If you're not familiar with BlueDragon, I'll point you here to various resources to help get you up to speed. But for those who are already familiar with them, or haven't looked at what they've been doing recently, here's what I saw that I liked a lot:
- their J2EE deployment capability is more straightforward and streamlined than Macromedia's CFMX for J2EE
- their upcoming .NET deployment capability is truly unique, the only way to natively integrate CFML and .NET applications
- those two products help solve important problems for organizations being forced to move off of Macromedia ColdFusion and/or unwilling or unable to move to ColdFusion MX
- their base server version is offered free for development AND deployment
- the CFML implementation is very close to being completely compatible with CF5
- support for CFMX tags and functions is in development
- their responsiveness to customer (and prospective customer) requests has been superlative
- I could go on
I think they've got a great niche. The goal isn't to take business from MM, but instead to catch business that would have left MM, for clients being told to move off of CF. Now they don't have to, and BlueDragon can give them greater integration options.
Two of the New Atlanta partners (it's a privately held company) have long wished to have me as their evangelist, and I'd kept them at bay for a variety of reasons. But they finally made me an offer too good to refuse, even making my independent training and consulting pursuits not as attractive. I really look forward to the challenge of helping spread the gospel for them, and helping people see BlueDragon (and the future of CFML) in a new light. Of course, those who know me know that it's what I'm built for! :-)
Of course, some will ask why Macromedia never gave me any sort of position even approaching this. I did apply for the community manager job, both times, but was not selected (despite support from inside various quarters at Macromedia). And while I've been named to Team Macromedia and the Customer Advisory Board, both of which I am honored by, those were not positions that I could really leverage for profit in my business. They were certainly ways for me to continue to give back to the CF community that I've served for 6 years. And I plan to continue to do that in this new role.
I've put together a FAQ to answer what I think will be some common questions both about BlueDragon, my move, and its impact on various activities I'm involved in. I also welcome your feedback at Charlie@NewAtlanta.com. (Carehart@systemanage.com still works.)