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 MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
SYS-CON Events announced today Object Management Group® has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
The IoTs 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, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
Customer experience has become a competitive differentiator for companies, and it’s imperative that brands seamlessly connect the customer journey across all platforms. With the continued explosion of IoT, join us for a look at how to build a winning digital foundation in the connected era – today and in the future. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Nguyen, Group Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how to successfully leverage mobile, rapidly deploy content, capture real-time d...
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide 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 ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 200 develope...
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
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 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 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...