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CFEverywhere Part 3

Conclusion

Launching from an HTA File
One aspect of the Java/NativeJ launcher that some folks might find undesirable is the appearance of the command window (and perhaps the license fee). On the CFEverywhere mailing list, Adam Haskell shared a great tip on how to use an HTA (HTML Application) file to create a CFE launcher that doesn't create a command line window. You can learn more about HTA at http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/ workshop/author/hta/overview/htaoverview.asp (see Listing 4). When you double-click the cfeverywhere.hta file, the VBScript block executes, which instantiates an instance of the Wscript.Shell. This object allows you to execute the batch files to start Jetty and Derby. In order to give the servers time to start, we load a wait.html (Listing 5) in an iframe. Wait.html displays a loading animated gif and uses a meta-fresh to load the application page after a set time. When you want to quit, simply close the application/browser window and the onUnload() event will shutdown Jetty and Derby. It's a Windows-only solution but it works quite nicely and the price is right.

Creating a CFEverywhere CD
Creating a CD is really quite simple. For the entire process, we have been careful to only use relative paths when referring to files. All of the server components are designed to work in a read-only mode. Before we create the CD, let's set it up to automatically run our CFML application when the disc is inserted. Download AutoRun.exe and place it in the cfeverywhere folder. Create a text file called autorun.inf with these contents:

[autorun]
OPEN=autorun.exe cfeverywhere.hta

If you have a custom icon you can add:

    icon=myicon.ico

To make a CD, simply create a project that contains everything in the cfeverywhere folder and burn the CD. Insert the CD on another computer (that has a Java runtime) and try it out. Note that starting a J2EE server and database server from CD is not the quickest thing in the world. You may have to set the wait time in wait.html to upwards of 20 seconds or more depending on the system. Regardless, it brings a smile to you face the first time you put a CD of your application in the computer and see your app launch.

Conclusion
Well, now you have all the tools and knowledge to create your own CFEverywhere applications. I hope this sparks your imagination and inspires you to try it out. If you do create a CFEverywhere application please share your experience on the CFEverywhere mailing list.

Resources

More Stories By Phil Cruz

Phil Cruz is a Macromedia Certified Advanced ColdFusion developer and has over 12 years of experience in the computing industry. He is responsible for www.mach-ii.info, a community site for the Mach-II framework. As a micro-ISV, he created Tracking Tools, an easy-to-use bug tracking application built with Mach-II (www.tracking-tools.com).

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