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, Adobe Flex

ColdFusion: Article

ColdFusion Feature — Objects Everywhere

A solution to object-oriented spaghetti code

Many times object-oriented programming (OOP) is billed as the end-all solution to cure the spaghetti code that can come from procedural style applications. After all, you just have to stuff your logic code into a component (big OOP buzzword - encapsulation), and now your code is instantly better, right? How hard is it to stick a createObject function call or a <cfobject> tag in when you need to access that bit of code? Can anybody look into the future and see a problem here?

Let's look at an example. Many object-oriented articles use cars as examples, so we'll stick with the trend. When we need to find out information about a given car, we simply instantiate the Car object as follows:

<cfset oCar = createObject('component', 'com.mydomain.Car').init() />

Nice and easy, right? However, our application is going to get a bit more complex. Our car is not going to do much without an engine and a transmission. An engine and a transmission are not a simple property though; these are also objects with their own properties. In order to build our model, we need a couple more lines of code.

<cfset oEngine = createObject('component', 'com.mydomain.Engine').init() />
<cfset oTrasmission = createObject('component', 'com.mydomain.Transmission').init() />
<cfset oCar = createObject('component', 'com.mydomain.Car').init(oEngine, oTrasmission) />

Still, not too bad. But what happens when the business model continues to grow? None of us have ever experienced anything called scope creep, right?

The Problem
Every time we need a new Car instance, we have to remember all of the different dependencies a Car object has (the engine, the transmission, etc.) and write all of the different createObject function calls (in the right order) while getting the component path for each one correct. But wait, at the moment, our Car object is kind of dumb. We need to go to the database and load information about our car, right? We need to create some data access objects, each of which requires a data source object. The stack of objects we need just to create a car almost makes you think about going back to procedural programming!

Add in the difficulty of a component path changing or a new dependency being added to the car object and all of a sudden we have spaghetti code all over again. So much for OOP being the solution to all the world's (or at least software developments) problems!

Introducing Design Patterns
If OOP is not the solution, then Design Patterns must be, right? Well, maybe. Design Patterns are simply standard solutions to common issues that arise in software design. Many design patterns apply to object-oriented development, but not all of them. A design pattern is not a piece of code that you can simply plug into your application. It is more of a template that offers guidance on how to solve different problems that may arise.
Some different examples of design patterns include:

  • Decorator Pattern: Wrap an existing object with a new "decorator" and expand the functionality of the original object without making changes to the code.
  • Singleton Pattern: Restrict implementation of certain objects to a single instance across the application.
  • Façade Pattern: Provide a simplified interface to a larger collection of objects.
  • Observer Pattern: Allow objects to interact with their environment without being tied to it.
The Factory Pattern
Today, we are going to look at the Factory Pattern, which will hopefully help clean up some of this mess we're in. In the real world, what does a factory do? It makes things, right? Think of the GM Bowling Green Assembly Plant. At one end you say "I want a new red Corvette," and at the other end of the factory, out comes a new Corvette (a new instance). I don't know anything about creating engines or transmissions. All I did was ask the factory for a new Corvette. Somewhere within the factory is the knowledge of what exactly makes up a Corvette and where to find all of the parts. The factory takes care of building the car without my having any knowledge of these specific details. Wait, factories don't have to be this specialized. In fact, I can go to the GM Bowling Green Assembly Plant and ask for a new blue Cadillac XLR. Once again, my order goes in one end and out pops a car from the other end without my having any knowledge of exactly how the car was built. This one factory builds multiple kinds of cars, possibly using some of the same parts, but all of that implementation is hidden.

How does this apply to object-oriented development?

The Object Factory
Let's take the auto assembly plant and turn it into an object model. In the business case, I know that a Car is made up of a whole series of other objects - things like an engine, transmission, seats, and even the stereo system. I don't want to keep track of all of these dependencies every time I need a new car. The solution? An auto assembly plant or, in other words, an object factory. I need an object that I can ask to give me instances of other objects. In this example, I would have a Car factory object that I could ask for different types of cars and the factory object would then give me the completed object without my code having to know anything about what makes up a Car.


More Stories By Jeff Chastain

Jeff Chastain has been developing software applications using object-oriented programming for over 12 years and has been developing Web applications in ColdFusion for over 8 years. He has experience in a variety of industries, from Fortune 500 companies to his own consulting practice. Currently, Jeff is an applications architect and systems developer for Alagad, Inc., and contributes to the blog at http://www.doughughes.net.

Comments (0)

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.


@ThingsExpo Stories
"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.
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessio...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
Announcing Poland #DigitalTransformation Pavilion
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
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 ...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
JETRO showcased Japan Digital Transformation Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo® at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a non-profit organization that provides business support services to companies expanding to Japan. With the support of JETRO's dedicated staff, clients can incorporate their business; receive visa, immigration, and HR support; find dedicated office space; identify local government subsidies; get...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, added the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor analytic...