|By Charlie Arehart||
|October 5, 2000 12:00 AM EDT||
Late in July ColdFusion developers who simply couldn't wait for the November Allaire Developer conference had the opportunity to gather with compatriots and spend time learning CF tricks and techniques from some of the most popular CF speakers.
You may find this announcement only mildly interesting if you're fortunate enough to have a CF user group in your area. These groups are popular and meet all over the country, many of them monthly.
But this was no ordinary "CF user group." It was CFUN-2k.
If You Organize It...
When Michael Smith, president of TeraTech, Inc., began planning and then put out the call for this meeting, billed as CFUN-2k, he had big plans. He arranged for a huge auditorium at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
He invited some of the most popular CF speakers nationwide, and decided not to charge a fee for attendees. Speakers responded from across the country and agreed to speak at no charge.
Then he sent out invitations to thousands of CF developers worldwide. They answered by the hundreds, spread the word and invited others.
In the end more than a thousand people registered, and Michael, his staff and a group of dedicated cosponsors began the arduous task of organizing, registering and pulling off a tremendous example of CF community building. They'd done it the year before, so they knew what they were getting themselves into.
CFUN-2k was on, and it was going to be bigger than any CF gathering to date. Bigger than the previous year and, yes, even bigger than last year's CF Developer Conference.
...They Will Come
Did I mention this was a weekend event? And not just one but two days? During one of the loveliest summers on record in Washington?
Yet still they came. Many of the participants and several of the speakers traveled long distances (in a few cases several hundred miles). Seven hundred CF developers attended, hungry to learn and willing to sit for several hours each day just watching and listening as speakers covered subjects from basics to business issues to advanced techniques. An overflow room with video feed had to be set up to accommodate them.
It wasn't all work, though - there were breaks for refreshments and lunch, and constant giveaways of books, software, tee shirts and more. To break the ice even further, there was the clever and well-received CF "Family Feud" as well as "Who Wants to Be a CF Millionaire?"
The meeting was a single-track format with 40-minute presentations. The roster of 16 speakers included many of the most popular local and national CF personalities. In order of appearance they were:
- Adam Churvis, president, Productivity Enhancement, purveyor of CommerceBlocks and a series of CF e-commerce seminars, spoke on "Using CF, Stored Procedures and Triggers," and offered lots of useful coding tips.
- Christine Pascarella, VP, sales, VirtualScape, shared insights into the challenges and opportunities as well as security issues involving CF hosting.
- I had the next slot, and showed how to build WML applications using ColdFusion.
- John Paul Ashenfelter, president, TransitionPoint, and coauthor of CF for Dummies, helped simplify "complex" data types in ColdFusion (arrays, structures and WDDX).
- Michael Smith spoke on the dynamics of change in the Web development industry and on the value of peer-to-peer networking (among computers and ourselves!).
- Howie Hamlin, project manager, CoolFusion.com, purveyors of the InFusion Mail Server, spoke on their tool's many features and benefits.
- Robi Sen, CIO of Granularity.com and organizer of the first national CF conference in Fort Collins, Colorado, in 1998, spoke on business-to-business commerce with a focus on new forms of electronic data interchange and application syndication.
- Steve Nelson of SecretAgents.com, a noted Fusebox.org ambassador (and soon to be author of a Fusebox book), spoke on the Fusebox methodology and its significance as an alternative for creating highly reusable CF applications. Steve did double duty by delivering Hal Helms's talk on "Beginning Fusebox." Hal, who was unable to attend, is a well-known CFDJ writer, Fusebox guru and consultant.
- Bill Rogers, CEO of Ektron.com, purveyors of the eMPower content management solution, demonstrated their tool and how it enables content providers on your Web site team to offer content in an easy and inexpensive manner.
- Leon Chalnick, president, Advanta Solutions, was unable to attend, so the next morning, at his request, I gave his presentation on the features and benefits of using ColdFusion custom tags.
- April Fleming, Web software developer for Federal Data Corp. and organizer of the Orlando CFUG, continued the WDDX theme started by John Paul Ashenfelter and showed a working example of using WDDX to syndicate data among CF servers.
- Shlomy Gantz of CoreActive ACG, the most highly rated speaker at last year's CFUN event, demonstrated the power and capability of integrating Macromedia Flash with ColdFusion to create powerfully interactive applications.
- Steve Drucker, CEO of Fig Leaf Software and one of the most popular CFUG speakers nationwide, carried forward Shlomy's Flash ideas and added COM and Java for further open integration.
- Michael Dinowitz, master of the CF-Talk list, spoke on programming philosophy, both general and CF-specific, and on the value of the interconnected CF developer community.
- Dave Watts, CTO of Fig Leaf Software and the most prolific contributor to the CF-Talk mailing list, shared his wisdom on "extreme debugging" and identified several tools to help solve system problems that can affect a CF application.
- Michael Imhoff, CTO of OmniCypher, spoke on the pluses and minuses of using Microsoft Access as a database for CF applications in development and production.
- Dave Aden, VP, technology services, WWStudios.com and contributor to the Allaire Spectra E-Business Construction Kit, gave an introduction to Spectra as well as tips and tricks for those already familiar with it.
All Work and No Play? No Way!
As I mentioned before, the weekend was much more than just sessions and speakers. Besides the giveaways and prizes (many organized by Amy Brooks, who as user group coordinator for Allaire deserves a big thanks from all of us all over the country), there were some elaborate and clever contests.
In the "CF Family Feud" Michael Smith and company had polled registrants in the weeks before to answer several questions (technical and nonwork related) and had gathered the most popular answers for each. As in the TV game show, game organizer and emcee Chris Mosier quizzed two "families" composed of audience members and speakers. And in "Who Wants to Be a CF Millionaire," host and organizer Adam Churvis led two contestants through their paces on several challenging CF questions.
You Asked? They Answered
Questions and answers were the rule throughout the conference. There was time after each talk for them. There was also a vendor area outside the hall with several CF companies and conference cosponsors demonstrating their products and, of course, ready and willing to answer any product questions.
The "CF Doctor" (Douglas Smith of TeraTech) was "in," trying to answer random questions throughout the conference. When he was stumped, he brought questions to a panel on Sunday composed of most of the speakers who also addressed questions from the audience.
A Yeoman Effort
The folks at TeraTech as well as volunteers from Capital PC User Group (CPCUG) and the Maryland CFUG did a yeomanlike job, staffing the entrance area and performing all manner of support tasks, including planning, organizing, marketing, registration and coordination of the CD, not only during the weekend, but in the many days leading up to the event.
The speakers and cosponsors, along with Michael Smith and his company, deserve a round of applause (and received several) for their tremendous efforts. It was a worthy precursor of the upcoming second annual worldwide Allaire Developer Conference, November 5-8, in Washington, DC.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Nov. 28, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,771
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,973
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 2,066
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Nov. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 2,082
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
Nov. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 2,229
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
Nov. 27, 2014 01:00 PM EST Reads: 2,124
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Nov. 27, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,950
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Nov. 27, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,947
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Nov. 27, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 1,924
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Nov. 27, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 2,050
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Nov. 27, 2014 07:00 AM EST Reads: 2,106
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 2,090
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 2,168
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,760
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,821
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Nov. 26, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 2,091
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Nov. 24, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 2,254
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Nov. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 2,018
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Nov. 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 2,369
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Nov. 24, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 2,242