm sent to URL hell...

  • Link #1: takes me to the download page which also has a link to:
  • Link #2: which has some install instructions as well as a link to:
  • Link #3: which is more installation instructions and user comments/feedback.

So which installation instructions should I follow? Link #2 or Link #3? Both pages have different info...

Link #2 has this important note: "Ensure that you have Administrator privileges on the computer before installing this Update." which Link #3 fails to mention.

Someone does mention it in the comments on Link #3. Why doesn't anyone at Adobe read these comments, take the useful bits out and incorporate it back into the documentation?

What also wasn't obvious is the updater screen is an accordion. The screen says 7 updates are available, but where are they?

ColdFusion Update

If you click on the "Update 8" header - you'll see:

ColdFusion Update

Ah ha! When contracted there is a plus sign but nothing when expanded. I think something could be added to the headers, maybe a +/- sign or up/side arrow to denote these expand. Or show them all contracted initially.

What's also not intuitive is the order in which I should install these? Do I do 8 to 1 since they are presented in that order? Or do I do 1 to 8? Or if I do the last one are they cumulative? Again some brief instructions at the top of the page could clarify this.

I started at 1 and worked my way to 8. Not sure if this is correct or not.

And what is the differene between "Download" and "Download and Install"? Do I need to download?

Another issue - if I download, a nice message pops up at the top of the accordion telling me my download was successful. Unfortunately there is no way to make that message go away, and it forces the download buttons out of the accordion container so I can't click on them:

ColdFusion Update

This was on Chrome so it may be a specific browser issue but it seems like some scroll bars may work here, or maybe these links could be moved to the top of the container. I resized my fonts and was able to click on the "Install" button.

I next got a "Service Temporarily Unavailable" error which I know is because ColdFusion is restarting but again if this is my first time installing ColdFusion I'd be in panic mode.

ColdFusion Goes Boom

I manually restarted the ColdFusion service and was able to get back into the Admin. Maybe the screen could redirect to a 'loading' page and something could be done in the background to redirect when the service is back up? Or even better it could redirect to a screen with some options on what to do if the service doesn't restart.

For update #2 I was prompted with:

ColdFusion Goes Boom

Maybe I missed this the first time but I found this confusing.

Do I need to do anything? If I click "OK" do I then need to click "Install"?

Turns out you don't have to do anything. While I was taking screenshots, the screen flashed and I got the "Service Temporarily Unavailable" message.

Unfortunately I had to manually restart the ColdFusion service, again.

The rest of the patches followed the same workflow:

  1. Login to CF Admin
  2. Click on update icon
  3. Navigate to proper accordion
  4. Resize text so I could see 'download' button (if needed)
  5. Click "Download and install"
  6. Wait for file to download
  7. Ignore confirmation popup
  8. Wait for CF to restart or restart ColdFusion service manually if needed
  9. Rinse repeat

For the record:

  • Updates 1 - 3 required manually restarting the ColdFusion service
  • Updates 4 - 8 did not require manually restarting ColdFusion

The only other issue is on the "Installed Updates" screen I can't see any update other than the last one I installed. It would be nice to see a list of all the installed updates along with a link to what was fixed/added in that release.

Installed updates

Overall the new update process is vastly better than the old manual method but there is still a lot of room for improvement:

  1. Streamline the installation URLs. Can't we have just one?
  2. Review and incorporate feedback from user comments back into the installation documentation.
  3. Adobe must have UI/UX experts on staff. Get them to help the ColdFusion team steamline some of the update screens and dialogs for a better user experience.
  4. Provide a 'what to do when things go wrong' screen for things like the 'Service Temporarily Unavailable' error.
  5. By default show the current ColdFusion version # on the Updates screen.
  6. Display list of installed updates.

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