End of the Road for Older Versions of Adobe ColdFusion's Built-In Support for S3 and New S3 Buckets

Posted 20 June 2019

Update July 19, 2019: The ColdFusion engineering team reached out to me to let me know that ColdFusion 2016, Update 8 does support v4 request signing, in addition to ColdFusion 2018, Update 2 or later.

One of the things that got me started using AWS is CFML’s built-in support for S3 — the Simple Storage Service. CFML’s built-in support makes storing files in S3 instead of your local file system as easy as changing a “C:" path to “S3://”. It’s drop-dead simple and is available on nearly all file functions in CFML.

CMFL’s built-in support for S3 masks the process of digitally signing each and every request to the S3 service. All requests to all services in AWS have to be digitally signed. These signatures include a combination of the actual API request itself, and a hash of your credentials for accessing AWS. CFML transparently takes care of this request signing process for you.

The AWS developer community was abuzz this past week about yet another change to how AWS will support — or, rather, not support — version 2 of the request signing process when making requests to S3. This blog post covers the changes in detail, but the basics are as follows:

What does this have to do with ColdFusion?

All versions of Adobe ColdFusion prior to ColdFusion 2018, Update 2 AND ColdFusion 2016, Update 8 use Signature Version 2 for request signing. This means that if you try to use ColdFusion’s built-in support for S3 on buckets created on or after June 24, 2019, and you are using any version of Adobe ColdFusion prior to ColdFusion 2018, Update 2, or ColdFusion 2016, Update 8, those requests will fail.

If you are using ColdFusion 9, 10, or 11, and you’re doing something like this:

<cffile action="read" file="s3://testbucket/test.txt" variable="data"/>

That request will fail and your CFML engine will throw an error.

Again, the request will fail if the following conditions are met:

Requests to buckets created before June 24, 2019 will continue to work. However, it is highly likely that AWS will set a final, hard deadline for ending support for Signature Version 2 requests on all S3 buckets within the next year. You should plan for that accordingly.

If you are still running ColdFusion 9, 10, or 11, and need to work with S3 buckets created on or after June 24, 2019, you have a couple of options:

  1. Upgrade to ColdFusion 2018, Update 2 or later.
  2. Use the AWS Java SDK, which uses Signature Version 4 by default, for all of your S3 requests.
  3. Use a CFML library that supports Signature Version 4 for your S3 requests. JC Berquist’s aws-cfml library is very good.
Categories: AWS ColdFusion