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

Activedit 2.5 by CfDev.com

Activedit 2.5 by CfDev.com

Some time ago, when Homesite 1.0 was still my editor of choice (yes, that long ago), I had a problem with a client. A small-town newspaper editor wanted a wider audience - the Web.

Naturally, she knew nothing about HTML or FTP, and she wasn't about to learn. I thought, "Create a database." I could use an HTML form to collect the text and, voilà, instantly updated pages. But how could she format the text without learning <br> and <b>?

The boss nixed the idea as too expensive and time-consuming. I probably wasted enough time converting her text to do the database option twice. But I'm not paid to make the Big Decisions.

Actually, I couldn't get the problem out of my mind. A client with no other knowledge (except how to get online and how to use a word processor) needed to be able to create and edit HTML documents on a remote server. The only solution is a Web-based WYSIWYG editor that can save in HTML.

Problem solved. Activedit 2.5 from CFDev.com does the trick. You get a fully functional HTML editor that you just plug into a form.

Installing Activedit
If you have access to your own server, or if your Web space provider is nice enough to install it, you'll be in business fast. Note: To use the spell-check feature, you'll need a Java Virtual Machine (the documentation recommends the Java 2 Runtime                        .Environment, available at http://java.sun.com/products/).

Even if you don't have access to your server's custom tags folder, you can still use Activedit. Simply upload the activedit.cfm file to the folder where you'll be using it. You'll also need to upload the /inc folder that contains support files.

In my test I used the nonserver method at my host. As far as I could see, there was no discernible difference in performance.

Using Activedit
Activedit is a CF custom tag that you include in any CF form page. It creates a text editor inside your form. Activedit, at its simplest, looks like this:

<cf_activedit fieldname="contents"

To explain what you're seeing: "fieldname" is simply that - the name of the form field. That fieldname gets passed, HTML code and all, into your form handler; "inc" is the folder containing Activedit's components and image files. If you want to include some predefined input, it can be inserted via a CF variable. Other attributes allow you to modify the toolbar or enable and disable different options.

From this point, assuming you don't need to allow image uploading or spell checking, you can use the basic tag as if it were a <textarea> form tag. Add an appropriate CFFILE tag in your form handler, like so:

<cffile action="write" file="#destination_dir#\content.html" nameconflict="overwrite" output="#form.contents#">

Now you have a perfectly usable HTML editor inside your form that writes to a static HTML page. Of course, you can also save the results into a memo field in your database or to an e-mail. You may want to include a validator to extract any potentially harmful code. I was able to paste a little JavaScript into my form. Setting "alloweditsource=no" would probably take care of it.

On the other hand, your more savvy clients may appreciate being able to add tables and hyperlinks.

Unfortunately, space doesn't permit me to go into all the details of this product. I haven't even touched on the Java-based spell checker or image uploading.

Who can best use this? Honestly, if you maintain a Web site, whether your own or a few dozen for your clients, Activedit can dramatically alter the way you do business. Imagine a Web site like the one I mentioned at the outset: a newspaper editor needs weekly (maybe daily) updates. Imagine she can edit her site online and you never have to hear from her (except for the checks). Or imagine sending formatted HTML e-mails using your client database. Imagine a Web site where users can browse and create and maintain their own personal Web pages without ever calling or e-mailing you.

Is Activedit worth it? If you want hassle-free content management and reduced customer hand-holding, it's the way to go. But to me, just the "wow" factor would be worth the money.

Activedit 2.5
Address: 181 Genesee Street
Suite 500
Utica, NY 13501
Web: www.CFDev.com
Phone: 800 791-1916
Test Environment: NT4 server with IIS and CF4.5
Pricing: I tested an open source version with spell checker for $475. The basic ColdFusion version is $99 ($175 with spell checker).

More Stories By Carey Lilly

Carey Lilly is an associate with a Web site– development firm based in the New York area. He has been developing with ColdFusion since 1997 and has 10 years’ experience with relational databases.

Comments (4)

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
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
The Internet of Things (IoT), in all its myriad manifestations, has great potential. Much of that potential comes from the evolving data management and analytic (DMA) technologies and processes that allow us to gain insight from all of the IoT data that can be generated and gathered. This potential may never be met as those data sets are tied to specific industry verticals and single markets, with no clear way to use IoT data and sensor analytics to fulfill the hype being given the IoT today.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Transparent Cloud Computing (T-Cloud) Consortium 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. The Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium (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 proces...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MathFreeOn 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. MathFreeOn is Software as a Service (SaaS) used in Engineering and Math education. Write scripts and solve math problems online. MathFreeOn provides online courses for beginners or amateurs who have difficulties in writing scripts. In accordance with various mathematical topics, there are more tha...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions 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. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Niagara Networks 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. Niagara Networks offers the highest port-density systems, and the most complete Next-Generation Network Visibility systems including Network Packet Brokers, Bypass Switches, and Network TAPs.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Embotics, the cloud automation company, 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. Embotics is the cloud automation company for IT organizations and service providers that need to improve provisioning or enable self-service capabilities. With a relentless focus on delivering a premier user experience and unmatched customer support, Embotics is the fas...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service. 

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, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
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...
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, will be adding 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...
If you had a chance to enter on the ground level of the largest e-commerce market in the world – would you? China is the world’s most populated country with the second largest economy and the world’s fastest growing market. It is estimated that by 2018 the Chinese market will be reaching over $30 billion in gaming revenue alone. Admittedly for a foreign company, doing business in China can be challenging. Often changing laws, administrative regulations and the often inscrutable Chinese Interne...
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.
In the next forty months – just over three years – businesses will undergo extraordinary changes. The exponential growth of digitization and machine learning will see a step function change in how businesses create value, satisfy customers, and outperform their competition. In the next forty months companies will take the actions that will see them get to the next level of the game called Capitalism. Or they won’t – game over. The winners of today and tomorrow think differently, follow different...
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
The Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF), sponsor of the IoTivity open source project, and AllSeen Alliance, which provides the AllJoyn® open source IoT framework, today announced that the two organizations’ boards have approved a merger under the OCF name and bylaws. This merger will advance interoperability between connected devices from both groups, enabling the full operating potential of IoT and representing a significant step towards a connected ecosystem.