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Two of My Favorite Things: Software Architecture + ColdFusion

Two of My Favorite Things: Software Architecture + ColdFusion

The topic of focus for this month's issue is "architecture." Software architecture is the study and practice of the art of planning and developing applications, and it also happens to be my favorite topic and area of expertise. It is the cornerstone of everything we do, and developers of every level of expertise and experience can gain from its understanding.

By the time this issue reaches our readers, the CFUnited conference will be fast approaching - and I encourage ColdFusion developers everywhere to try to attend. If software architecture and/or object-oriented programming are of interest to you, there will be many sessions covering various aspects of these areas of knowledge, in addition to many other great topics. Of course, CFUnited will also be the first opportunity that ColdFusion developers have to attend so many presentations devoted to the new features in ColdFusion MX 7. I look forward to seeing and meeting many of you there. You can read all about the CFUnited conference in this month's community column. In addition to our community focus article on the CFUnited conference, we've got plenty of excellent articles about architecture for you in this month's issue.

Joe Rinehart has written an article explaining the Model View Controller (MVC) design pattern and offers insight about his approach to implementing it in ColdFusion applications. Of course, MVC is hands-down the most popular and common design pattern used by developers on the web, so in order to offer an alternative take on this subject we also have an article by Sam Farmer about an MVC-based framework he developed for use in a membership driven application that he built. Speaking of frameworks, Neil Ross developed a framework based on the front-controller design pattern called "TheHUB" and has written an excellent article explaining how he architected that framework. I have written an article explaining the resource pool design pattern - that article includes a URL to download a flexible generic implementation of resource pool that can be implemented in your applications.

In our "Macromedia Speaks Out" column this month is an interesting article by Mike Nimer about possible uses for the Event Gateway that was introduced in ColdFusion MX 7. If you have been wondering why there is so much hype surrounding this new feature, look no further than his article!

Hal Helms has written a very interesting article for us this month, explaining the use of configuration files in application architecture, and Jeff Peters writes about his "LAMBDA Box" solution that uses Linux, Apache, MySQL, and BlueDragon to create very low-cost servers. We have our second developer contest this month and the winning prize is a free registration for the CFUnited conference for both the winner and a friend. Jeffry Houser has written an article about relational database design in his "CF-101" column this month, so if your database design skills aren't quite where you'd like them to be, Jeff's got your back.

Last but certainly not least, our case study column this month is an excellent article from Steven Forehand and Phil Hulsey about the web portal at East Carolina University. The article traces the ColdFusion-based portal's seven-year evolution, including many of the architectural hurdles they've had to overcome along the way. I found it to be not only a great testimony to the power of ColdFusion, especially given the robustness of the application and the small size of the development team, but also a prime example to the kind of services and online experiences that a university can offer to their students and staff. I only wish I'd had something like that when I was a student in college. Well done, East Carolina!

More Stories By Simon Horwith

Simon Horwith is the CIO at AboutWeb, LLC, a Washington, DC based company specializing in staff augmentation, consulting, and training. Simon is a Macromedia Certified Master Instructor and is a member of Team Macromedia. He has been using ColdFusion since version 1.5 and specializes in ColdFusion application architecture, including architecting applications that integrate with Java, Flash, Flex, and a myriad of other technologies. In addition to presenting at CFUGs and conferences around the world, he has also been a contributing author of several books and technical papers.

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