Day one of CFUNITED is winding down, although a networking event is still to come this evening. So far its been a blockbuster event with Flex 2 and ColdFusion MX 7.02 integration taking center stage. The big news you know by now since the blogosphere is saturated with today's highlights, but a short list would include:

  • Flex 2 Released: The Flex 2 SDK is FREE and does not require a server backend. Flex 2 can integrate with any HTTP or SOAP-based Webservice back end.
  • Flex 2 Data Server Released: FDS provides back end data services over RTMP (Real Time Messaging Protocol) for publish/subscribe messaging with Flash/Flex frontend GUIs. There is even a free version of FDS available for use on a single CPU.
  • ColdFusion MX 7.02 Released: ColdFusion is a preferred back end data provider and gateway for Flex 2 front ends
  • Flex Builder 2 Released: Based on Eclipse, Flex Builder has code generation wizards, visual development, and debugging
  • Jason Delmore, the new ColdFusion Product Manager shared a peek at a couple ColdFusion 8 (Scorpio) features at the alpha stage including CFPDFFORM to generate PDF forms with pre-filled information, and the ability to extract information from PDFs, and also dynamically generated Breeze presentations from ColdFusion with CFPRESENTATION.
  • He's Baaa...aaack: Tim Buntel returns to Adobe as Senior Marking Product Manager for ColdFusion


I've had a chance to connect with many of the ColdFusion bloggers again, including Ray Camden, Rob Brooks-Bilson, Mark Drew, Andy Alan, Simeon Bateman, Joe Rinehart, Jeff Coughlin, and Sandy Clark. Mark Drew spent a great deal of time at the Adobe booth explaining the current and future plans for CFEclipse, and he introduced me to a feature that's been in the plugin for a while already, the FTP file browser. Mark also said that he's been running Flex Builder 2 (beta) plugin on Eclipse 3.2, a surprise to me because the System Requirements refer only to support for 3.1.

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On CFEclipse news, there's been a rumor afloat that a vendor (Fusion-Reactor?) will be releasing a ColdFusion debugging plugin for Eclipse, so keep an eye out for more news on that.

I met Oguz Demirkapi from the Turkish CFUG for the first time, as he was hanging out at the Teratech booth while resting his overworked camera and index finger. Oguz and many others will be posting pix to Flickr, so check for the CFUNITED tag there.

One customer who runs a small ISP in Chicago alerted me to several concerns regarding ColdFusion sandbox security including an issue where Datasource names referred to in code must match the case the names are listed in the CFAdmin Sandbox Datasource tab, where ColdFusion is largely case insensitive. She also pointed that for CFDOCUMENT pdf generation a sandbox must be granted READ permission on the OS's fonts directory such as Windows/System32/fonts.

Another customer suggested that ColdFusion 8 include support for tight integration with large eCommerce website APIs like EBay, Amazon, and PayPal. I pointed out some non-Adobe solutions like CFCBookKit from Cameron Childress or PayPalMX from Jared Rypka-Hauer (Congrats on the homefront, dude!).

Sandy Clark made a good case for adding accessibility options for dynamically generated PDF forms, something especially helpful for developers focussing on Federal Government customers.

Michael Dinowitz, one of the sharpest and most talented ColdFusion developers I know of, excitedly shared the Google Analytics stats for House of Fusion with me to demonstrate the dramatic rise in unique visitors, a half million in the last six months. He credits the jump in website traffic to ColdFusion's improved identity now that it bears the Adobe brand name. Michael explained that Google Analytic's visitor data was much more accurate than other traffic monitors such as SiteMeter because Google is very strict to eliminate clicks that might come from automated robots or spiders.

Judith Dinowitz was equally as animated to introduce me to the Fusion Authority Quarterly Update, the only printed publication focussed entirely on ColdFusion (since Simon Horwith announced plans to diversify product focus in CFDJ). The 5x9" magazine weighs heavy in the hand and this first edition if packed full of articles from authors such as Ray Camden, Matt Woodward, Kay Smoljak and more. See FusionAuthority.com for more.

Late this afternoon I had a chance to hear Nahuel Foronda and Laura Arguello from ASFusion present. They provided a clear overview of Flex 2 while also providing a complete demonstration of how easy it can be to build a Flex 2 application in Flex Builder 2 while integrating with ColdFusion as a back end. Their on-stage antics while debating exactly whom should do the talking made the session fun to watch. Here's more on their presentation.

This is Brian Rinaldi's first CFFUN/CFUnited conference, and he thinks the networking opportunities alone make this conference worth attending. There's still two more days left of the main conference venue (with repeat talks on Saturday), and my voice is already going since I've been talking with Adobe customers for close to six hours today. Oh, and the Bethesda North Marriott is an incredible hotel, a beautiful, expansive, and very hospitable venue.

Well, that networking event is going on now, so I'll wrap up here for the moment. Maybe I can find Ryan Stewart again to hear more about his backpacking adventures, too. Thursday, tomorrow, there will be a CFLive Breeze show live from the exhibit hall floor at 12:30 noon (US/Eastern) where Michael Smith and other speakers will share some news and conference events.