Major ColdFusion Features
by Ron Kurtus (revised 12 March 2016)
ColdFusion is a combination of a rapid application development platform and the ColdFusion markup language (CFML) used with that platform.
Questions you may have on this process are:
- What does the Main Toolbar consist of?
- What is the Quick Bar?
- How is the Data Entry Wizard used?
This lesson will answer those questions.
ColdFusion is most often used for data-driven websites or intranets, but can also be used to generate remote services such as SOAP web services or Flash remoting. It is especially well-suited as the server-side technology to the client-side Flex.
ColdFusion provides a number of additional features out of the box. Among them main things are:
- Simplified database access
- Client and server cache management
- Client-side code generation, especially for form widgets and validation
- Conversion from HTML to PDF
- Data retrieval from common enterprise systems such as Active Directory, LDAP, SMTP, POP, HTTP, FTP, Microsoft Exchange Server and common data formats such as RSS andAtom
- File indexing and searching service based on Apache Solr
- GUI administration
- Server, application, client, session, and request scopes
- XML parsing, querying (XPath), validation and transformation (XSLT)
- Server clustering
- Task scheduling
- Graphing and reporting
- Simplified file manipulation including raster graphics (and CAPTCHA) and zip archives (introduction of video manipulation is planned in a future release)
- Simplified web service implementation (with automated WSDL generation / transparent SOAP handling for both creating and consuming services - as an example, ASP.NET has no native equivalent for <CFINVOKE WEBSERVICE="http://host/tempconf.cfc?wsdl" METHOD="Celsius2Fahrenheit" TEMP="#tempc#" RETURNVARIABLE="tempf">)
Other implementations of CFML offer similar or enhanced functionality, such as running in a .NET environment or image manipulation.
The engine was written in C and featured, among other things, a built-in scripting language (CFScript), plugin modules written in Java, and a syntax very similar to HTML. The equivalent to an HTML element, a ColdFusion tag begins with the letters "CF" followed by a name that is indicative of what the tag is interpreted to, in HTML. E.g. <cfoutput> to begin the output of variables or other content.
In addition to CFScript and plugins (as described), CFStudio provided a design platform with a WYSIWYG display. In addition to ColdFusion, CFStudio also supports syntax in other languages popular for backend programming, such as Perl. In addition to making backend functionality easily available to the non-programmer, (version 4.0 and forward in particular) integrated easily with the Apache Web Server and with Internet Information Services.
Studio has toolbars, panes and a data entry wizard to help the development process.
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Resources and references
ColdFusion - Wikipedia
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