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CF101: Welcome to ColdFusion. Simon Horwith CTO, Etrilogy Ltd. Who Am I?. Macromedia Certified: Instructor Advanced ColdFusion Developer Flash Developer Member Team Macromedia CTO, Etrilogy Ltd. (London) Private Consultant – Web/DB App Dev Frequent CFUG and Conference Speaker

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cf101 welcome to coldfusion

CF101: Welcome to ColdFusion

Simon Horwith

CTO, Etrilogy Ltd.

who am i
Who Am I?
  • Macromedia Certified:
    • Instructor
    • Advanced ColdFusion Developer
    • Flash Developer
  • Member Team Macromedia
  • CTO, Etrilogy Ltd. (London)
  • Private Consultant – Web/DB App Dev
  • Frequent CFUG and Conference Speaker
  • Monthly Contributor to CFDJ Magazine
  • Contributing Author of Several Books
who are you
Who Are You?
  • Web site developer
    • Looking to add more interactivity to your site
  • Web application developer or development manager who’s heard of ColdFusion
    • Wondering how it works, how easy it is to use, how scalable it is for enterprise apps
what we ll cover
What We’ll Cover
  • We’ll show:
    • How easy it is to use and how it works
    • How CF can be used to add interactivity to your site
    • The basics of CF programming: no previous CF experience required
    • How the features of CF make it an ideal platform solution for meeting complex business requirements
  • Introduction to ColdFusion
  • Code Basics
  • Database Integration
  • ColdFusion Features
  • Q&A
introduction to coldfusion
Introduction to ColdFusion
  • ColdFusion is:
    • A leading Server-Side Web Application Development System
    • The leading rapid development platform for the web
    • Very easy to learn and to use
    • OS platform independent
    • A key part of Macromedia’s MX product line
introduction to coldfusion cont d
Introduction to ColdFusion cont’d
  • On the web there are 2 classes of web technologies: server-side and client-side
  • Client-side technologies run in a users browser – Flash, JavaScript, Java Applets, etc.
  • Server-side runs on a central server – ColdFusion, ASP, ASP.NET, Perl, PHP, etc.
introduction to coldfusion cont d1
Introduction to ColdFusion cont’d
  • Static Web Architecture – user sends an HTTP request to a web server which then returns HTML (along with any client-side technology code) back to the browser for parsing
  • Dynamic Web Architecture – user sends an HTTP request for a dynamic page to a web server. The web server routes the request to the Application Server which parses the server-side technology instructions and sends the resulting text back to the browser for parsing.
introduction to coldfusion cont d2
Introduction to ColdFusion cont’d
  • ColdFusion files have a .cfm extension
  • The web server hands any request for a .cfm page to the ColdFusion server for processing
  • The ColdFusion server looks through the contents of the page for instructions and ignores all other text (text, HTML, and other client-side technologies may be used in CF pages as the CF Server ignores them and they are sent back to the browser along with the dynamic page output)
  • ColdFusion Instructions are written in CFML
code basics
Code Basics
  • ColdFusion pages are written in CFML – ColdFusion Mark-up Language
  • CFML is:
    • Like HTML- it is a tag based language
    • Used to tell the ColdFusion server to connect with a database, create a variable, etc.
    • Processed in place. HTML and CFML are often interwoven in order to mark-up the output generated by CF tags
code basics cont d
Code Basics cont’d
  • CFML tags begin with the letters “CF”
  • Two very common tags:
    • creates a variable
    • displays a variable
  • Example:


code basics cont d1
Code Basics cont’d
  • Variables in CF:
    • Are case-insensitive
    • Are typeless
    • Exist for the duration of a request and are then destroyed
    • Have a prefix. A variable prefix tells ColdFusion where this variable exists in memory. ColdFusion will search for a variable in many memory scopes if no prefix is specified. This impacts on performance and readability.
code basics cont d2
Code Basics cont’d
    • Has both an opening and closing tag
    • Tells ColdFusion to examine the text between the opening and closing tag and to evaluate any variable or expression surrounded with hash marks (“#”)
    • Any non-CFML text inside is ignored, which
code basics cont d3
Code Basics cont’d

Name: #variables.fullname#


Would display:

Name: Simon Horwith

Email: [email protected]

code basics cont d4
Code Basics cont’d
  • CFML comments are used to comment code and to prevent code from being parsed
  • Example:

code basics cont d5
Code Basics cont’d
  • CFML not only has tags, but functions as well. There are over 70 tags and over 200 functions in the CFML language.
  • A few types of functions:
    • Date manipulation/formatting
    • Array/structure manipulation
    • String manipulation
    • List manpulation
    • Mathematic operations
    • Etc.
code basics cont d6
Code Basics cont’d
  • Example of how to use functions to retrieve today’s date (now() function) and display it in “mm/dd/yy” format (dateformat() function)


database integration
Database Integration
  • CF can communicate with virtually any database, including:
    • Microsoft SQL Server
    • Sybase
    • Oracle
    • DB/2
    • Informix
    • and many more enterprise DBMS’s, as well as desktop DBMS’s such as MS Access
database integration cont d
Database Integration cont’d
  • ColdFusion MX uses Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) drivers to connect with databases
  • JDBC drivers translate SQL (Structured Query Language) commands to native binary code that a database understands, pass that binary code to a datasource for execution, and return any returned resultset to the ColdFusion page that invoked it.
  • A datasource is a “named connection” (alias) for a database – it stores the database name, location, server name, login and password, etc.
database integration cont d1
Database Integration cont’d
  • ColdFusion passes SQL to a datasource using the tag
  • should always have:
    • Name (assigns a name to the resultset and makes code more readable)
    • Datasource (the DataSource name that points at the database to pass the SQL to)
    • Example:

SELECT firstname, lastname

FROM employees

ORDER BY lastname

database integration cont d2
Database Integration cont’d

This code produces an ERROR!!

SELECT firstname, lastname

FROM employees

ORDER BY lastname

#firstname# #lastname#

database integration cont d3
Database Integration cont’d

This code displays only the first row from the recordset

SELECT firstname, lastname

FROM employees

ORDER BY lastname

#qEmployees.firstname# #qEmployees.lastname#

database integration cont d4
Database Integration cont’d

This code loops over each row from the recordset and displays itSELECT firstname, lastnameFROM employeesORDER BY lastname#qEmployees.firstname# #qEmployees.lastname#

cf features yes it can do all this and so much more
CF Features: Yes it can do all this… and SO much more!
  • Tags and functions for creating, reading, renaming, moving, renaming, and deleting files and folders from the local file system
  • Easy access to LDAP (lightweight directory access protocol) resources
  • COM, DCOM, and CORBA support
  • Easy integration with existing Java Applications
  • HTTP functionality
  • Out of the box ease of establishing connections with MANY RDBMS platforms
  • Built-in security framework
cf features cont d
CF Features cont’d
  • Advanced record-set functionality
  • Robust graphing and reporting functionality
  • Application architecture that supports persistent memory scopes
  • Over 70 tags and 200 functions built-in to the easy to use and learn CFML programming language
  • Custom Tags and User-Defined Functions
  • An object-oriented framework (ColdFusion Components) that offers OOP features and a layerr of abstraction between business logic and presentation
cf features cont d1
CF Features cont’d
  • Web services support for consumption and publication, ,including support for Java, .NET, and Flash Remoting Applications
  • XML support
  • Web based Administrative interface
  • Platform independent – runs as a standalone server or J2EE application on many platforms.
  • Many online and printed resources
good luck
Good Luck!
  • And enjoy ColdFusion!
  • Q & A time