ColdFusion and CFML

ColdFusion is the name of a webserver that can be used to host websites with dynamic content. The pages on this server can consist of regular HTML pages or pages which can be parsed by the ColdFusion server. A regular HTML page has static content and can also be served by a regular web server. The pages which are parsed by the ColdFusion server are written in a language called CFML. CFML is an acronym for ColdFusion Mark-Up Language. In many occassions persons talk about ColdFusion while they actually mean CFML. ColdFusion and CFML were developed by Allaire Corporation. In 2001 Allaire was taken over MacroMedia, Inc. Since that time ColdFusion was not called Allaire ColdFusion. The new name became Macromedia ColdFusion.

ColdFusion very useful for creating and deploying dynamic web applications. Developers like ColdFusion because it's simple, tag-based language that makes it easy to handle simple tasks, like processing form data and querying databases. A major benefit of ColdFusion is, that it is easy to learn. If the ColdFusion server is configured properly it is possible to deploy powerful web application on that server.

MacroMedia ColdFusion makes it easier to integrate relational databases into a web site. The ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML) uses a syntax similar to HTML, which makes it more even more convenient to mix it with regular HTML coding. CFML also allows building in modularity into web applications through the definition of custom tags, which makes the language extensible. Unfortunately ColdFusion is not open-source, so if it's used within a site it must be licensed.

Here is a list of some of the features of ColdFusion:

  • ColdFusion hides complexity.
  • ColdFusion lets the programmer set defaults for database access and unset them when necessary.
  • ColdFusion lets the programmer set session management and unset it when necessary.
  • ColdFusion simplifies variable storage.
  • ColdFusion does implicit looping over queries and lists.
  • ColdFusion generates and sends JavaScript transparently on the fly when certain input tags are used. This makes it possible to have client-side input checking without forcing the programmer to write, review, and modify JavaScript to do this.
  • It is possible to configure the ColdFusion server in such a way that debugging information of a requested page is also shown if the page was requested from a certain IP address.
  • ColdFusion has a good error-handling mechanism.
  • Applications written in ColdFusion can change platforms as long as there is a ColdFusion server available for the new platform.
  • ColdFusion supports ODBC which makes it possible to connect ColdFusion to many many databases.

ColdFusion's grammar leads to fewer and more understandable lines of code than other middleware does. This reduces the time to review or to adjust code. ColdFusion hides complexity and still provides great power.


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