Upgrading to ColdBox 4

Last updated 10 months ago

The major compatibility issues will be covered as well as how to smoothly upgrade to this release from previous ColdBox versions. You can also check out the What's New guide to give you a full overview of the changes.

ColdBox 3.x Compatibility Module

If you want to convert a larger ColdBox 3.x site over piece by piece, we have created a ColdBox Compat module you can install that will give you much of the 3.x functionality back including plugins, ColdBox OCM, UDFLibraryFile setting, and WireBox DSL namespaces. You quickly install this module using CommandBox with the following command:

box install cbcompat

For more information and a full list of features, visit the ForgeBox page.

ColdFusion 8 Support Dropped

ColdFusion 8 support has been dropped.

Application.cfc Bootstrap changed

The bootstrap CFC used by Application.cfc has been updated from coldbox.system.Coldbox to coldbox.system.Bootstrap. This is basically just a rename-- all other functionality is the same so a simple find/replace in your Application.cfc should fix it up. This is the first change you'll need to make and is mandatory.

Sample Application.cfc using inheritance

// Old code
component extends='coldbox.system.Coldbox' { }
// New code
component extends='coldbox.system.Bootstrap' { }

Async Loggers Dropped

The Asynchronous loggers in LogBox have been removed in preference to the new async property that can be used in any logger. The affected loggers are:

  • AsyncDBAppender -> DBAppender

  • AsyncFileAppender -> FileAppender

  • AsyncRollingFileAppender -> RollingFileAppender

You can just declare each appender but add an async=true property to each when declaring:

logBox = {
// Define Appenders
appenders = {
coldboxTracer = { class="coldbox.system.logging.appenders.ConsoleAppender",properties={async:true} }
// Root Logger
root = { levelmax="INFO", appenders="*" },
// Implicit Level Categories
info = [ "coldbox.system" ]

Plugins Removed

ColdBox Plugins have graduated to become just models. The plugins convention has been removed and all references to plugin injection or DSL's are gone. You must now place all your plugins in your models directory and request them via getInstance() or getModel() calls.

Plugins are an old ColdBox convention but their baggage doesn't really serve a purpose now that we have modules for easy packaging of libraries and WireBox for easy creation of CFCs. Neither of those existed back when Plugins were birthed. It's time to say goodbye to the concept of plugins, but all their functionality will still be here, just with a slightly different (and more standardized) way of creating them.

// old
property name="myPlugin" inject="coldbox:plugin:myPlugin";
// new
getInstance( "MyPlugin@module" ) or getModel( "MyPlugin@module" )
property name="myPlugin" inject="model:myPlugin@module";

Plugin Base Class

With the removal of plugins, coldbox.system.Plugin no longer exists. If you have custom-written plugins that used some of the convenience variables such as controller, logbox, or wirebox that came from this base class, you'll need to inject them using the appropriate injection DSL. If you were using any of the convenience methods such as getRequestContext() or getRequestCollection() should be delegated to the appropriate service or the ColdBox controller.

Any variables or methods related to instance.pluginName, instance.pluginVersion, etc serve no purpose now and can be removed from the code.

New Core Modules

All internal plugins and lots of functionality has been refactored out of the ColdBox Core and into standalone Modules. All of them are in ForgeBox and have their own Git repositories. Also, all of them are installable via CommandBox; Our ColdFusion (CFML) CLI, and Package Manager.

You can find each of these modules in the main GitHub repo. Check out the instructions.md files inside the root of each module with additional information on configuration and installation.


  • Session Storage Plugin

  • Application Storage Plugin

  • Client Storage Plugin

  • Cluster Storage Plugin

  • Cookie Storage Plugin

All of these plugins have been refactored into the cbstorages module.

box install cbstorages

Instead of using:

getPlugin( 'SessionStorage' )
getPlugin( 'ApplicationStorage' )
getPlugin( 'CookieStorage' )

You will instead call

getInstance( 'sessionStorage@cbstorages' )
getInstance( 'applicationStorage@cbstorages' )
getInstance( 'cookieStorage@cbstorages' )

Note : The API for the actual storage CFCs is the same.


box install cbmessagebox

This module replaces the MessageBox plugin and registers the following mapping in WireBox: messagebox@cbmessagebox.


box install cbantisamy

This module replaces the AntiSamy plugin and registers the following mapping in WireBox: antisamy@cbantisamy.


box install cbmailservices

This module replaces the MailService plugin and registers the following mapping in WireBox: mailService@cbmailservices.


box install cbvalidation

This module replaces the previously-inbuilt validation functionality of ColdBox and the validator Plugin. The ValidationManager is still available under this WireBox mapping: ValidationManager@cbvalidation. It also gives you the following methods in every handler, view, layout, etc:

  • validateModel()

  • getValidationManager()

ColdBox Debugger

If you want to use the ColdBox debugger, you'll need to install the cbdebugger module. Another benifit of this is you can omit this module in production so there's no security concerns with it getting turned on. To install as a development dependency in CommandBox, use the --saveDev flag.

box install cbdebugger --saveDev

Debugger settings can still be set in the main ColdBox.cfc config in a debugger struct. The DebuggerService and Timer are still available via the following WireBox mappings and can be retrieved via getInstance() or property injections.

  • debuggerService@cbdebugger

  • timer@cbdebugger


box install cbjavaloader

This module replaces the JavaLoader plugin and registers the following mapping in WireBox: loader@cbjavaloader.


box install cbi18n

This module us a combination of both the ResourceBundle plugin and the i18n plugin rolled together now and represented by the following two WireBox mappings:

  • i18n@cbi18n

  • resourceService@cbi18n

This module also adds the following methods into your handlers, views, layouts, etc:

  • getFWLocale()

  • setFWLocale()

  • getResource()


box install cborm

This module brings you all the ORM virtual services that are in ColdBox 3.x and replaces the ORMService Plugin, but note that the component paths have been updated. Instead of starting with coldbox.system they start with cborm.

Old Path

New Path







Unfortunately, due to the way that ORM is loaded by ColdFusion, if you are using the ORM EventHandler or ActiveEntity or any ColdBox Proxies that require ORM, you must create an Application Mapping in the Application.cfc like this:

this.mappings[ "/cborm" ] = COLDBOX_APP_ROOT_PATH & "modules/cborm";

This module also comes with two new WireBox DSL namespaces for injecting entity services:

// Inject a global ORM service
property name="genericEntityservice" inject="entityservice";
// Inject a Virtual entity service according to entityName
property name="foobarService" inject="entityservice:foobar";


box install cbcommons

cbcommons has a collection of various utilities for you to use which is made up of what used to be the following plugins:

  • JVMUtils Plugin

  • Zip Plugin

  • DateUtils Plugin

  • QueryHelper Plugin

  • FileUtils Plugin

  • Utilities Plugin

This module makes the same functionality available via these registered WireBox mappings:

  • JVMUtils@cbcommons

  • Zip@cbcommons

  • DateUtils@cbcommons

  • QueryHelper@cbcommons

  • FileUtils@cbcommons


box install cbioc

The module replaces the ioc plugin and registers the following mapping in WireBox: factory@cbioc which abstracts any IoC engine with typical methods like getBean() and containsBean()


box install cbfeeds

The cbfeeds module replaces the old FeedGenerator Plugin and FeedReader Plugin by registering the following WireBox mappings for you to use:

  • FeedReader@cbfeeds

  • feedGenerator@cbfeeds


box install cbsoap

This module replaces the Webservices plugin and registers the following mapping in WireBox: webservices@cbsoap.


box install cbsecurity

This module replaces the Security interceptor. The interceptor still exists, but it is wrapped inside this module as cbsecurity.interceptors.Security and it is registered with the parent application as soon as the module is loaded so you don't need to register the interceptor manually anymore.

WireBox DSL Namespaces

Some of these were covered above, but for completeness, here is a comprehensive list of the WireBox DSL Namespaces that are removed.

Removed DSL

Replacement DSL












The configbean CFC doesn't exist any longer, but the same data is available as a struct with coldbox:fwSettings


The configbean CFC doesn't exist any longer, but the same data is available as a struct with coldbox:configSettings




The same data is available as a struct with coldbox:setting:mailSettings


debuggerService@cbdebugger as long as the cbdebugger module is installed


validationManager@validation as long as the cbvalidation module is installed

Model Convention

The model convention has been renamed to models to be consistent with pluralization. So you must either rename your folder or use Custom Conventions in your Configuration CFC.

ColdBox OCM Dropped

The ColdBox OCM (Object Cache Manager) has been a thin facade to CacheBox ever since ColdBox 3.0 came out. We are now removing this terminology completely in favor of direct interaction with CacheBox. References to the getColdboxOCM() method have been removed. Instead, call getCache().

JSON Plugin Dropped

The JSON plugin is no longer used in ColdBox in favor of native CFML serialization. The old plugin is in ForgeBox and can easily be converted to a model or module for use in ColdBox 4 if you need it.

BeanFactory Plugin Dropped

This plugin has been a thin facade to WireBox ever since ColdBox 3.0 came out. We are now removing the plugin and you can inject WireBox directly to get object instances. Or better yet, use our injection DSLs to inject the object instance you want directly.

Autowire Interceptor Dropped

This interceptor hasn't actually done anything in a while since WireBox now autowires new objects automatically. Remove any references to coldbox.system.interceptors.Autowire from your config. There is no need to replace it with anything.

Logger Plugin Dropped

This plugin has been a this facade to LogBox ever since ColdBox 3.0 came out. We are now removing the plugin and you can inject LogBox or a specific Logger directly for your logging needs.

Renderer Plugin Dropped

The renderer still exists, but not in plugin form. It has become a core part of the framework. If you need access to the renderer, use the getRenderer() method in the controller or the coldbox:renderer WireBox DSL.

var renderer = controller.getRenderer();
property name="renderer" inject="coldbox:renderer";

HTMLHelper Plugin Dropped

The functionality provided by the HTMLHelper plugin is still available in the core of ColdBox but now as a model. Access it by using the new WireBox mapping: HTMLHelper@coldbox. Views and layouts still have access to the HTMLHelper via the variable html like always. This has not changed.

XMLConverter Plugin Dropped

The functionality provided by the XMLConverter plugin is still available in the core of ColdBox but now as a model. Access it by using the new WireBox mapping: xmlConverter@coldbox.

Validator Plugin Dropped

Removed from core

Datasource Bean Dropped

The datasource bean has been droped in favor of flat structures. So instead of getting a bean representing a datasource structure, you just get the structure. So some old code like this:

<!--- Dependencies --->
<cfproperty name="dsn" inject="coldbox:datasource:mydsn">
<!--- list --->
<cffunction name="list" output="false" access="public" returntype="query" hint="Return the contacts">
<cfset var q = "">
<cfquery name="q" datasource="#dsn.getName()#">
FROM contacts
ORDER BY name asc
<cfreturn q>

Would become this:

<!--- Dependencies --->
<cfproperty name="dsn" inject="coldbox:datasource:mydsn">
<!--- list --->
<cffunction name="list" output="false" access="public" returntype="query" hint="Return the contacts">
<cfset var q = "">
<cfquery name="q" datasource="#dsn.name#">
FROM contacts
ORDER BY name asc
<cfreturn q>

Exception Bean moved to prc in the exceptionHandler

If you have configured a global exceptionHandler it used to receive the exception as rc.exceptionBean. Now it will be accessible via prc.exception.

afterAspectsLoad interception point removed

Most everything that was considered an "aspect" is now no longer part of the core. The afterAspectsLoad interception point has been removed. You can still use the afterConfigurationLoad interception point that will fire once the framework has loaded. If you need to work with models or settings that are registered via modules, this interception point is for you.