ColdFusion Request Tuning Settings in Depth

Undoubtedly, the ColdFusion Administrator settings for Request Tuning are critical to performance of Web applications running in the server. While reading the recent Adobe article on Performance Tuning for ColdFusion Applications I was surprised to find the content on this topic to be a little light. With that in mind, I set out to expand on the topic of the Request Tuning settings.

Foundations of ColdFusion Request Settings

To begin, let’s look at how the ColdFusion settings were configured in earlier versions of application server. With the release of ColdFusion MX 6.0 through versions 6.1 and 7, all editions of the ColdFusion server had one setting for Request Limits. This was referred to as the “Simultaneous Requests” setting. This single setting throttled the number of running requests to be processed concurrently. Should the running pool be fully occupied by requests that are processing but haven’t yet completed, the J2EE server underlying ColdFusion will hold requests in a queued request thread pool that are to be fed to the running request pool.

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Recent Tweets for Sat July 25, 2009

Follow me on Twitter!







Fri Jul 24 9:13 PM
Thorough video tutorial for the special requirements of photographing actor headshots @LayersMagazine http://bit.ly/199Sn9 #photog
Fri Jul 24 8:49 PM
@jeffcrossphoto Yeah, @GuyWithCamera he kills me. Gonna tweet him for next week's #photog #FF
Fri Jul 24 8:39 PM
@jeffcrossphoto Yes, but how many #photogs are actually just #gwcam (guy with camera) (@GuyWithCamera)
Fri Jul 24 6:33 PM
@jshapiro1109 Thanks for the hint. I can't help myself from deconstructing things. :D #AdobeWave
Fri Jul 24 6:30 PM
The company that laidoff my wife in March just went bankrupt and laid the rest off, but severance checks are bouncing now. #whew #epix #pharmaceuticals


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Realtime ColdFusion Blog Notifications with Adobe Wave

Receive real time notifications for updates on the blog aggregator ColdFusionBloggers.org with Adobe Wave. Just navigate to the ColdFusionBloggers website and click the badge in the lower right for Get alerts with Adobe Wave. Built on Adobe AIR, you can now use Adobe Wave as a single application to receive all your notifications in one place. Adobe Wave runs as a desktop application that sits in a corner of your screen.

The ColdFusion Bloggers website is created and maintained by the ubiquitous, prolific, and super nice guy Ray Camden, ColdFusion Jedi Master. Ray was among the very first to utilize Adobe Wave for the benefit of the ColdFusion community of developers.



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Recent Tweets for Friday July 17, 2009

Follow me on Twitter!

Fri Jul 17 1:15 AM
@scouten Fascinating! BTW, if u ever need LR3 beta testers, sign me up. (I won the Adobe contest for most bugs logged against PS Express)
Fri Jul 17 12:59 AM
@ashumittal Feeling a lot like Thursday night here! ;-)
Fri Jul 17 12:52 AM
@scouten Yikes! Didn't know that. A 4 year dev cycle must have been grueling (but finally rewarding)
Fri Jul 17 12:43 AM
@scouten Wasn't Lightroom 1 released Feb 2007? Macr/Adobe deal closed Dec 2005. Well, as Flex dev, my fingers are crossed for MXML in LR3
Fri Jul 17 12:37 AM
@scouten What got me thinking was PatchPanel which enables Flex developers to write plugins for CS4. WIshing could do that with Lightroom.
Fri Jul 17 12:33 AM
Passing the night by watching @benforta videos on ColdFusion 9 (again) http://bit.ly/Qz4Yv




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Recent Tweets for Fri July 10, 2009







Fri Jul 10 1:57 PM
Happy Friday! A few backlogged portraits updated. Lydia and Ms Asphyxia http://flic.kr/p/6DDjss http://flic.kr/p/6DDjt3 #photog
Fri Jul 10 12:59 PM
@remotesynth Nice, I didn't even know Cringely was still writing columns since he parted with PBS. I used to read them every week.
Fri Jul 10 12:41 PM
@chrisadragna This is old news since Labs was first published under Macromedia. Wiki was a canned app, and a better one in CF didn't exist
Fri Jul 10 12:38 PM
New Portrait: Twelve Feet (@tangon) #photog #photo http://flic.kr/p/6DBkmU (posting again for Left Coast peeps just waking up)
Fri Jul 10 12:05 PM
According to @klout, I'm influential to these peeps: @stevei @claymgarrett @styggiti @coldfusionPaul @ranarula. http://bit.ly/14VD7D
Fri Jul 10 11:45 AM
@photonconcepts Thanks for the #FF!
Fri Jul 10 10:51 AM
New Portrait: Twelve Feet (@tangon) #photog #photo http://flic.kr/p/6DBkmU
Fri Jul 10 9:54 AM
Oh no, Geocities is closing. Sniff. That was my first place on the web back in 1994. I'm gonna miss my blink tags.
Thu Jul 09 10:03 PM
According to @klout, I'm influenced by these peeps: @demirkapi @ryanstewart @cfjedimaster @reboog711 @jeffcrossphoto. http://bit.ly/14VD7D
Thu Jul 09 9:16 PM
If my brain were as big as @pfreitag's I would be serious danger of having my head explode into a million bits




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I'm Twittering This! or Dude, Where's My Blog?

As you may have noticed, TalkingTree.com blog is rather barren these days. I find that while I work, while I relax at home (that is when I'm not working at home), or even when I'm mobile I'm nearly always using Twitter, and less so Facebook.

Unless you've been living under a rock you've heard of Twitter by now. If you're still not sure, Twitter is a bit like group chat where you post a short summary of what you're doing or what's on your mind, and other people that are interested can reply. While I'm not going to explain Twitter fully here -- you can find that on Twitter.com -- it can be very useful for sharing up to date information about a particular interest with lots of other people that share that interest. Most of my Tweeps fall into one of several interest groups... There's those interested in Photography, those interested in Web Technology, and those that happen to otherwise be friends or family. There are several applications you can use to watch Twitter updates. My favorite for use on a computer is TweetDeck, and on my iPhone I use Twitterific. One reason to love using an iPhone with Twitterrific is that I can be anywhere, shopping, getting a haircut, or at a conference and have the ability to take a cell phone picture for upload to Twitter with a brief description about what's going on.

Twitter and Facebook are such interesting places to socialize online while sharing information that I've neglected my blog for quite some time. To address that problem, I'll be posting summaries of recent Tweets to my blog here where you can catch up on some of the things I've been talking about. Although, this is a bit like sitting next to someone that's on the phone since my Tweets here are only half the conversation some time. To get the full benefit of Twitter you really have to follow both sides of the conversation.

To accomplish updating this blog with my Tweets, I whipped up a quick ColdFusion script to pull in my Twitter RSS feed and convert to HTML with all usernames and URLs converted to actual links. I'll next try to automate this so that my blog gets regularly updated with my Twitter summaries.

Of course, if you're already on Twitter, Follow Me, and on Facebook Add Me as a Friend.

How to read tweets

  • If a tweet begins with an at sign, its a username, like @JoeSchmoe. Its at the beginning because I'm replying to something that Joe Schmoe tweeted earlier.
  • If a @username appears later in the tweet but not at the beginning, then i'm refering to that user, like Hey, did you see that cool widget that @JoeSchmoe built?
  • If a tweet begins with RT, that means Re-Tweet, and its kinda like holding up a megaphone. On Twitter you Follow or subscribe to certain people, and in turn other people follow you. The people that subscribe to your tweets may not be following the people that you subscribe to. So by retweeting someone that you subscribe to, you are amplifying that persons tweet by broadcasting to all the people that subscribe to you. Confused yet? If your subscribers are interested in the retweet, they may then follow that original person (a.k.a tweep or twit).
  • If a tweet has a word beginning with a pound sign like #photog, that's called a hashtag. Hashtags are used as labels to identify a topic for your tweet. Later people can search by hashtags to see tweets from everyone that talked about that topic. In this case, #photog means the tweet is about photography or a photographer. This in contrast to #photo without the last 'g' and it is used for tweets about a particular photo.


Recent Tweets for Mon June 29, 2009



Mon Jun 29 10:09 PM
2 nights in a row my son doesn't want to sleep coz he's not feeling well. Long nights of frequent rocking, not much sleep for me.
Mon Jun 29 4:45 PM
@JoshuaCurtiss Pretty sure it was CF5 -> CF6 w/ the J2EE conversion. I was on the team at Macromedia that reviewd poss bkwds compat issues
Mon Jun 29 4:39 PM
@jlamoree Holy cow, a fradulent Lactating Lesbians infringement claim from Cream Ridge, NJ. That just, em, *sucks*!
Mon Jun 29 12:52 PM
@jonbcampos Apache XSL-FO http://bit.ly/Xrhar


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Flex Builder 3: Serial Number is Invalid

Last week I applied for the Free Flex Builder 3 For Unemployed Developers so that I could build Flex applications on my new Mac Book Pro, and in two short days I received an email with my new Professional edition license key.

I had been using the trial version of Flex Builder 3, which had been installed from my Mac administrative account. Upon entering the new serial number I was greeted with a contradictory message in the Flex Builder 3 Activation dialog:



Current License: Professional Edition - Educational
Serial Number is Invalid



Flex Builder determined that it was a Professional Edition license key, but then indicated that the number was invalid, complete with a green check mark indicating it was valid. That doesn't make any sense at all.

I suspected that problem was somehow with permissions so I did a bit of Googling to find this recent post on the official Adobe Flex Team Blog which indicated at least that the Flex Builder license should be stored at:

/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Flex/license.properties


However, when I examined my file system I discovered that the Adobe directory did not contain a Flex subdirectory, and therefore no license.properties file.

To test permissions, I then launched Flex Builder with the sudo command to permit Flex Builder to run with root privileges. My assumption was that when I ran Flex Builder with my regular administrative account it was not able to write the license file to disk, and starting FB with sudo should allow it to do so. You can see that when run as sudo, Flex Builder wrote the license file to disk with the user and group of root / admin.

view plain print about
1sudo /Applications/Adobe Flex Builder 3/Flex Builder.app/Contents/MacOS/FlexBuilder
2ls -l /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Flex
3-rw-r--r-- 1 root admin 114 Apr 8 17:06 license.properties




I was pleased to find out that this was in fact the problem, and Flex Builder now accepted my license and indicated that it was Professional Edition and valid.



Differences in the Flex SDK: Open Source vs Built-in

A brief note regarding a difference in the Flex SDK of the same version depending on how it was obtained.

I have Flex Builder Professional installed which shipped with Flex SDK 3.0 as the highest version. I wanted to update it to use the latest Flex SDK so I went to opensource.adobe.com, downloaded the latest stable build of 3.2, and unzipped it next to my existing 3.0 SDK. In Flex Builder under my project properties I then added 3.2 SDK as a new Flex compiler option, and set the project to use the 3.2 version.

Everything was going fine until I went to use charting I discovered that FB couldn't find the component implementations of things like mx:PieChart.

I later realized that the downloadable Flex SDK 3.2 is different from the Flex SDK 3.0 that shipped in Flex Builder in a rather broad way having nothing to do with version number. The open source SDK does not contain the subdirectory fbpro/ which includes "Data Visualization" components for AdvancedDataGrid and Charting.

It would have been my expectation that the SDK bits of any specific version would always be identical, and that a license key would unlock functionality not available to those without a license, siimilar to how the bits for ColdFusion Enterprise are identical to ColdFusion Standard, and your license determines the available feature set. However, this is not the case with Flex.

Upon updating Flex Builder to 3.02, I confirmed it installed a new Flex SDK 3.2 with it (yes, the versioning of the two products is confusingly similar unfortunately). A diff of the directory structure for that 3.2 SDK against the open source 3.2 SDK proved that fbpro/ was only present in the one that shipped with FB.

So, the only way to update your SDK *and* get the Advanced DataGrid and Charting components is to update your Flex Builder to get the built-in SDK. Even if your are using a licensed FB Pro, the open source SDK does not provide all the functionality that your Pro license entitles you to. There was no warning about this difference on the open source site when I went back to research the issue. A big blinking warning would have been helpful.


UPDATE I tweeted a brief rant about how to do this with useful links:

Adobe shud b MUCH clearer abt how 2 get Flex datavisualization comps for newer SDK. Not here http://bit.ly/HGhf4, Here: http://bit.ly/1BYjx

Christmas Eve Service makes Front Page Photo

Choir at Candlelight Service A couple weeks ago a friend at the First Parish Photography Club suggested the idea of photographing an outdoor, candlelight service on Christmas Eve in Concord, Massachusetts. As a recent graduate of the Professional Digital Photography program at the Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University, I embraced the opportunity as a means of practicing real event photography, a genre of its own requiring distinct skills apart from other types of photography.

This event was the first outdoor service in the 300+ year history of the First Parish, due to ongoing renovations this year. Historically as many as four services are held there on Christmas Eve, having as many as 500 attendees per service. This made planning a bit of a challenge because the number of attendees could range anywhere from a hundred to perhaps a thousand.

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Perspective on ColdFusion's Big Question (TM)

Just wanted to share a reply I made on GetSatisfaction to provide a historical perspective to the question "What really is the future of ColdFusion?". Before you ask what the future holds, its good to look back to see where ColdFusion has been since its inception in 1995.



CFMX 7 (released Feb 2005) was the release where product adoption saw the first major boost since the "MX" overhaul. Since CFMX 6 (released June 2002, in a down economy) was a re-architecture in Java/J2EE from the earlier CF5 (released May 2001) written in C++, there were few new features introduced and there was an associated learning curve now that the product had a Java foundation.

Problems in the re-architecture surfaced, slowing new adoption of CFMX6, leading to the point release 6.1 (released July 2003) which for the most part corrected all the issues and restored the waning product reputation.

ColdFusion MX 7 was a feature rich release, which attracted many new developers, most of whom had begun to grok CFCs and Java integration. The post 9/11 economy had generally recovered as well, adding to an increase in technology spending.

With most product release cycles, there's a decline in sales or tail at the end, and ColdFusion 8 (released August 2007) saw another major boost in adoption over the tail as it too was a feature rich release that provided solutions to many contemporary problems in Web Dev.

Frankly, IMO, nearly all negative connotations (i.e. "Legacy Software") about the ColdFusion Web Application Server are due to anachronistic experiences with earlier versions of the product in the mid/late 90's. Those opinions seem to be expressed from developers that are less familiar with the revisions and enhancements found in recent ColdFusion versions. (Case in point)

[Added note: The easy learning curve, weak typing, and case-insensitivity in the product are among some factors that may have been conducive to poor programming practices... i.e. give them enough rope to hang themselves, so to speak. Does anyone remember memory corruption from not locking shared scope variables? That whole conundrum went away with CFMX]

Personally, I think ColdFusion is a fantastic product and I love using it. It has an extensive, contemporary tag library on a stable Java base and Web application development time can be short and sweet due to its perpetual focus on RAD.

ColdFusion 9 is well known to be underway and will further address solutions to where technology is going. Furthermore, risk due to proprietary software is mitigated by the release of third party CFML engines which can provide a core of language features if not the full, rich diversity of language found in Adobe's product.


To throw in a plug for myself, I'm currently seeking full time, permanent employment in the greater Boston area. See: Adobe Expert Seeking ColdFusion / Flex Dev or QA

View Steven Erat's profile on LinkedIn

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