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

Mastering ColdFusion 5

Mastering ColdFusion 5

I received Mastering ColdFusion 5 two months ago and began using it immediately. Since I had recently upgraded to ColdFusion 5.0, I used this book to learn about some of its new features; I used three of them (query-of-a-query, CFFLUSH, and CFSAVECONTENT) in a single template the first day. This book is an excellent reference to the new features of CF 5.0.

That's not all it's good for. Danesh, Motlagh, and Camden have written a fine book suitable for both novice and expert ColdFusion developers. It's clear that their intention was to produce a comprehensive work that serves not only as an introductory through advanced text but also as a reference to all things ColdFusion. Its whopping 1,263 pages and mammoth size attest to this.

The book is well organized into four parts and five appendices. Part 1 covers the basics, such as "Creating Your First ColdFusion Template," "Passing Data Between ColdFusion Templates," and "Retrieving Data from a Database." It introduces the beginner to the rudiments of ColdFusion development and offers a solid overview of the architecture of any database-backed CF application.

Part 2 provides what every other programming book offers: an explanation of the meaning and syntax of variables, operators, data structures, flow control, and more. It illustrates a how-to program, specifically, how to program in ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML). This section also explains ColdFusion-specific conventions, techniques, and technologies. For instance, it discusses and illustrates the "ColdFusion application framework," i.e., how to use the built-in capabilities of the ColdFusion server to maintain client state within an application, as well as graphing in ColdFusion, variable locking, form validation, error control, and the myriad other functions that CF provides.

Two chapters within Part 2 are worth mentioning. First, "Using Advanced Query Techniques" provides the best introduction to advanced SQL that I've seen. This chapter focuses on JOIN techniques and syntax, then addresses subqueries and table creation before proceeding to excellent coverage of advanced CFQUERY topics like caching strategies and transaction processing. Second, the chapter "Using ColdFusion Studio" is not something I remember seeing in other books. It provides a brief, useful introduction to the Studio interface and utilities, which should interest beginning CF programmers.

Part 3 focuses on the various technologies built into the ColdFusion platform that enable communication with other popular Internet servers and services via such protocols as SMTP, HTTP, FTP, and LDAP. This section focuses on the CFMAIL tag since e-mail is the most complicated Internet service. Examples of how to send and receive e-mail from within ColdFusion are provided as well as good examples of generating message content from a query, generating a recipient list from a query, and so on.

I eagerly skipped straight to the chapter on CF and LDAP, mainly because I'm having a problem SSL-encrypting communications between my CF server and LDAP server. Unfortunately, this section doesn't cover SSL-encryption in any depth. This is puzzling, since I'd assume the one thing most developers would be using LDAP for would be authentication, and if you're authenticating across a network you'd want to ensure the credentials you're sending are properly encrypted. (The authors do address this topic in slightly more detail in the ColdFusion Tag Reference entry for CFLDAP at the back of the book. At least there it unveils the magic term - cert7.db - that's the key to getting SSL-encryption between CF and LDAP to work at all.)

Part 4 covers such advanced topics as query-of-queries, ColdFusion scripting, using the Verity search engine, CF custom tags, user-defined functions, and WDDX. Being new to CF 5.0, I found the chapters on query-of-queries and user-defined functions particularly enlightening and useful. The sections on the CF Administrator and administering a CF server are welcome additions as well.

Finally, the most important of the six appendices are the ColdFusion Tag Reference and Function Reference; they're what you'd expect: long lists of tags and functions with corresponding explanatory text. I'm a little disappointed with these two sections. The two-column layout is visually confusing - a single-column layout would have been much easier to browse. Also, the function reference is organized alphabetically, not grouped by function type (e.g., string functions, date functions, list functions). There's an index of functions grouped by type at the beginning of this reference, but using it would require a separate lookup - one for the name of the function, the other for the function itself - something the harried developer doesn't want to do every time he or she needs a quick reference. Grouping the entire function reference by type, then alphabetically, would have been a lot better.

Since Mastering ColdFusion 5 comprehensively covers almost everything from introductory material to the nitty-gritty of the ColdFusion Markup Language and SQL, advanced application development techniques, and server administration, it could be the one book you use for learning and reference. This book is not something you'd lug around in your backpack (although an 11MB PDF of the entire book is included on the accompanying CD, and is certainly worthy of disk space on a laptop). It is, however, the kind of volume you'd want by your workstation. It's a valuable introduction to new features of ColdFusion, as well as a solid, comprehensive reference to CFML and its built-in functions.

Mastering ColdFusion 5
By Arman Danesh, Kristin Aileen Motlagh and Raymond Camden
1,263 pages, $49.95

More Stories By Mark Cyzyk

Mark Cyzyk is the Web Architect at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore,

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
"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.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...