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

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
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
It’s 2016: buildings are smart, connected and the IoT is fundamentally altering how control and operating systems work and speak to each other. Platforms across the enterprise are networked via inexpensive sensors to collect massive amounts of data for analytics, information management, and insights that can be used to continuously improve operations. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Chemel, Co-Founder and CTO of Digital Lumens, will explore: The benefits sensor-networked systems bring to ...
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet a...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices 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 opportuni...
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
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 develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps 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. 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.
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, explained how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
In today's uber-connected, consumer-centric, cloud-enabled, insights-driven, multi-device, global world, the focus of solutions has shifted from the product that is sold to the person who is buying the product or service. Enterprises have rebranded their business around the consumers of their products. The buyer is the person and the focus is not on the offering. The person is connected through multiple devices, wearables, at home, on the road, and in multiple locations, sometimes simultaneously...
“delaPlex Software provides software outsourcing services. We have a hybrid model where we have onshore developers and project managers that we can place anywhere in the U.S. or in Europe,” explained Manish Sachdeva, CEO at delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
We all know the latest numbers: Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from last year, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. We're rapidly approaching a data production of 40 zettabytes a day – more than we can every physically store, and exabytes and yottabytes are just around the corner. For many that’s a good sign, as data has been proven to equal money – IF it’s ingested, integrated, and analyzed fast enough. Without real-ti...
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...