Dave Mendels on the future of ColdFusion at Adobe

For those who have been wondering about ColdFusion at Adobe, Ben Forta just posted about a CFDJ interview between the editor Simon Horwith and Adobe's Dave Mendels, formerly the VP of the Macromedia server business unit, now the SVP of Adobe's new Enterprise & Developer Solutions business unit that encompasses ColdFusion MX, JRun, Flex, and now the LiveCycle J2EE applications.

Where's ColdFusion Headed Under Adobe?
Simon Horwith Speaks With David Mendels, SVP of Adobe's New Enterprise and Developer Solutions Business Unit

The full article is worth your time, but in brief here are a few of the talking points:

  • Adobe and Macromedia products are primarily complementary, not overlapping, especially the server products
  • Adobe is completely behind the future of ColdFusion, and plans for ColdFusion 8 (Scorpio), are still going strong
  • The ColdFusion engineering team is examining how to integrate Adobe's J2EE LiveCycle products with ColdFusion
  • ColdFusion is still engineered and guided by people who have been already been doing for Allaire & Macromedia
  • Adobe expects to continue listening and working with to the ColdFusion enterprise and developer communities

Discovering the Adobe Bloggers

My view of the web technology world has been almost exclusively through the lens of two blog aggregators, MXNA and Full As A Goog. To my surprise, several new faces have turned up on MXNA today... native bloggers from Adobe itself. I didn't even know Adobe did blogging, so I'm pretty happy to know about this now.

The MXNA category Macromedia has been renamed to Adobe (formerly Macromedia), and now includes notable Adobe gurus such as:

This blog, TalkingTree.com, now shows up on the MXNA Adobe category. I choose to run my own domain and site independently, and I've never experienced any pressure to move my blog to the macromedia.com domain, especially since I blog a lot of personal material here as well, although my posts are largely about ColdFusion.

So check out blogs.adobe.com!!,... now if we can only convince the Adobe bloggers to start using the Jedi-grade BlogCFC.

Hello Adobe!

Since the announcement Thursday evening, the blogosphere has been saturated with speculations, musings, tributes, and congratulations about the Adobe merger with Macromedia. As a former Macromedia (and Allaire) employee, I'm personally excited that today is Day One for me at Adobe, and I can finally say so!

Although, it turns out that in the office Day One is not much different than any other day for me from a practical point of view. Its business as usual here in Newton. My same customers calling for support, the same ColdFusion community members IM-ing me, and the voices of my same colleagues echoing in the hallway.

So what am I excited about? Well, I get to work for the 13th best company in the US, according to Fortune Magazine, where if you consider only software companies, Adobe comes out as #1. For another, for 7 years I've been a big fan of Adobe Photoshop. I know it better than Jasc PaintShop Pro or The Gimp, or even Fireworks. Now I can approach Photoshop as a professional rather than just a hobbyist, and I look forward to more opportunities to learn the many features in Photoshop CS and CS2. I also get to watch ColdFusion evolve closer integration with Adobe products including not just PDF generation but their server technology as well. When Macromedia acquired Allaire who would have imagined Flex or Flash Forms or Flash Remoting, so imagine what the future holds for ColdFusion under the auspice of Adobe. Yet ColdFusion is still guided by and supported by many of the same passionate folks that have been doing so since the days of Allaire.

Like Jared said,... Yes, I'm psyched. Here's to another 10 years, folks!

Adobe Merges with Macromedia

Got Work? Solve ColdFusion Problems for Fun and Money

For those seeking employment in the Eastern Massachusetts area, there is a job opening for an Escalation Coldfusion Product Support Engineer, described as:

We are looking for a member of the ColdFusion Technical Support team to function as a Tier 3 (escalation) engineer. This is a senior-level technical position and the support delivered in this role is in English only. The product set being supported is associated with internet web applications. Client Server offerings include ColdFusion and JRun. ColdFusion is a HTML Tag based, proprietary server that works with databases and delivers dynamic contact to browser based users. JRun is a J2EE application server that runs applications based on industry standard JSP pages and/or Servlets. Other related technical skills include: Web Services, Java Literacy, dbms and SQL knowledge, LDAP, and general web application development and deployment.

The job posting is on Dice.com through a third party recruiter, although I'm not sure why its not listed on the Macromedia.com website. I was once in this escalation role for a year before I moved to "Gold" Support, and its definitely challenging. Are you up to it?

Please defer salary inquiries for the recruiter.

Controlling the ports used by the webserver configuration utility

The wsconfig utility that installs the webserver connector for ColdFusion MX tries to establish TCP connections to the JRun server on two ports for the installation process, the JNDI port and the RMI port. Here's how to control both.

First it will scan the port range 2900 - 3000 to find out whats listening, then it will begin to connect to each active port discovered in that range starting at 2900. The target port is referred to as the JNDI port that the JRun server listens on. A server's JNDI port is defined in jndi.properties such as with the following setting

Second, upon successful communication with the JRun server on the JNDI port, the JRun server will instruct wsconfig to complete the second half of the communication on the RMI port. By default, this is a high *random* port. So this is where most Linux folks running a firewall go wrong. They allow for the JNDI port but don't know about the high random port for RMI.

This two part process is described in more detail in my blog post Tracing wsconfig with Ethereal Network Analyzer.


XMLSearch() function works when qualifying a noname namespace

I saw a recent post that expressed concern that a XMLSearch bug in ColdFusion MX 6/7 still has not been fixed in ColdFusion MX 7.01. I think its just a misunderstanding about how to reference namespaces, specifically the no-name namespace, and in fact there is no such bug.

To back up, I learned about this special case from a blog entry by Pete Freitag where Sean Corfield proposed the solution in the comments, so my blog entry here is just a reiteration of that solution.

To begin, consider the following XML Document, test.xml:

view plain print about
2 xmlns="http://ns.r-xml.org/2004-08-02"
3 xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
4 userId="TMTest01">

5<!-- Example of Search Status results -->
6 <ProviderReferenceId>
7     <IdValue>204</IdValue>
8 </ProviderReferenceId>


How ColdFusion Receives and Processes Requests.

Here's another post I made to the internal forum for my class on Database Design where I describe how requests are handled by ColdFusion and how the webserver connector works in general. Reposting here in case anyone finds it useful.


A question was asked in yesterday's class regarding the difference between making requests to the Apache port versus the ColdFusion port.

Effectively, the answer is that there is no difference for the purpose of this class.

ColdFusion MX has a built-in webserver that can be used in lieu of an external, production-quality webserver like Apache, Iplanet, or IIS. The default for this built-in webserver is port 8500, 8501, or 8300 depending on the type of installation and CF version, and that port is configurable.


Regarding looping by CFOUTPUT

In my Database Design class last night, the use of ColdFusion was introduced to the other students, and I posted the following message on the internal forum. I'm reposting here in case it helps anyone else new to ColdFusion.


Just to clarify the use of CFOUTPUT in the 11/15 class...

There were two examples of CFOUTPUT operating on a query result set in the handout.

In the earlier example it was demonstrated that a query which returned only one row could be output by nesting references to the queryname.column inside a CFOUTPUT tag. When CFOUTPUT is used without any attributes in the opening tag its behavior is to just evaluate ColdFusion variables to their values that are between it and the closing CFOUTPUT tag. So I could perform a simple addition such as [CFSET sum = 1 + 2> followed by [CFOUTPUT>#sum#[/CFOUTPUT> and the resulting output would be 3. This output gets added to the generated content buffer for the HTTP Response and eventually gets sent back to the browser for display.


ColdFusion MX Resource List for Database Driven Web Apps

Recently I had a need to compile a broad, and up to date list of ColdFusion MX resources to help get started building database driven web applications, so I'll share that here. I'm not including recent resources such as ARF! and ColdFusion on Wheels because while I think they are fantastic projects they reside on the advanced end of the developer's spectrum.

Resources on Macromedia.com

Building Your First ColdFusion MX Database-Driven Web Application (Demo)
  • Part 1 Create a new ColdFusion site in Dreamweaver MX 2004
  • Part 2 Use the new ColdFusion MX 7 extensions for Dreamweaver to create a new ColdFusion data source.
  • Part 3 Retrieve records from a database and display them in an HTML table.
  • Part 4 Create a basic master/detail page with dynamic data.
  • Part 5 Create a ColdFusion component to make data reusable and more flexible.
  • Part 6 Add a new function to the CFC for parameter-driven queries.

Other Resources

Macromedia Devnet Article on CFEclipse by Rob Rohan

Today, the Macromedia Developers Center published what I believe is the first article by Rob Rohan on -- what else? -- CFEclipse. The article is a great resource for anyone not already familiar with the CFEclipse project since it covers Introduction, History, Features, and how to pitch in on this Open Source project backed by Macromedia. Many of you in the ColdFusion Community know that Rob is a founder of the project that began almost two years ago.

CFEclipse for ColdFusion Developers

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