ColdFusion Web Application: For Fast and Scalable Web Applications

ColdFusion is an expressive yet easy programming environment which developers prefer for creating powerful server-side web applications — fast and by using minimum code as compared to technologies like ASP or PHP.

This is why ColdFusion is referred to as a rapid development platform which is used to build web applications. Programming tasks can be performed at a higher level as compared to other languages — you can build small or much complex and dynamic websites and applications using ColdFusion. Productivity has increased many folds!

Among other elements that sum up to make the ColdFusion environment, the important ones for building a ColdFusion application or website include ColdFusion Server that runs on top of your web server and ColdFusion templates (files) which are written by ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML).

Advantages of ColdFusion

The CFML syntax is quite similar to that of HTML and XML and so it becomes easier to learn this more powerful programming language. From sending bulk e-mails, sending queries to database, allowing users to upload files, having a shopping cart or publishing web services — you can do it all! With ColdFusion Administrator, you can even customize the ColdFusion environment.

Custom Web Based Applications with ColdFusion

ColdFusion will aid you in building interactive, dynamic and data-rich websites. No need of long drawn learning curve for understanding traditional programming languages with the ColdFusion application server.

Though traditional programming constructs are supported, however, applications can be created by extending standard HTML files with formatting functions, database commands and other conditional operators to ColdFusion processor.

Advantages of ColdFusion Web applications

  • ColdFusion applications can be built fast — Rapid development.
  • No coding is required except for simple HTML style tags.
  • ColdFusion applications can be easily tested and rolled out.
  • The ColdFusion Markup Language already comprises of all processing and formatting functions.
  • ColdFusion applications need less maintenance.
  • ColdFusion gives you a powerful development environment to work on.
  • ColdFusion comes with tools for troubleshooting and debugging applications.
  • ColdFusion makes linking with any database application and external services quite simple (access to COM – Component Object Model, CORBA – Common Object Request Broker Architecture, Java, C/C++)
  • ColdFusion is fast, high on performance and scalable.
  • Built-in support for .NET servers and web services.
  • ColdFusion encourages efficiency and collaboration between workforce in an organization.

ColdFusion: Past Revisited

ColdFusion, in short, is a web programming language that enables web page to communicate with a database. It was developed by Allaire in 1995. Then Macromedia acquired it in a merger in 2001. Later, in 2005, it was bought out by Adobe.

The latest release of ColdFusion is ColdFusion 11 Enterprise Edition and ColdFusion Builder 3 which give seamless workflow for mobile application development including building, testing, debugging, and deployment of web based or installed mobile applications.

The ColdFusion platform is also supported by servers from IBM and Microsoft etc. It shows portability across Windows, Unix, Linux or any other operating system, supports all major databases and is built on Java.

These are many reasons why ColdFusion has become the preferred development language for web applications. Portability, productivity, multi-platform support, cost effectiveness, seamless access to web services, dynamic websites and intranet applications is what makes ColdFusion such a special and powerful platform!

What is ColdFusion and What are the Myths Associated With It

ColdFusion is a commercial rapid web application development platform created by Jeremy Allaire and JJ Allaire. The programming language used with that platform is commonly called ColdFusion, though is also known as CFML (ColdFusion Markup Language). The initial objective of ColdFusion was to make it easier to connect simple HTML pages to a database. By the 2nd version it had become a full fledged platform that included an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) in addition to a complete scripting language.

ColdFusion is a Macromedia product and offers a widely adopted and sophisticated products suite to develop websites and serve pages to users. Leveraging ColdFusion, any entity can build a content database harnessing input templates and combine these with application programs to create a Web site. In the latter, pages are developed dynamically as they are served. ColdFusion is made up of ColdFusion Studio, which is harnessed to build a site, and ColdFusion Server, whose role is to serve the pages to users. ColdFusion Studio’s role is of a complete integrated development environment (IDE) while ColdFusion Server functions as a deployment platform.

ColdFusion is both expressive and powerful. The expressive characteristic empowers firms or individuals to perform programming tasks at a higher level compared to most other languages. The powerful characteristic delivers integration with functionality integral to web applications such as database access, MS Exchange access, PDF form creation and more. Also the ColdFusion platform is built on Java and leverages the Apache Tomcat J2EE container.

ColdFusion has existed since 1995 and like any other technology there are quite a few misconceptions about the platform and its capabilities. We try to dispel some common myths associated with ColdFusion.

Common ColdFusion myths

Common ColdFusion myths

  • ColdFusion is expensive

The fact is that developers get ColdFusion for free. Also, ColdFusion offers several other platforms free of charge. Additionally ColdFusion hosting is relatively inexpensive. Many users will find that developing websites with ColdFusion costs less money as well as time.

  • ColdFusion is dying

This rumor has been doing the rounds for quite some time. However the ground reality is that the product is faring well in terms of sales and customer adoption. Periodically new versions are being released. Also multiple vendors market this product.

  • ColdFusion is not secure

There is nothing in ColdFusion that holds programmers back from creating secure code. On the contrary this software has multiple features facilitating the development of secure code. Script Protect and role based security are some of the other powerful security features. The fact that the US government uses and trusts ColdFusion is an ironclad testimonial.

  • ColdFusion is slow

The fact is that umpteen high traffic websites leverage ColdFusion. Every successive version of ColdFusion comes with greater speed. People often blame ColdFusion when the real reason for slow speed is badly created code. The latter is applicable to any platform and ColdFusion is not responsible for it.

  • No open source applications

This statement is old now. Presently there are numerous blogs, wikis and forums exclusively addressing ColdFusion issues.

ColdFusion Report builder

Report building involves representing information in graphical format such as different kinds of charts or tabular format. ColdFusion incorporates a report building tool termed ColdFusion Report Builder. This tool empowers developers with the ability to design structures, repeating region reports for ColdFusion 11 applications.

Key advantages of ColdFusion as a Web Application Development Platform

ColdFusion is a rapid web application development platform developed by Adobe that offers cross-platform web application development capabilities. It is becoming increasingly popular amongst web application developers around the World. This is evident from the large number of ColdFusion developers and development companies available today. Some of the key reasons for the soaring popularity of ColdFusion in web application development are:

Increase in productivity: The biggest advantage of using ColdFusion for web application development is that it highly reduces the time required for finishing the product. ColdFusion offers rapid application development that leverages the available IT resources of a company, allowing developers of varying skill levels to work together on a project. The Object-based component architecture of the platform provides code reuse and encapsulation facilities to the developers, which speeds up the application development process further. Lesser development time translates into higher productivity and greater return on investment for the ColdFusion development company.

  • Standard J2EE Environment: ColdFusion Mark-up Language or CMFL is the platform on which ColdFusion applications are developed. It combines all the positive features of Java, XML and SOAP for offering the user the most-friendly development platform. CMFL exists only during development; at runtime ColdFusion apps are pure Java, and are deployed on a J2EE server, like any other Java application. A J2EE server can be both internal and external, and it invokes Java code by compiling CMFL code to the Java bytecode and runs the application. The use of standard J2EE environment offers immense scalability and reliability to the developers, enabling them to develop high performance ColdFusion applications.
  • Innovative features: ColdFusion presents many innovative features to the developers which makes application development in ColdFusion very quick and easy. Such features include asynchronous processing, structured business reports, SMS text messaging, XML or Flash forms, grid, tab, tree & accordion controls, and much more. These innovative features of ColdFusion offer better user experience and help developers in developing richer and more powerful web applications very easily and quickly.
  • Easy integration with other popular Adobe products: Adobe products like Flash player, Acrobat reader and Dreamweaver are immensely popular applications. As ColdFusion is also an Adobe product, it offers easy integration capabilities with other Adobe tools. This helps the developers in developing rich applications with cross-platform running abilities. The integration also provides useful extensions and wizards that help in automatically generating codes, pushing data and synchronizing application. Hence integrated with its fellow Adobe products, makes ColdFusion a complete web application development platform where developers can develop even the most complex applications with ease.
  • Product of a reliable Software company: ColdFusion has been developed and licensed by Adobe, which is a leading global software company with more than 5700 employees worldwide. Adobe products like Flash player, Acrobat reader and Dreamweaver have been deployed on over 600 million desktops and laptops throughout the World. Being a product of such a reliable company, ColdFusion instils confidence in its users even before they start using it. Also, the quality of customer support Adobe delivers to its licensed users is truly incredible.

ColdFusion Consultation and Services

The latest development in ColdFusion has rendered it more popular than ever before. And quite rightly so! It comes with more functionality, security, increased effectiveness, gives a developer the freedom to build additional applications to it or integrate web pages and databases.

ColdFusion Services encompass the following:

coldfusion consultationAdvantages of ColdFusion

  • Aids in faster development of dynamic and robust web applications.
  • Enhanced security for web apps and web services.
  • Compatibility with other platforms such as Linux, UNIX, Windows and Solaris.
  • Gives the choice to incorporate new functionality.
  • Enables application development, CMS development, web portal development, e-commerce development and shopping cart development.

Selecting ColdFusion Development Services

While selecting ColdFusion development services, look for the following skills:

  • Experience and expertise of the team of developers. They must be certified developers well versed with the skill to search for and seek the best possible solutions and quality services and support for your enterprise.
  • The team of programmers/developers should be able to develop customized systems and web applications that suffice your business requirements. They should be conversant with working on a small or large scale project with equal élan.
  • Maintain and adhere to specified guidelines (in terms of style, design and theme of the web site) as well as deadlines of the project, while keeping the client abreast with all the developments from time to time.
  • They must resolve to improve the functionality of the website according to customer needs through sound technical skills and honest dealings.
  • The developers must possess technical knowhow and experience in database layer development with Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL for building 2-tier web applications. They must have experience with ColdFusion Integration (with Flash/Flex) for building 3-tier web applications.
  • Ability to deal with ColdFusion Migration projects for enhancement of applications to higher versions. Not only this, cross-technology migration projects too need to be heeded to which may include cross-technology migration projects, Java to ColdFusion, for instance.
  • Experience in development of ColdFusion custom tags which may be reused in later projects for faster turnaround time.
  • The capability to develop ColdFusion web template development (CFM), ColdFusion Components (CFC) and integration of naive features to your web services.
  • ColdFusion development team for testing of projects developed, including third party testing of already developed ColdFusion applications.

Last, but not the least, with a plethora of companies offering ColdFusion consulting services, it is quite a daunting task to look for the best among them. However, a good consultation services company will always give prompt support for proper maintenance of ColdFusion projects. It is imperative that they have an application support and maintenance team in place.

Check out the projects already taken up by the company. It will give you details about both expertise and experience we earlier mentioned. Well, it is always better to be safe than sorry!

ColdFusion ORM- Check out the latest innovative technology

What is the exact meaning of ORM?

ORM is basically an object relational mapping and in case of ColdFusion, objects are created with the help of CFC. ColdFusion ORM helps in managing persistent through objects and also defined as entities in the ORM context. The persistence part is also managed using the CFCs and their properties with the help of maps to a table in the database. Every property in the persistent CFC maps to a particular column in the table. CFC is also marketed by setting a persistent attribute to the true components. The persistent field in a persistent CFC is defined using ‘cfproperty’. The field or property is usually marked by setting persistent attribute to true on the cfproperty.

CFC property for ORM

The CFC is usually persistent by default, only until and unless these properties are marked as non-persistent property. So, the persistent feature is marked on the property when you want to make them non-persistent. Every persistent CFC in ColdFusion applications maps the tables of databases and every property in the persistent CFC maps to the columns present in the table. The artists and art tables are being used for such purposes as well. They have one-to-many relationship with the Art table.

Benefits of using ORM

  • ORM also provides a bridge between the relational database and the object model.
  • With the help of ORM, you can always access and update data entirely using the object model of the application.
  • ORM also provides features such as Database vendor independence, performance optimization along with caching and concurrency.

How to introduce ColdFusion ORM?

In the initial step you should enable the CRM for the application and define a data source which is to be used. The ColdFusion ORM is also used in application .cfc to determine the specific ORM settings. Some of the simple applications are also taken into account that would enable you to jump start with application development using ColdFusion ORM. These examples also use the cfart gallery data source as part of ColdFusion 9 documentation option with the help of the installer.

Managing databases in ORM

  • Relational databases have really become the core of most of the enterprise applications. So, whenever you map a relational database to the objects, it will really become a challenge. Object relational mapping is a programming framework that helps you in defining a mapping pattern between object model and the relational database. The application objects are not aware of the database structures in case of an object model. These objects also have properties and references to other objects and the database consists of tables with columns that are linked to other tables.
  • The databases are easily achieved by managing relational data using tags like cfquery, cfinsert, and cfupdate, which handles SQL statements. They are also helpful in managing objects with the help of ColdFusion components and object lifecycle using the applications. They are also useful for writing SQL queries for every CFC or the fundamental CRUD that includes Creating, retrieve, updates and delete operations as well.
  • The overall complexity increases as soon as the application grows in the long run. The ColdFusion ORM automates a variety of their tasks that make application code even cleaner and manageable. It also enhances your overall productivity and helps in developing database applications at a faster rate. They will also create an application that usually runs faster because of the built-in ORM optimizations. It will thus minimize the amount of code that you have to write.

Coldfusion Application Development Should Remain the Task of Experienced Hands

There are various purposes that are met with the development of new applications. Coldfusion application development too serves the said fact. If seen in larger interest application development of Coldfusion boosts the efforts of developing the learning systems that are web based. What others stand in the development line due to the same are many online business based applications, e-commerce sites, & many small & large organizations.

It will be interesting to know what Coldfusion actually does to provide a distinct help in pushing our interests ahead. Simple connectivity & intuitive scripting get combined by Coldfusion to the database information and the charting capabilities & built-in-search that stand to be effective. It also simplifies process that involves the publishing on web pages of the database content. What it simply results into is the increase in functionality of the clients in addition to the improved connectivity that too in relation to the web applications.

Many claim to be the best practitioners of Coldfusion application development. Many web development firms & individuals are engaged in the said development. But it remains best on the part of the services seekers to first chart out a questionnaire satisfying his needs in relation to Coldfusion. Then he should put this questionnaire before the practitioners to get best out of them.

Certain technical points about Coldfusion

  • Many sites remain to be Coldfusion driven. It is due to the fact that such sites happen to be very interactive.
  • Coldfusion hardly needs the coding of the programming languages of traditional kind yet it unleashes the flexibility in supporting the traditional techniques & programming constructs.
  • Capacities that are usually tried to be in Coldfusion application development happen to be database commands, formatting functions of high level, & conditional operators.
  • Coldfusion also happens to be an application server.
  • Said application can be developed on rapid pace.
  • Coldfusion also enjoys multithread, scalable & service based architecture.
  • Even intranet & extranet too enjoy the benefits of Coldfusion.

It will remain better if we now recourse towards Coldfusion driven websites for services ranging from search engine optimization to e-commerce.

Customized Coldfusion Report Builder Stands to Be a Unique Adaptation

Reporting gets devised as per the need. Customization is what follows next. What remain interesting are the levels of customization offered. How much technicality of the reporting build up is resolved by customization? Adobe remains to be such entity that helped out many such technicalities through its superb products. The products enlisted in its list range from Photoshop to Captivate. Among them also remains a tool named Coldfusion report builder. This too has brought fascination among the professionals of diverse areas. Fields like Business Analytics have witnessed the changing of the whole gamut of analysis because of the tools like report builder for ColdFusion.

Varied new options of reporting that would have hardly got imagined are in place now. There also exist many hard core professionals that even adapted the said tool of Adobe as per the need.

Lets have a look at the technical adaptations:

Web Application Development of Cold Fusion has facilitated the multi user option, opened the door of connecting it with CMS, document management systems, & software of e-learning.

  • 3 Tier-applications of web have got developed by enmeshing Flash/Flex with Coldfusion.
  • Web applications of 2 Tier are now developed by keeping the tool in tune with database layer development in connection with MySQL, Oracle & SQL server.
  • There remain various versions of Coldfusion report builder like 4.x, 5.x, 6.x, 7.x, 8.x, 9.x but now exist the cherished achievement of migrating from lower version of Coldfusion report builder to higher version of the same.
  • Experienced hands do the work of a juggler in giving the Coldfusion reports in the varied formats like HTML, Flash Paper, PDF, EXCEL, XML & RTF & that too at a fast pace.
  • Prudence in bringing the custom tag development of Coldfusion tool is an admired thing as it will help its users to help attain the reusable, modular & maintainable code.
  • Last remains to be the integration of Coldfusion report builder with .NET & Java.

Such expertise in introducing so many adaptations in the said tool always rest on the patient & sustainable efforts invested in achieving the same. It leads to the selling of the tool like anything & thus increasing the span of its usage.