|By Nahuel Foronda, Laura Arguello||
|June 16, 2005 02:00 PM EDT||
As you may know by now, ColdFusion 7 includes a new feature that lets us create forms in flash format. They work as a replacement for html forms, but give us some additional controls like the tree, grid, and calendar. Even if making a "form" doesn't sound very appealing to you, once you start using this feature you will find that you can do much more than simple forms.
But the best is that they can enhance the usability of your regular forms, even if they are simple, with built-in features such as validation, tooltips, and tabs. It doesn't take much to make a flash form; basically, we only have to specify that the form's format is flash in the cfform tag and proceed with the cfform elements.
In this article, we'll walk you through the process of creating a small application interface using only flash forms. There's a lot to discover about flash forms, although you don't need know every detail to start using them. Since going over every feature would be impossible, we'll cover some of the most commonly used features that will likely be present in your next application.
To take a look at the interface we'll construct, see Figure 1.
Step 1 - Setting the Layout
Every flash form starts with a cfform tag that encloses the whole form definition and has the format attribute defined as "flash."
But before we start coding our application, we must first define the layout. In our address book, we have a panel on the left for a list of contacts and three panels on the right, one for previewing the contact info, the second to edit it, and a very small panel to contain a checkbox.
Before the advent of flash forms, we would write html (tables, paragraphs, etc.) to position the form elements. We can't transfer that to flash forms; they require special layout containers. We must use the new tag cfformgroup to position and lay out all elements and controls in a flash form.
To layout our four panels, we use an enclosing <cfformgroup type="hbox"> container that lets us position its contents horizontally. In the hbox, we have a panel labeled "Contacts" and another container, a cfformgroup type="vbox." The vbox contains the other two panels "Preview" and "Edit" that are positioned one below the other. See Figure 2.
Step 2 - Adding Controls
<cfformgroup type="panel" label="Contacts" width="350">
<cfformgroup type="panel" label="Preview"></cfformgroup>
<cfformgroup type="panel" label="Edit"></cfformgroup>
Now that we have our panels positioned, we can start adding controls.
We show the list of contacts in the left panel in a grid with three columns: first name, last name, and e-mail. The grid's data comes from a query, specified in the "query" attribute of the <cfgrid> tag. firstName, lastName, and e-mail are columns of the query. Later we will need additional columns for the other fields, but we'll just assume our query has all the necessary columns. Note that we also specify rowheaders="false" because we don't want an extra column with row numbers.
We want to be able to add new contacts, so let's add a button at the bottom of the grid:
<cfgrid name="contactList" query="contactsQuery" rowheaders="false">
<cfgridcolumn name="firstName" header="First Name" />
<cfgridcolumn name="lastName" header="Last Name" />
<cfgridcolumn name="email" header="Email" />
<cfinput type="button" name="addContact" value="Add Contact" />
The Edit panel is a little more involved because it includes 16 inputs: 14 text inputs, one text area, and one hidden input to contain the id of the contact.
Let's also add two buttons labeled "Delete" and "Add New." These buttons are contained in a <cfformgroup type="horizontal"> tag that lays them next to the one another.
<cfinput type="text" name="firstName" label="First Name:" />
...the rest of the inputs...
<cfinput type="hidden" name="contactId" />
<cftextarea name="comments" height="45" label="Comments:"></cftextarea>
You may have noticed that "hbox" and "vbox" types are used when we want to position containers horizontally or vertically respectively, and "horizontal" and "vertical" types when we want to position controls.
<cfinput type="submit" name="deleteContact" value="Delete" />
<cfinput type="submit" name="addContact" value="Add Contact" />
Step 3 - Binding Controls
In the Edit panel, we have what looks like a typical form: several text inputs, a textarea, and submit buttons. We added them in the last step. However, while you weren't looking, we made a little change to them. Now, every text input looks like this:
<cfinput type="text" name="firstName" label="First Name:"
Everything looks pretty normal, except for one part - bind, a strange-looking attribute with braces around its value. The bind attribute is used to set the value of the control at the evaluation of the expression between the braces. That means that we can put any ActionScript expression that can be evaluated inside the braces and the result will become the value of the control. In our form, we're populating the text inputs with data from the contactList grid, which contains all the columns and rows of the source query. To get the data corresponding to the selected row in the contact list, we access the cfgrid by its name, "contactList" and the special property "selectedItem," which points to the row that's been selected by the user. Then, by using dot notation, we get to the specific column we need, which is different for every input. The complete path would be "contactList.selectedItem.columnName."
|RockDad 11/06/08 01:39:48 PM EST|
How would one modify this app to only allow employees to edit their own information assuming there is a cookie identifier already setup?
|RockDad 11/03/08 02:08:32 PM EST|
GREAT tutorial but how does one bind a cfselect object with the grid? Tried it and it doesn't work. Any ideas?
|Mike 01/23/08 12:19:45 PM EST|
where can I get the source code for this article - "Constructing an Application with Flash Forms from the Ground Up"
|wholesale ipod 10/30/07 01:18:03 AM EDT|
I think so!
|Garfield 07/24/05 07:47:15 PM EDT|
Great article by great developers. I have just starting using CF7 and thanks to many writers out there, I have developed some impressive forms. Please visit the www.asfusion.com site for more helpful info.
Michael, visit http://www.cfform.com/flashforms/invoke.cfm?objectid=0204C17F-4E22-1671-... for a tutorial on binding grids to selects. Be mindful that when binding to a grid, the bind is both case and type sensitive to the DB columns.
|Michael White 07/17/05 07:39:37 PM EDT|
Your article was a good introduction to flash forms with multiple panels. I have a question on the Edit panel... what if some of your fields are CFSELECT dropdowns or date fields... having trouble finding working syntax for binding them to the grid.
|Andrew 07/06/05 11:40:46 PM EDT|
Loved the article! It has taught me alot. Maybe I am at fault here but I am not able to get any of this to save or edit in a db anyone else having same problem
|Laura Arguello 06/27/05 08:30:39 PM EDT|
Thank you for the comments.
|Anthony 06/25/05 05:40:50 PM EDT|
How do I download the source files for this article?
|Stiles 06/25/05 11:53:31 AM EDT|
I'm having a similar problem with getting the source code for this article. The printed version states that the source code can be downloaded at www.cfdj.com. This URL is invalid and not a site maintained by Sys-Con. Any chance the link can be updated so we can view the source code?
|André 06/24/05 09:48:25 AM EDT|
Thank you for the article, I found it very informative, well written and helpfull. I am having difficulties with the save content section. How could one download the source code ?Could it be possible to modify the link to open on the file rather to to another site that does not seem to be CF Dev. Journal ?
Again that you for sharing.
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
Jun. 27, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 990
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
Jun. 27, 2016 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 818
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Jun. 27, 2016 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 986
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
Jun. 26, 2016 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,304
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Jun. 26, 2016 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,212
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
Jun. 26, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,258
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Jun. 26, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,319
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change t...
Jun. 26, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,154
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Jun. 26, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,292
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Jun. 26, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,112
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
Jun. 26, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,352
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
Jun. 26, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,093
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Jun. 26, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,120
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
Jun. 26, 2016 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 640
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Jun. 26, 2016 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 750
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Jun. 25, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,625
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
Jun. 24, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,365
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
Jun. 24, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,661
industrial company for a multi-year contract initially valued at over $4.0 million. In addition to DataV software, Bsquare will also provide comprehensive systems integration, support and maintenance services. DataV leverages advanced data analytics, predictive reasoning, data-driven diagnostics, and automated orchestration of remediation actions in order to improve asset uptime while reducing service and warranty costs.
Jun. 22, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,375
Vidyo, Inc., has joined the Alliance for Open Media. The Alliance for Open Media is a non-profit organization working to define and develop media technologies that address the need for an open standard for video compression and delivery over the web. As a member of the Alliance, Vidyo will collaborate with industry leaders in pursuit of an open and royalty-free AOMedia Video codec, AV1. Vidyo’s contributions to the organization will bring to bear its long history of expertise in codec technolo...
Jun. 19, 2016 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,281