Welcome!

You will be redirected in 30 seconds or close now.

ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Jeremy Geelan, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson

Related Topics: ColdFusion

ColdFusion: Article

Frameworks, Frameworks, Frameworks

Why you should use a framework - Part 1

Your boss tells you that he wants you to build a ColdFusion application based on his requirements, which will take you about a month to complete. You are now faced with two options, you can either start coding your application in spaghetti code fashion, or you can explore the many frameworks ColdFusion offers and choose one of them.

Writing spaghetti code for many is an easy solution, by approaching the application development with a top-to-bottom declaration of code. Using the spaghetti code method will seem logical at first but you'll soon realize that there's so much code you'll be lost debugging the program for months. A framework for ColdFusion is just like books with a table of contents at the front and an index at the back. Because this pattern is always used, anyone who uses the book knows how to access information they need from that book, so frameworks have the same pattern for universal use. Using a framework(s) is the way to go because it will cut your development time, give you better productivity as well as increased code reusability, and help you organize your code and make it easier for future enhancements.

There is nevertheless a lot of contradiction as to whether frameworks are needed. The main argument on the flip side of the coin is that the learning curve for any frameworks is steep. Well, there is quite a challenge, but if you're going to build something sophisticated in the first place then this learning curve is no challenge to you at all. Another reason why this learning curve is worth the turn is because if you don't use a framework in the long run the code might get so unmanageable that you'll have no choice but to start from scratch, wasting valuable time and in most cases money. Another well-known argument is that frameworks are for beginners who want to use the RAD methodology of development. This, however, isn't true, because it's a well-known fact that all the big software development firms use frameworks when developing applications. There are many famous frameworks such as the .NET framework for the Win32 and Win64 platforms, and in terms of Web application frameworks there are numerous frameworks that are used by major Web sites such frameworks Coldbox, Fusebox, and Mach II. All in all, yes, there's quite a learning curve, but accepting the challenge will make your life much easier and keep your code managed and clean.

All developers know that time is always against them. A deadline is always looming over a developer's head and he or she is always in a rush to complete the application's lifecycle. It's not that the developer can't write code quickly, it's that once the code is written, debugging takes a much more time. By using an application framework, you'll have enough time to develop an entire operating system. An application framework is a predefined structure that will help you organize your application by using various object-oriented programming methodologies. Another reason why your development time will be reduced is that in almost every framework there's a set of predefined "solutions" that you can use to unravel a lot of the problems you might encounter during development. A good example of a framework that has predefined solutions is the Fusebox framework in which you simply tell the circuit.xml file when and what you want to load and it'll do the processing and code generation without any errors.

Another great motive for using an application framework is that you won't have to do repetitive tasks over and over again. For example, if you wanted every page on your site to check if the user is logged in, and you have well over a thousand pages of information the non-framework way of doing it will be to open each page and add a isDefined(Session.user) function to do the validation. However. what if you change the session variable to something other than user, you'll have to open thousands of pages again to change that variable. Using this approach will cost a lot of time and valuable resources. On the other hand, if you used a framework, you could have defined that on each page-request executing the function isDefined(Session.user) and later on if you were to change the session variable, you could easily change just one line of code in your application framework and it would do the job for you.

Better productivity is what every software developer wants and by using an application framework you'll get just that. In general, most application frameworks use object-oriented programming methodologies, which give you a lot of code reusability that in turn give you better productivity. For instance, if you were to create a class or cfc component (in this case) of all the items your authentication system does in your application then by using a framework like MACH II or even designing your own proprietary framework you can call the functions in those classes numerous times without having to write the code that many times.

The basic ColdFusion application framework that many like to call the Application.cfc framework is an example of how a framework can lead to better productivity. There are several solutions built into the framework that help you reuse your code. One useful method is the OnError, which is called whenever there's an error on your cfm page. In between this method you can declare some code such as <cfinclude template='error.cfm'/>, which tells the user to contact you in case of an error and every time an error occurs your code will be executed. This is a good example of code reusability because you don't have to go through all your pages and error check; instead by using that method the framework will do it for you. Also, some developers who are looking to use their time well can rest assured that all of these frameworks are simple to install, simple to use, and simple to deploy. To get any of these frameworks running, all you have to do is create a ColdFusion mapping to the core framework files and then use the framework skeleton application to develop on it. In sum, you'll have a much more productive environment and achieve a higher rate of code reusability.

Another reason to consider using a framework is that over time your code will grow, with all the patches and maintenance you make to it, and if you're using the spaghetti code method your code will look like it's been encrypted using AES. So rather than letting that unfortunate event occur, using a framework will help organize and maintain your code. An example would be using a framework such as Fusebox 5.1 and its MVC architecture to organize your code. Using an MVC architecture helps separate your code logic tier from your presentation tier and by doing this if you ever have to make modifications you can rest assured that it will have no visual impact on your presentation tier and vice versa. If you were to compare spaghetti code style to MVC-type architecture, you'll clearly see why life is easier on the MVC side. A framework will also increase code readability by organizing the code in a human-readable logical way, an example would be the Coldbox framework, which has a framework dashboard used to organize all your configurations of the application, so instead of digging deep into the code, you can easily configure your framework and application with a simple dashboard. Another great framework that you can use for a simple MVC-type architecture is MACH II in which you'll be able to develop applications faster than MACH II. What a fun framework. Generally speaking, a framework is a really good way to keeping all your code organized and will help you a lot when it comes to updating and adding new features in your code over the course of the application lifecycle.

All in all, using a framework can help increase code reliability by minimizing errors, increase productivity, and maintain your code through out the application lifecycle. As you can clearly see, these give you a significant advantage over the old spaghetti code method and learning how to use a framework can and will give you a good asset in your skill set. Many large corporations are looking for people skilled in many of the top application frameworks such as Fusebox and MACH II. Overall, after using a framework you'll wonder how you ever developed applications without it..

More Stories By Faisal Abid

Faisal Abid is a third-year student at West Hill CI and loves Flex, ColdFusion, and rich Internet applications. He is also the founder and owner of G-uniX Technologies (www.G-uniX.com), an RIA software development consultancy based in Toronto that specializes in Flex 2 and ColdFusion applications. He has a blog at blog.G-uniX.com that he updates bi-weekly with G-uniX news, Flex tutorials, ColdFusion tutorials, and Spry tutorials.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Mujeeb Abdul 02/11/07 11:24:57 PM EST

Great article helps a lot to understand about framework

thanks

@ThingsExpo Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo 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 ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.