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Overview of Using Adobe ColdFusion

by Ron Kurtus (revised 21 July 2016)

Adobe ColdFusion is a rapid web application development platform used for creating dynamic Internet applications. It uses the ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML), which is a tag-based scripting language that is easy to learn and is similar to HTML.

ColdFusion enables developers to readily build and deploy dynamic websites, content publishing systems, self-service applications, commerce sites, and more.

ColdFusion pages are plain text files that you use to create web applications. You can create your ColdFusion applications by writing all the code manually or by using wizards (provided with some editors) to generate most of the code for you.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.



Markup language

The ColdFusion markup language (CFML) encompasses the Web's hypertext markup language (HTML) and extensible markup language (XML). It primarily consists of pairs of tags that define commands and different activities. The tags all start with CF, to differentiate them from HTML tags, which can also be used in a ColdFusion page.

Whereas an HTML page ends in .HTM or .HTML, ColdFusion pages end in .CFM.

A commonly used tag is <CFQUERY>, which commands a query from a designated database and uses standard SQL search comments. The output of a query is defined by the <CFOUTPUT> pair of tags.

ColdFusion server

A ColdFusion Server application must be installed on a server in order for its just-in-time (JIT) compiler to turn the CFML into the pages that get served. This is the major disadvantage of the program, since Web providers must purchase and install the expensive server software. To use ColdFusion, you must be sure the Internet Service Provider (ISP) or host has a ColdFusion server.

Macomedia provides a Personal ColdFusion Web Server with Studio and Dreamweaver that allows testing of applications on a PC. With quick connections, it is sometimes easier to simply upload a file to the server than to try to test it on the PC.

Capabilities

Applications developed in ColdFusion can access databases using Microsoft's OLE DB, ODBC, or drivers that access Oracle and Sybase databases. ColdFusion can be coordinated with distributed applications that use CORBA or Microsoft's DCOM to interact with other network applications.

ColdFusion is also scalable, such that it allows both the size of a database and the number of users that can be served to grow.

Writing code

ColdFusion code can be written in any text editor, but it is much easier in an application such as ColdFusion Studio or Dreamweaver MX, since there is a listing of tags and code-checking capabilities. Macromedia discontinued Studio and integrated most of its features into Dreamweaver with the MX upgrade. But many developers still use Studio, because of its ease of use and less demand on resources.

Uses

Any company that has a large database of employees, products or content can use the data-driven metaphor to better manager their web sites. This includes uses for human resources in a company Intranet, e-commerce, and education.

Summary

ColdFusion is a possible program to use for data-driven, dynamic web sites.


Excel in what you do


Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials

Websites

About ColdFusion - Adobe Help

ColdFusion Resources

Books

Top-rated books on ColdFusion


Questions and comments

Do you have any questions, comments, or opinions on this subject? If so, send an email with your feedback. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.


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