Click here to close now.

Welcome!

You will be redirected in 30 seconds or close now.

ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson, Daniel Kaar

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"
inc="inc/"></cf_activedit>

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.

VITALS
Activedit 2.5
CFDev.com
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) 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
Alexandru COSTIN 11/27/03 08:23:43 AM EST

Hi,
We have a very powerful editor that works perfectly on MAC, and also include a lot of improvements over the ActiveState editor
- we have live property inspector like in Dreamweaver (change image and table properties visually)
- we have intuitive image management
- we have spellchecker
- we support MACs

Our product has also a better pricing scheme.

Alexandru

cam 03/12/03 11:27:00 AM EST

Does 3.0 work on Mac? CF Dev has very little updated on the new version in terms of documentation on its site.

Matt 12/23/02 10:43:00 AM EST

currently, nope

Tom Durkin 08/30/02 04:30:00 PM EDT

Will it work on a Mac?

@ThingsExpo Stories
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context wi...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust IoT ...
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.
To many people, IoT is a buzzword whose value is not understood. Many people think IoT is all about wearables and home automation. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed some incredible game-changing use cases and how they are transforming industries like agriculture, manufacturing, health care, and smart cities. He will discuss cool technologies like smart dust, robotics, smart labels, and much more. Prepare to be blown away with a glimpse of the future.
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BMC delivers software solutions that help IT transform digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive business advantage. BMC has worked with thousands of leading companies to create and deliver powerful IT management services. From mainframe to cloud to mobile, BMC pairs high-speed digital innovation with robust IT industrialization – allowing customers to provide amazing user experiences with optimized IT per...
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will addresses this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a "Make or Buy" decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud business applications and services across multiple cloud delivery models.
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fillin...
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, discussed IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sectors.
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "Second Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, and the “Third Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place June 7-9, 2016, at Javits Center in New York City. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "First Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. The “Second Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place November 3-5, 2015, at Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, 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 strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!