CFUnited Blog

Pre-Conference Class Instructor Change -CF's AJAX Advantage

Jared Rypka-Hauer is unable to teach the pre-conference class on Tuesday June 17th. In his place Scott Stroz will be instructing this class.

To register go to:

CU238 Scott Stroz ColdFusion's AJAX Advantage

How to make the most of ColdFusion 8's EXT2 integration

ColdFusion 8 has some great AJAX widgets built in, but there's far more available than simply what's available via the ColdFusion API. Behind that API is a rich and very extensive set of tools from the EXT JavaScript AJAX library. Come to this class to get tools, tips and tricks for leveraging some of the power of EXT in your applications. We will go over various APIs for the EXT objects that ColdFusion exposes directly (like the grid object) as well as some of the supporting objects that make the EXT framework so powerful.

CFUnited ColdFusion Celebration Location

CFUnited Attendees are invited to attend a private viewing of the new Crime and Punishment museum in downtown Washington DC. We will have free admission for every attendee including food and open bar. This museum is full of interactive fun and interesting view of our nation's history of crime and punishment. There's even a section on Computer Crime. Wonder what that's all about! There are FBI simulations, a carnival shootout, and even a crime scene investigation label. Its hours of fun and you can experience with hundreds of other community members.

Thank you to our advisory board for encouraging this venue as the perfect location for attendees to take a break and have lots of fun. Occurs Thursday June 19th at 7:00pm and is within walking distance of the convention center.

This event is Sponsored by Adobe, Carahsoft, TeraTech, PaperThin, and HostMySite. Thank you for your support!

Adobe ColdFusion Survey and Scavenger Hunt

We have a new quick survey for everyone in the community to participate in. The results will be shared directly with Adobe and the general public. We want to know what version of ColdFusion you are using now. Plus a few questions to help us prepare for the conference.

Answer all 8 questions by June 11th and be entered in a raffle to win a brand new iTouch!

Happy hunting and thanks for sharing this important information with Adobe and CFUnited!

CFUnited interview: Automating the build/ deployment process with ANT with Marc Esher

We are here with Marc Esher on Automating the build/ deployment process with ANT

What is ANT?

Marc: ANT is a java-based build tool, but you don't need to know java and its usefulness for CF developers extends beyond just "building" an application. It has

Why is your session important for attendees?

Marc: When I first encountered ANT back in the early 2000s, I was somewhat intimidated. After using it, though, I realized there's nothing to be afraid of. It might look verbose because it's XML, but you learn to read and write ant files quickly. And when you do.... what a time saver!

I hope to demystify ANT, and also show just how powerful it is. My session will be spent largely exploring different build files, moving from the common operations like copying and zipping and building on them toward a full-featured build file for a reasonably complex piece of software with code living in multiple locations. I intend to show some tips and tricks and some gotchas. The great thing though, at least I think so, will be the copious examples. And the presentation, once it's posted, will have even more.... an appendix of ant files for doing neat stuff.

I really believe that single-click application packaging  and potentially even single-click deployments -- is attainable for most CF Shops!

What kind of experience with ANT is required to attend your session?

Marc: None, although the people who have at least a cursory understanding of ANT will robably benefit more immediately than others. Folks who spent just the time to watch this would be better off in my presentation. I'll be doing a short "intro to ant", and it'll start with simple tasks like copying and zipping, but it's going to shift into overdrive after that.

I think that folks brand new to ANT will take away more "You can do that????". And then, when they go back to work, try it out, get some familiarity -- and go download the presentation to get the examples -- they'll be ready for the harder stuff.

What are some of the issues that you will be addressing?

Marc: To start, Copying and zipping files -- your standard ANT stuff for moving code to different servers or packaging it for deployment. Then we'll get into FTP, Subversion, executing operating system commands, talking to databases, and using ScriptDef for creating ColdFusion-like functions right in your ANT files. I'll be showing some neat stuff with "conditions" and "selectors" for powerful file system comparisons. I'll even show how you can use some external ANT libraries for, say, querying the database for a list of deployment servers, looping over that query and deploying an app to each each of those servers.

This sounds like a lot, and it is. I hope to whet people's appetites for what can be done with ANT in a few lines of XML. But it won't cover each of these topics exhaustively -- there just isn't enough time in a single session to do that. However...the nice thing is that since I'm in the last time slot, anyone who wants to talk more about ANT -- from the beginner to the advanced -- can just stay later!

Speakers getting ready for CFUnited - Part III

We asked a few questions to find out what our speakers are up to prior to their trip to CFUnited.


Brian Meloche

What are you looking forward to?

Brian: CFUNITED is one of the few times I ever see some of my good ColdFusion developer friends. It's been four years since I attended a CFUNITED (back then, it was called CFUN), so I am interested to see how much it has changed since then.

A recent hot topic your interested in?

Brian: Well, there are several for me. I was at cf.Objective() and a lot of us asked Adobe for many new things in CF 9. I am hoping we'll get a sneak peek of what they have coming and hopefully some of what we've asked for and maybe a few cool things we haven't! I am also looking forward to seeing how Open BlueDragon is going, maybe even see if it's out in full release by then.

Has your presentation changed?

Brian: A little. I originally called my presentation Promoting ColdFusion Outside of the ColdFusion Community, but with Open BlueDragon, I have renamed it Promoting CFML outside of the CFML Community to separate ColdFusion the product with the language. Otherwise, it's about the same.

Beer of choice if someone wants to buy you a drink.

Brian: Well, I usually don't drink all that much when I'm home, believe it or not... so I'm just happy to take whatever you'll give me!!! I'm not fussy!!! :-)


John Farrar

What are you looking forward to?

John: I am looking forward to: + meeting new CFers + learning from others (and not just the speakers) + sharing some community work we have been involved in

A recent hot topic your interested in?

John: + D2O IDE for COOP

Has your presentation changed?

John: The CF & jQuery presentation has had the jQuery UI added to examples.

The Traffic Optimization has shifted from just being a presentation to being a project at for the whole community to share the benefits.

Beer of choice if someone wants to buy you a drink.

John: I like Root Beer and my views on other beers are known to be antisocial. :)


Luis Majano

What are you looking forward to?

Luis: My first CF United experience. I feel like a kid in a candy store.

A recent hot topic your interested in?

Luis: CodexWiki is in private beta and will be revealed to the world by CF United as the first ColdFusion Enterprise Wiki built on ColdBox and Transfer

Has your presentation changed?

Luis: Yes, it now includes all the features of ColdBox 2.6.0

Beer of choice if someone wants to buy you a drink. Heineken, of Course.


Matt Woodward

What are you looking forward to?

Matt: I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again! I'm actually missing my high school reunion for CFUnited but when I mentioned this fact to Liz, she made the very good point that this basically is a reunion.

A recent hot topic

Matt: Open BlueDragon. There's tons of activity and buzz around Open BlueDragon since the unveiling earlier this month.

Has your presentation changed?

Matt: It's always changing a bit! No major changes though.

Beer of choice if someone wants to buy you a drink.

Matt: Guinness all the way.

CF Meetup: ColdFusion and Flex, with Dale Fraser

CF Meetup: ColdFusion and Flex, with Dale Fraser

Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 6:00 PM

Meeting URL:

Organized by Charlie Arehart

Description: So how hard is it to write Flex applications that utilise ColdFusion components? It?s actually very easy, easier than you might think. One of the reasons for giving this talk is that I initially found it hard to get my head around how it would work, how to configure it all and looked at it and then put it aside a few times. >From doing this I have learnt what I think is the easiest way to get ColdFusion & Flex configured to work together, this is what I will be demonstrating.

I?ll show the basics of configuration (Flex Builder and some setup of CF), then will show and discuss several forms of integration: remote objects, remoting & binding, and using queries, arrays, structures, and objects/CFCs.

To learn more visit

A District Live Music Guide

"Attention CFUnited Attendees: A District Live Music Guide" by Matt Weiss.

If you have any questions for Matt, feel free to contact him at [email protected] He is one of TeraTech's Marketing Interns and comes to us with a background in promotions with DC clubs, musicians, and bands. We've had some attendees inquire about what to do in DC when it comes to live music.

Original Posted at

If you're in town for the conference and looking for some good live music, there's heaps of places to check out. The easiest to find are jazz clubs or punk clubs, the two things DC historically does best. I'll give you a quick summary of the DC scene.

The U St/African American Memorial/Cordozo metro stop is walking distance to a bunch of great venues, including Black Cat, a gritty punk venue ( which the week of the conference will have Dan Deacon on Wednesday, Grupo Fantasma and a Big 80's dance party on Saturday, and Cloak/Dagger on Sunday. That metro stop is also RIGHT near the world famous 930 club ( which sadly only has two shows listed right now for that weekend, those being Abba on wednesday and thursday, and Fish on Sunday. That metro stop is right near the Velvet Lounge, a small punkish lounge, also, which always has great local music ( as is the DC9 if you like really ratty really small dives. Also, U stree is famous for it's excellent Jazz Clubs. You can easily walk up and down just to find a place to sit up and sip, listening to good tunes. Bohemian Caverns is DC's largest jazz club and has had the biggest names in jazz play there (Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, etc.) so that's definitely a safe bet ( The other jazz bars on U street are Twins Jazz ( U-Topia ( and a host of others. Little farther down is Saint Ex Cafe, which is pretty small, and amazes me that they can fit even a drumset in there,

Adams Morgan area is not exactly next to a metro stop, but there are enough bars and clubs on the 3 or so blocks that incorporate it that it is easy to spend the whole night there. In Adams Morgan, Asylum has live bands with no cover on Fridays (, and Club Heaven (located right above Club Hell) has the city's best 80's dance party every Thursday.

H Street, the so-called Atlas District, is just recently blowing up in NorthEast. The Rock and Roll Hotel (not actually a hotel) ( is a quaint little place which hosts nationally famous indie rock acts and homegrown heroes. The actual "venue" part of it is small, so make sure you get there early to see any of the bands, and don't forget to check out the upstairs bar with poster relics all over the walls and flying guitars above your head. Shows playing during the conference haven't been posted yet. Also on H Street is The Red and Black ( which is a small place which holds local artists in a New Orleans style setting.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, there's tons of places to go in the city without spending a lot of money. This should get you started.

CFUnited interview: John Farrar, author of ColdFusion 8 Developer Tutorial

We are here with John Farrar, author of "ColdFusion 8 Developer Tutorial"

John, you just completed your new book "ColdFusion 8 Developer Tutorial". What inspired you to write it?

John: We wanted a book that covered the topic for both beginners and those who are moving up to the new language. We didn't want to cover all the topics because that would take multiple books. Rather we choose to focus on building a good foundation for new CFML developers and then showing how to code with several of the key new features of ColdFusion 8 by Adobe. This is more of a bootcamp book is a great way to summarize it's contents and our goals.

What can readers expect to find in this book?

John: This book will teach about basic variables, understanding scope and persistence, CFCs, custom tags, the great new AJAX features, search tools, PDF including forms and the new presentation abilities. We also approach not just how the built in features can be used but how real world programmers are connecting to sites like Flickr and other social technologies. Today the strength of a platform is how easy it networks with other sites and solutions. ColdFusion is a deluxe choice when it comes to integration. This book looks at integration techniques over and over.

What does this mean for the ColdFusion community?

John: This is a more compact intense coverage of the topic. Expect it to give a developer what he needs to know to be useful as a new CFML coder. It will also help learn many of the key features of CF8. Lastly expect to be able to start reaching outside CFML using custom tags and CFCs to make coding day by day simpler and better using these packaging concepts to reuse rather than rewriting the same code over and over.

Do you plan to write more books in the future?

John: Yes, we have already talked about digging deeper into some advance topics with the publisher. We were not even done with the book and the publisher was so excited they were asking us about what direction to go next and offering some suggestions that are needed for our community.

Can attendees look forward to purchasing this book at CFUnited?

John: We are all pulling to get the book out for the conference. We don't have an official yes at this time but it is looking very good!

Saturday Schedule additions - attendee request

We received this comment from an attendee recently who offered to let us share the comment on our blog:

"Greetings, Perhaps this is selfish on my part or skewed on my particular skill level and training desires, but it seems that every class on the schedule for Thursday 8:15-9:15 is something that I would love to attend (especially now with Ray's Fan Favorite announced.). Because I can only pick one on the scheduler and I know you are/were looking at classes signed up for to assign the Saturday spots (assuming they haven't all already been assigned), I just wanted to throw in my cent and a half that they would all be great spots on the Saturday schedule.- I'm hoping other people feel the same and maybe some of them will find their way on the Saturday schedule before the conference begins. Regardless, I know I'll be checking out the presentations for afterwards when they are available online. I'm very much looking forward to the conference, last year's was great! Thanks, Curtis

After some thought, we decide - Sure!! we can add some of those topics to the Saturday schedule.

Saturday additions:
Joe Gautreau "The Power of CSS - CSS Layouts vs. Tabled Layouts" is from 8:30AM - 9:30AM

Kurt Wiersma "Leveraging Popular ColdFusion Frameworks To Make Better Applications" is from 9:45AM - 10:45AM

John Farrar "jQuery/CF Integration" is from 1:30PM - 2:30PM

Hal Helms and Clark Valberg "Prototyping for Smarties" is from 1:30PM - 2:30PM

John Paul Ashenfelter "Testing CF Applications" is from 1:30PM - 2:30PM

Speakers getting ready for CFUnited - Part II

We asked a few questions to find out what our speakers are up to prior to their trip to CFUnited.


Sean Corfield

What are you looking forward to?

Sean: Meeting everyone that I pretty much only ever see at conferences - the networking at CFUNITED is unparalleled.

A recent hot topic your interested in?

Sean: The release of Open BlueDragon. A full-featured, free, open-source CFML engine opens the doors to a whole new group of CF developers.

Has your presentation changed?

Sean: Not yet, but it will by CFUNITED since my Edmund framework is still evolving (and is already in use in production).

Beer of choice if someone wants to buy you a drink.

Sean: Pretty much any dark amber ale / microbrew. None of that nasty yellow fizzy stuff that some people call beer :)


Adam Howitt

What are you looking forward to?

Adam: Mark Drew's Fresh AIR presentation sounds fascinating for the inclusion of pieces like jQuery.

A recent hot topic your interested in?

Adam: Open BlueDragon is a game changer, especially on EC2. I've already got a client dev site up on the Amazon EC2 AMI and think it is going to explode the interest in CF.

Has your presentation changed?

Adam: Not fundamentally but I expect to use or at least refer to the Open BlueDragon AMI in the course of my presentation to show people how it works.

Beer of choice if someone wants to buy you a drink.

Adam: Guinness. Naturally.


Chris Scott

What are you looking forward to?

Chris: After speaking with Sean Corfield at cfObjective about his upcoming Edmund framework, I am really excited about his session on Event-Driven Programming in ColdFusion.

A recent hot topic your interested in?

Chris: There are two new Flex frameworks out, Mate by Laura and Nahuel from ASFusion, and Swiz from myself. There seems to be a bit of buzz going around about both of them, which is really exciting. I plan to be showing Swiz to anyone who wants to see it and doing some gorilla evangelism at cfUnited. It's exciting to be back at the beginning introducing a new baby to the community.

Has your presentation changed?

Chris: Not much, except for some additional Swiz plugs

Beer of choice if someone wants to buy you a drink.

Chris: Pilsner Urquell, the best beer in the world!


Sandy Clark

What are you looking forward to?

Sandy: I'm looking forward to my presentation on Web 2.0 accessibility. I'm also looking forward to spending time talking to people I don't see very often.

A recent hot topic your interested in?

Sandy: Anything that brings together Java and CF is on my list.

Has your presentation changed?

Sandy: Nope, still the same

Beer of choice if someone wants to buy you a drink.

Sandy: Forget Beer, I prefer a glass of red wine.


Adam Haskell

What are you looking forward to?

Adam: Interacting with passionate CFML developers.

A recent hot topic your interested in? Adam: Open BlueDragon release!!

Has your presentation changed?

Adam: Maybe I might incorporate some notes from Terry Ryan's recent Fusion Authority article on Code Reviews.

Beer of choice if someone wants to buy you a drink.

Adam: Yuengling, I can't get it in Ohio.


Doug Hughes

What are you looking forward to?

Doug I'm really looking forward to networking with developers and managers. Conferences are important source of work for Alagad. By having the opportunity to talk with hundreds of developers and managers we have the opportunity to find out how we can be of assistance to potential customers. That brings value not just to Alagad but also to our new-found clients who benefit from our professional assistance.

Beer of choice if someone wants to buy you a drink.

Doug I'm a big fan of microbrews and imports. If I haven't heard of the beer I'm pretty sure I'll like it!

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