CFUnited Blog

Official Curriculum for ColdFusion

Terrencer Ryan just announced the following news about the ColdFusion Curriculum.

"I'm pleased to announce that Adobe has released official curriculum for teaching ColdFusion today! There are two tracks:

* Introduction to ColdFusion 8 * Advanced ColdFusion 8 Development

Both courses are available for download at our education site: ColdFusion 8: Introduction and Advanced Development"

Profile Picture, Baby!

Someone recently tried out the new profile picture feature on the Edit Registration page, uploading a 2MB photo of a baby, only to get an error page after clicking save. Doh!

This seems to be particularly noticeable on large files. If you attempt to delete the source image immediately after the resize you'll get an error message like:

ColdFusion could not delete the file D:\Inetpub\wwwroot\Sites\cfunited-register\public\uploads\3aa33aec20c440-CBCB50D9-15C5-E0D8-8AA0B3D9C8746D18-39825.JPG for an unknown reason.

The CF 8.0.1 Hot Fix solves this problem. (Thanks Jeff Coughlin)

Anyway, I'm not sure which attendee this profile picture belongs to, but the baby sure is cute.

(PS. BlogCFC ate the previous post, as in it vanished after I hit "Save", so sorry about comment removal and a repost!)

Uploaded Baby Photo

CF8 Interview with Charlie Arehart

The following is an interview conducted between Michael Smith and Charlie Arehart, independent consultant and frequent contributor to the CF community, regarding Charlie's thoughts and opinions on the newly released ColdFusion 8.

Michael Smith: We have heard that ColdFusion 8's new features focus on three areas: developer productivity, integration with external environments and technologies, and rich Internet experience. What are some of the other cool new features in ColdFusion 8?

Charlie Arehart: Well, as with most releases, there are lots more features than are often publicized. It's understandable: Adobe needs to pick the key points that would motivate new sales, but fortunately there are many, MANY new features that are purely developer focused. And while many of them have been talked about a lot in blogs and such, I think people would be surprised to learn still more. In fact, a couple of months ago I started doing a "Hidden Gems in CF8" talk at various user groups. I can't possibly repeat here all the little surprises I found. I'll be offering it at the upcoming CFUnited Express in Chicago, the day before MAX. Folks can also view older presentations via my site,

MS: ColdFusion has always been seen as a great language for data interaction, but not so much for designing great-looking front end user interfaces. What do you think of that?

CA: Well, it's not that CF didn't try. There were UI elements in earlier releases. They just weren't very effective (whether the Java or, to a lesser extent, Flash features). More important, CF didn't stop you from creating great-looking end user interfaces. You just had to do a lot of work yourself, such as to build Ajax-style interfaces. The beauty of CF8 is that it provides so much now for you to build such features automatically, with very little code. This isn't even among the things I consider "hidden gems", since many have written about it. While the autosuggest feature (of CFINPUT) gets a lot of play, I can't stress enough the power and ease of the new HTML-based CFGRID. It's just NOT the "your father's CFGRID". :-) There's lots more (CFLAYOUT, CFWINDOW, CFPOD, and more). Besides the Adobe resources on the topic, you can find lots of coverage of these things (with examples) at the sites of bloggers like Ray Camden (, Ben Nadel ( and of course Ben Forta (, to name just a few.

MS: What are your thoughts on the ability of CF8 to make dynamic presentations?

CA: I assume you mean the new CFPRESENTATION tag, right? With it, you can create Adobe Connect presentations on the fly, including their being driven by CFML-generated data. I think that's one that a lot of people are not noticing. This happens in each release. With all the noise about some key first- and second-tier features (not to mention all the hidden gems), there are some features that go unnoticed. As with this tag, some features solve a problem that perhaps is not yet widely observed by people. That doesn't mean it's not useful. Just that they'll need time to learn to appreciate it. It's really pretty intriguing and could be kind of paradigm-shifting, akin to how CF made dynamic HTML so easy. Of course, not everyone sees the need for Connect presentations now, but time may change that. It could be compelling for presenting information on demand in a new form.

MS: How would you rate the debugging features in Enterprise?

CA: Well, many will know that I have been a big proponent of interactive step debugging CFML. I fought for it remaining in CFMX (it was in CF 4 and 5 and we lost it in 6), and when FusionDebug came out last year I was a big fan, and still am. So now CF8 includes its own debugger. For those who've not tried one at all, it's great to finally have one for free. Note that it only works on CF8. You cannot use it in CF7. That's where FusionDebug still has value, as it works in 6, 7, and 8. There are also some minor differences between the two. But really they are a lot more alike than not. They're both Eclipse plug-ins. As I said while evangelizing FusionDebug, the same must be said about the CF8 debugger: don't worry if you prefer Dreamweaver or HomeSite+ (or some other editor). You don't really HAVE to switch to using Eclipse (or CFEclipse). You can just use it with the least you need to know to do debugging. The CF docs (the Developer's Guide) has a chapter on it. and again I did a talk on both CF8 and the FusionDebug debuggers at CFUnited. That presentation is available on the CFUnited site. .

MS: And what do you think of the new monitoring feature?

CA: There again, some will know that I've spoken previously on the 3rd party tools, SeeFusion and FusionReactor. So I can't help but contrast the new CF8 monitor to those. First, I want to clarify again that the CF8 monitor works only with CF8. You can't use it to monitor CF7. Also, it is an Enterprise-only feature. You can't use it with the Standard edition. But here's great news: you CAN use it with the free Developer edition, and to be honest, for many people that will be where they use it more than even in production. I know that may seem a little counter-intuitive: isn't a monitor tool meant to monitor production? It certainly can, but there's great value in using the tool(s) in development, to help you isolate and resolve problems before they even get to production. I'll say that this too is a topic on which I've done a lot more writing. I have a 4-part series coming to the Adobe Developer Center. Part 1 is already posted (, and its focus is indeed using the monitor in development. The latter parts will focus on using it in production, including the multi-server monitor as well as the alerts and snapshots features. I want to say as well that a common misconception is that the monitor "must incur a lot of overhead". That doesn't need to be true. As I discuss in an article-length blog entry series (, there is an incredible amount of info you can get with zero overhead. I know many won't believe it. Do check out the resources above.

MS: You've mentioned FusionDebug and FusionReactor (and SeeFusion). What's their future?

CA: This is a very common question, and the natural conclusion many make is that CF8 must be a death knell for those tools. I mean, why would anyone pay for what's included for free? But let me remind you: the CF8 tools work only with CF8. How many of us are still running on CF7, or 6 (or even 5 or 4)? Since these 3rd party tools all run on 6 through 8, they will have great value and a large market for a long time. Of course, since the CF8 monitor is in Enterprise only, that's another point in the favor of the 3rd parties. More important, note that CF8's monitor is really built atop the Admin API, which means that the 3rd parties could add the same info into their interfaces. Just as the 3rd party CFML engines are leading to innovation in CFML that we are seeing folded into CF (and vice-versa), I'd argue that we will see the same in monitoring and debugging. I'm still quite enthusiastic about all the tools in this space, and in fact I wrote a longer article-length blog entry to address this question:

MS: Any thoughts on the new CF8 Administrator?

CA: I suppose you may be asking me about this because I'd done a talk at CFUnited on the CF Administrator. It was a boot camp introduction to the Admin. I really didn't focus too much on what was new in CF8, since we had to get the presentations in well before CF8 was even released in beta (In fact, I only added discussion of the CF8 debugger to my talk on FusionDebug when Adobe asked me to speak on it as they planned to release CF8 topics at the event.). Anyway, I can share what's changed, as I've done an article-length blog entry on what was new in the CF8 admin: But at a minimum, here, I'd like to point out that a significant change (again returning something we had in CF5) is the ability to allow individual users to be granted access to the Admin (and also the RDS feature). Folks should definitely check that out, as often there may be value in letting one or more developers have some limited access to the Admin, such as to manage datasources, mappings, etc. Again, this is discussed in the CF docs (in this case, the Configuring and Administering ColdFusion manual). All the CF 8 manuals are available online at, which points to both the PDF and livedocs forms of documentation. If anyone had trouble with the CF8 docs early on, those problems have been solved, as I wrote about in an entry at

MS: Are there any more features worth mentioning?

CA: Well goodness yes. There's a great list at:, and most of those listed there have another page with still more detail on each feature.

MS: I will look forward to learning more at your CFUNITED/Express talk Hidden Gems in CF8.

I hope folks will indeed come see that and more at the event, many of which are topics (like mine) that were not offered at the CFUnited conference in June (and are not being offered at Max, either). Folks can learn more at See you then.

The Making of CF8: Damon Cooper's Blog Entry

Damon Cooper's BLOG posted today a very interesting entry about ColdFusion 8 and a behind the scenes peek at the making.

ColdFusion 8: Lightning in a Bottle

ColdFusion 8 Beta is Released by Adobe

Hey Folks, this article was just sent to me and has been picked up by most popular magazines and newsletters
ColdFusion 8 Beta is Released by Adobe
By Derek Vaughan

The wait is over and the latest version of ColdFusion has just been released in beta. Code named 'Scorpio' (the eighth sign of the Zodiac) during the development stages, the new release is officially named ColdFusion 8 and has just recently been made available for free trial beta accounts through select ColdFusion web hosting providers.

Mr. Tim Buntel, Senior Product Marketing Manager, ColdFusion at Adobe and Mr. Monish Sood, Director of Marketing with ColdFusion webhost, were kind enough to help us learn more about the new release, it's features, and how to get started with a free beta account.

First the basics - the new beta release has been available since May 30, 2007. At this point the full commercial release of ColdFusion 8 is anticipated to be in a couple of months. Adobe hasn't set a specific date yet, as the company is leaving a bit of time to react should they discover anything through the public beta. According to the company that puts the estimated delivery of the full releases at pretty much dead center of the calendar year.

When asked to distill the key features of the new ColdFusion 8 into a brief statement, Mr. Buntel stated, "The tip of the iceberg on new features is already a pretty long list. I think if I had to say one thing about the release, this is Adobe ColdFusion. ColdFusion 8 shows what happens when you inject ColdFusion with Adobe's DNA.

It's really about making this great experience for the application user, with a whole slew of new features: PDF's, rich Internet applications, and multimedia presentations - simply a much more meaningful experience for users. There is also a lot more integration in the enterprise. We're Doing for .NET what we've done for Java in the past. Plus Exchange integration. Then also enhancing the developer's experience."

One feature that's getting considerable attention is the ability of ColdFusion 8 to invoke .NET components directly from ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML). This is true for both local or remote .NET components. According to Adobe the new feature works much like cfobject/CreateObject for java. Here's how Tim Buntel describes it: "There are organizations that have both java and .NET development work going on, whether through acquisition or size or different divisions or different areas of the world. ColdFusion has been in a great position over the years to build an application with ColdFusion, if you were doing java development as well - no problem. ColdFusion can take advantage of those java assets within the ColdFusion language for it's own application. So now we're able to do the same thing for .NET. If some group in your organization is writing a specific piece of business logic in .NET - up until now the ColdFusion application couldn't take advantage of that development work that the .NET team was doing - except maybe with SOAP services - but there were some issues with that. Now your ColdFusion team can leverage that business logic that the .NET team developed within ColdFusion in a much easier and efficient way than you could have with web services.

For the .NET guys the important thing to them is that they don't have to change their code. The primary way today that you would bridge java and .NET would be with .NET remoting - but that would require the .NET team to change their .NET. They would actually have to compile .NET assemblies to use remoting, but they don't want to have to do that. ColdFusion 8 will allow you to access .NET directly from ColdFusion without the .NET team having to do any additional work. We're unique as a java into .NET bridge without using either web services or .NET remoting."

Other new features of note - the ability to monitor the server applications in production. According to information supplied by Adobe, the server monitoring will permit developers to diagnose slow pages queries and threads, track memory usage, manage active threads, and monitor database usage. Added in this version as well is the ability to create on-demand presentations with a customizable look and feel. ColdFusion 8 will also further improve the Flex/ColdFusion connectivity through data exchange simplification and a simpler architecture.

So the new features look good, but what if you are satisfied with the current ColdFusion version that you're running today? Mr. Buntel explained the benefits of upgrading to ColdFusion 8, "First and foremost in terms of people who are running ColdFusion today - There are compelling reasons to move to ColdFusion 8 even if you don't rewrite a single line of code that you're currently running in ColdFusion version 7 or 6.1 or 6. Simply moving your applications to ColdFusion 8 will yield a whole range of benefits. It's going to be faster, it's going to be more stable, and you're going to have the ability to monitor those applications in production.

Existing ColdFusion developers are going to be able to take advantage of all of these features very quickly and easily. As well, people who are getting into rich Internet application development, and want to find the easiest and most productive server side compliment for a rich Internet app. So if you're doing AJAX or you're doing Flex, or flash for rich client, ColdFusion 8 is going to allow those applications to talk to databases and object services and enterprise infrastructure very easily and make you productive to hook that rich Internet app up to all of those back end services.

To get started, if you feel comfortable installing ColdFusion on your own computer or workstation, all you have to visit the Adobe Labs and they will provide you with the full product along with all kinds of documentation and helpful articles to get you started. You can also access multimedia demonstrations as well. That is all free. According to Tim Buntel, "A developer can just grab that and go to town".

He continued, "If you don't want to install or are unable to install the product on your machine for any reason, then with a ColdFusion hosting partner such as, you'll be able to go sign up and have a small account that is running on ColdFusion 8 that will allow you to start writing code and use the features that environment. Those accounts are free as well."

With regard to the beta accounts mentioned above, Monish Sood, Director of Marketing at explained the details, "The ColdFusion 8 Beta comes fully loaded with features including a 600 MB MS SQL Server database, 4 GB of disk space, and ASP.NET 3.0 framework access. We want developers to be able to test the newest release of ColdFusion in real-world situations with features that are available with our ColdFusion developer edition plans."

Mr. Sood continued, "We have worked closely with Adobe throughout the beta process to transfer all feedback from participating developers. The developers get access to production level features to test in a beta environment. provides the same level of support and service for the beta as any production plan."

For further details on the new beta release of ColdFusion 8, please visit the Adobe Labs at:

To sign up for the free ColdFusion 8 beta account with, please visit:

About the Author
Derek Vaughan is Chief Marketing Officer with TechPad Agency, LLC - a full resource advertising and marketing agency, specializing in products and services for the web hosting industry. Mr. Vaughan's writing appears courtesy of the hosting experts at