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How Healthy Is Your ColdFusion Server?

Results of Challenge #1; plus this month's coding contest

Before describing this month's prize and contest, I would like to thank everyone for their submissions to our first contest (CFDJ vol. 7 issue 3). That contest objective was to modify Ray Camden's blog in any way you choose, and you had to take advantage of at least one new feature in CFMX 7.

Announcing the Winners of Challenge #1
The winners are Nahuel Foronda and Laura Arguello from Blue Instant (www.blueinstant.com/). They chose to use Flash Forms and Web Services to create a weather pod. I plan to migrate horwith.com to a new server in the near future, and when I do, their pod will be there as well. I also believe Ray Camden is going to make the pod available for download from his site, either as part of the next version of his blog or as a separate add-on to his blog. Congratulations, Laura and Nahuel.

Challenge #3
As many of you know, I spend a huge amount of my "free time" writing code, books, editing CFDJ, and so on. This month I've decided to take one of the ideas (I've currently got about 20 potential projects in my head) for an application that I've been planning to write and make publicly available, and present it to our readers as a challenge.

The contest is to write an API that exposes information that's useful for monitoring the current status of a ColdFusion MX 7 Server and applications. The information will be the sort that's valuable to Administrators and developers. Here are a few examples of type of information I'd like the API to be able to return:

  • Current amount of memory in use by the server
  • What applications are running on the server
  • Current number of sessions per application
  • Average size of sessions
  • Page response times and hit-rates
  • Average number of CFC method calls, longest, shortest, and average cfc call per page, etc.
There are just suggestions - I leave it up to you to determine what the API can return. Here are a few resources that you might want to look at (and steal code from) to get started: Though it's not a requirement, extra points go to any entry that also uses their API in an SMS Gateway implementation. I think it'd be terrific if Server Administrators could use their phone to call their CF Server and choose from a menu of options to find out about current server statistics (you could also add options for rebooting the server, clearing applications and sessions, and so on).

The prize this month is a full year of free ColdFusion Hosting from CFDynamics. CFDynamics are my personal preference for hosting - they give you a lot for your money (though in this case it's free!), have excellent support, and are really good about working with customers to give them whatever they need.

There's no hard deadline for this contest - I expect it will end around the middle of July but because some people get their issues in the mail later than others, I don't want to commit to a hard date. I'll blog about the closing date when it is determined, and will also add a comment to this article on the SYS-CON website (http://cfdj.sys-con.com).

Good luck - I look forward to seeing what people submit!

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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