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, Eclipse

ColdFusion: Article

Getting Started With The ColdFusion 8 Debugger

After a 7 year hiatus, ColdFusion once again has an interactive debugger, and this time it is built on top of Eclipse

Ben Forta's Blog

After a 7 year hiatus, ColdFusion once again has an interactive debugger, and this time it is built on top of Eclipse (and uses the same debugging interface as Flex Builder, and other Eclipse plug-ins). If you are interested in taking the debugger for a spin, here's what you need to know to get started:

First of all, you need ColdFusion 8. If you don't have it yet, get it!

You'll also need the ColdFusion 8 Eclipse extensions, and these must be installed (here is some installation help).

Before you can use the interactive debugger you need to enable debugging support in ColdFusion. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Open the ColdFusion Administrator.
  2. Select "Debugger Settings" in the "Debugging & Logging" section.
  3. Check "Allow Line Debugging".
  4. The debugger needs a port to communicate over, if you can't use the default change it (just be sure to use an unused port, and you can't use the port that ColdFusion itself is on).
  5. By default ColdFusion allows up to 5 concurrent debugging sessions, you can raise or lower this value as needed.
  6. Click "Submit Changes", and restart ColdFusion is you are instructed to do so.

Once you enable line debugging it will remain enabled even if ColdFusion is restarted. As a rule, do not enable line debugging on production servers, and you may want to always leave it enabled on development boxes.

Now that debugging is enabled, you need to configure Eclipse to tell it what ColdFusion server to debug against. Servers need to only be defined once, and once defined you may debug against them as needed. You can define as many servers as you need, local and remote, as long as the server has RDS enabled (and you have an RDS login).

The first thing you need to do in Eclipse is define the RDS settings for your ColdFusion server. These settings are used by the debugger, as well as the wizards, RDS panels, and more. To define your RDS connection do the following:

  1. In Eclipse, select Window->Preferences to display the Preferences dialog.
  2. Select ColdFusion in the tree, expand the selection, and select RDS Configuration.
  3. Click New to add a new server, or just select any server to edit it.
  4. Provide a description, host name, port, and login details, and then save. To use your local ColdFusion server specify 127.0.0.1 as the Host Name, 8500 as the Port (if using the integrated HTTP server), leave the Context Root blank, and provide the login information.
  5. Click "Test Connection" to make sure the RDS connection is working, and the click OK.

Once the RDS connection is defined you'll be able to browse data sources in the RDS Dataview tab, view available CFCs in the Services Browser tab, use the wizards, and more. And you'll be able to debug applications, but first ...

Now that your RDS connection is defined, you need to define the ColdFusion servers you wish to debug against. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Locate the Debug button in the toolbar, it's the one with the little green bug on it.
  2. Don't click the button, instead, click the down arrow to the right of it and select "Debug ..." to display the Debug dialog which is used to manage debugging configurations.
  3. The Eclipse debugger is used to debug all sorts of applications created in all sorts of languages, and along the left of the dialog you'll see a list of applications types that can be debugged. Select "ColdFusion Application".
  4. You'll see any defined ColdFusion debugging servers under the "ColdFusion Application" branch. To add a ColdFusion server click the New button (the leftmost one above the list) while you have "ColdFusion Application" selected.
  5. Name this server, and then select the RDS server to use from the drop down list.
  6. If you are debugging against a local server (running on the same machine as Eclipse) you can ignore the mappings section. If ColdFusion is on a remote server then you'll need to define mappings here.
  7. Click "Apply" to save your changes.

Again, servers need to be defined once, and they'll be saved for future use.

To debug your code you can do the following:

  1. Open the ColdFusion file to be debugged in Eclipse.
  2. Set breakpoints as needed by double clicking to the left of the desired line in the vertical bar to the left of the Eclipse editor window. You'll see a little circle appear indicating that a breakpoint has been set. You can also right click in the vertical bar and select "Toggle Breakpoint".
  3. Now you need to switch to the Eclipse Debug view (called a "Perspective" in Eclipsese). If you see a Debug button listed with the Perspectives on the top right of Eclipse, click it. Or, just click the Open Perspective button (or select Windows->Open Perspective) and select "Debug".
  4. Once you are in the Debug perspective start the debugging session. To do this, go back to the dialog where you defined the ColdFusion server (under the Debug button), select the ColdFusion server to debug against, and click the Debug button at the bottom of the dialog.
  5. Eclipse will pause while it opens a debug session, connecting to the specified ColdFusion server. You'll see the connection show up in the Debug window.
  6. Now just open any browser and run your application. When you request a page with a breakpoint, execution will pause, and the debugger will pop up. You'll be able to step through code, view variables and expressions (in the top right panel), see generated server output, and more.
  7. When you are done debugging, you can terminate the debug session by clicking the red square Terminate button.

And that'll do it. I know this seems complex and a lot of work, but the bulk of it is initial setup. Once that setup is complete you'll be able to quickly and easily fire up the debugger on demand and when needed.

More Stories By Ben Forta

Ben Forta is Adobe's Senior Technical Evangelist. In that capacity he spends a considerable amount of time talking and writing about Adobe products (with an emphasis on ColdFusion and Flex), and providing feedback to help shape the future direction of the products. By the way, if you are not yet a ColdFusion user, you should be. It is an incredible product, and is truly deserving of all the praise it has been receiving. In a prior life he was a ColdFusion customer (he wrote one of the first large high visibility web sites using the product) and was so impressed he ended up working for the company that created it (Allaire). Ben is also the author of books on ColdFusion, SQL, Windows 2000, JSP, WAP, Regular Expressions, and more. Before joining Adobe (well, Allaire actually, and then Macromedia and Allaire merged, and then Adobe bought Macromedia) he helped found a company called Car.com which provides automotive services (buy a car, sell a car, etc) over the Web. Car.com (including Stoneage) is one of the largest automotive web sites out there, was written entirely in ColdFusion, and is now owned by Auto-By-Tel.

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
Eclipse News 05/30/07 12:52:30 PM EDT

After a 7 year hiatus, ColdFusion once again has an interactive debugger, and this time it is built on top of Eclipse (and uses the same debugging interface as Flex Builder, and other Eclipse plug-ins). If you are interested in taking the debugger for a spin, here's what you need to know to get started: First of all, you need ColdFusion 8. If you don't have it yet, get it!

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
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.
I'm a lonely sensor. I spend all day telling the world how I'm feeling, but none of the other sensors seem to care. I want to be connected. I want to build relationships with other sensors to be more useful for my human. I want my human to understand that when my friends next door are too hot for a while, I'll soon be flaming. And when all my friends go outside without me, I may be left behind. Don't just log my data; use the relationship graph. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Boyd, Engi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit 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. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
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...
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 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 widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
IoT is fundamentally transforming the auto industry, turning the vehicle into a hub for connected services, including safety, infotainment and usage-based insurance. Auto manufacturers – and businesses across all verticals – have built an entire ecosystem around the Connected Car, creating new customer touch points and revenue streams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Macario Namie, Head of IoT Strategy at Cisco Jasper, will share real-world examples of how IoT transforms the car from a static p...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
SYS-CON Events announced today that China Unicom will exhibit 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. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE F...
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your...
Big Data has been changing the world. IoT fuels the further transformation recently. How are Big Data and IoT related? In his session at @BigDataExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will explore the interplay of Big Data and IoT. He will anatomize Big Data and IoT separately in terms of what, which, why, where, when, who, how and how much. He will then analyze the relationship between IoT and Big Data, specifically the drilldown of how the 4Vs of Big Data (Volume, Variety,...
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...