Certified ColdFusion Developer Study Guide


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The book will not teach ColdFusion, it will be a review guide and will provide helpful pointers for examinees. The book will look non-intimidating yet thorough, and will be highly readable in small bite-sized chunks.

Each subject will be presented in clear and direct language, with useful and well explained code examples. Sample questions will accompany each subject, as will references to recommended reading (Allaire documentation, Allaire course work, and existing MCP ColdFusion books).

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Editorial Reviews

Reviews information needed to pass the Certified ColdFusion Developer exam, covering ColdFusion and related technologies in sections on the basics, variables and expression, data types, advanced ColdFusion, extending ColdFusion, services and protocols, databases, and tuning and optimization. Includes sample questions and answers. Forta coauthored the official Allaire ColdFusion training courses and has written other books on the subject. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789725653
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 3/23/2001
  • Pages: 378
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Bon Forts is the Allaire Corporation Product Evangelist for the ColdFusion product line, Ben co-authored the official Allaire Coldfusion training courses, write,, regular columns car, ColdFusion and Internet development and now spends as considerable amount of tune lecturing and speaking. tic is the author of two of the test-selling kooks on Coldfusion- ColdFusion 4.0, Web Application Construction Kit and Advanced ColdFusion 4.0 Development-as well as books on Allaire Spectra, JSP, WAP, SOL, and more. Ben is reconized and a trusted name among the ColdFusion developer community
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: Web Technology and Terminology

The Basics

Effective ColdFusion development requires a solid understanding of Internet and Web concepts, terms, and technologies. So, in this first chapter, we'll start with a brief review of these.

The Internet

The Internet is simply the world's biggest computer network. It connects millions of hosts (computers, servers, devices, and so on) to each other so that they can communicate and interact.

The Internet is not a physical entity, nor is it any particular host or set of hosts. You could never point to a machine and identify it as the Internet, nor could you ever turn the Internet on or off. The Internet is a living entity. and one that is evolving and changing all the time.


The Internet is held together by 1P, the Internet Protocol, and every host connected to the Internet must be running a copy of IP.

IP requires that every host have a unique address by which to identify it. The unique identifiers are IP addresses that (in the current version of IP) are made up of four sets of numbers separated by periods-for example, 208. 193.16.250. Some hosts have fixed (or static) 1P addresses; others have dynamically assigned addresses. Regardless of how an IP address is obtained, no two hosts connected to the Internet may use the same IP address at any given time. (The exception to this rule is addressing used on private networks, which need just be unique within that network.)


IP addresses are the only way to uniquely specify a host. When you want to communicate with a host-for example, a Web server-you must specify the IP address of the Web server you're trying to contact. Similarly, when you connect to an FTP server, or specify the SMTP and POP servers in your mail client, you must specify the name of the host to which you want to connect. As you know from browsing the Web, you rarely specify IP addresses directly. You do, however, specify a host name, such as www.forta.com. If hosts are identified by IP address, how does your browser know which Web server to contact if you specify a host name`?

The answer is the Domain Name Service (DNS), a mechanism that maps host names to IP addresses. When you specify the destination address of www.forta.com, your browser sends an address resolution request to a DNS server asking for the IP address of that host. The DNS server returns an actual IP address--in this case, 208. 193.16. 250. Your browser can then use this address to communicate with the host directly.

DNS is never required. Users can always specify the name of a destination host by its IP address to connect to the host. There are, however, some very good reasons not to use the IT address:

  • IP addresses are hard to remember and easy to mistype. Users are more likely to find www.forta.com than they are
  • IP addresses are subject to change. For example, if you switch service providers, you might be forced to use a new set of IT addresses for your hosts. If users identified your site only by its IP address, they never could reach your host if the IP address changed. Your DNS name stays the same, even if your IP address switches. You need to change only the mapping so that the host name maps to the new correct IP address.
  • Multiple hosts, each with unique IP addresses, can all have the same DNS name. This allows load balancing between servers, as well as the establishment of redundant servers.
  • A single host, with a single IP address, can have multiple DNS names. This enables you to create aliases if needed. For example, ftp. forta. com and www. forta. com might point to the same IP address, and thus the same server.

The World Wide Web

The Web is what put the Internet on the map, and made it a household word. Many people mistakenly think the Internet is the Web. The truth, however, is that the Web is merely an application that sits on top of the Internet. The Web is built on the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). HTTP is designed to be a small, fast protocol that is well suited for distributed multimedia information systems and hypertext jumps between sites.

Information on the Web is stored in pages. A page can contain any of the following:

Each Web page is an actual file saved on a host. When a Web page is requested, the file containing the Web page is read and its contents are sent to the host that asked for it.

A Web site is simply a collection of Web pages along with any supporting files (such as GIF or JPG graphics). Creating a Web site thus involves creatin- one or more Web pages and linking them. The Web site is then saved on a Web server.

Web Servers

The Web consists of pages of information stored on hosts running Web-server software. The host is often referred to as the Web server which is technically inaccurate. The Web server is actually software and not the computer itself. Versions of Web server software can run on almost all computers, and although most Web server applications do have minimum hardware requirements, no special computer is needed to host a Web server.

Originally, Web development was all performed under different flavors of UNIX. Most Web servers still run on UNIX boxes, but this is changing. There are now Web-server versions for almost every major operating system. Web servers hosted on high-performance operating systems, such as Windows NT, are becoming more and more popular because UNIX is still more expensive to run than Windows NT and is also more difficult to use for the average user. Windows NT (and especially Windows 2000) has proven itself to be an efficient, reliable, and cost-effective platform for hosting Web servers. As a result, Windows NT's slice of the Web server operating system pie is growing dramatically. So, what exactly is a Web server? It's a program that serves up Web pages upon request. Web servers typically don't know or care what they're serving. When a user at a specific IP address requests a specific file (a Web page), the Web server tries to retrieve that file and send it back to the user. The requested file might he the HTML source code for a Web page. a GIF image, VRML, worlds...

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. I The Basics 7
1 Web Technology and Terminology 9
2 Working with Variables and Expressions 19
3 Conditional Processing 29
4 Looping 35
5 Redirects and Reuse 43
6 The Application Framework 51
7 Using Databases 59
Pt. II Variables and Expressions 69
8 URL Variables 71
9 FORMS Variables 79
10 APPLICATION and SERVER Variables 89
11 Session State Management 95
12 Locking 105
Pt. III Data Types 113
13 Lists 115
14 Arrays 123
15 Structures 133
Pt. IV Advanced ColdFusion 143
16 Scripting 145
17 Dynamic Functions 153
18 Stored Procedures 159
19 Transactions 165
20 Debugging 173
21 Error Handling 181
Pt. V Extending ColdFusion 191
22 Custom Tags 193
23 Advanced Custom Tags 203
24 COM, CORBA, CFX, and Java 211
25 WDDX 219
Pt. VI Services and Protocols 225
26 Full Text Searching 227
27 System Integration 237
28 Scheduling and Event Execution 251
29 Email Integration 257
30 LDAP 265
31 Other Internet Protocols 271
Pt. VII Databases 281
32 Basic SQL 283
33 Joins 291
34 Aggregates 299
35 Advanced Database Features 305
36 Improving Performance 315
Pt. VIII Tuning and Optimization 321
37 Application Performance Tuning and Optimization 323
38 Server Performance Tuning 333
Pt. IX Appendix 343
App. A Answers 345
Index 355
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