ColdFusion 4.0 Web Application Construction Kit

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An all-in-one kit that provides you with everything you need to create Web-based applications using the latest version of Allaire Corporation's ColdFusion. From the basics of application design to session state management, from database fundamentals to real-time credit card verification and authorization, from dynamic SQL generation to Java enhanced forms, this book contains everything you to need to get up and running in record time. Included on the CD-ROM are evaluation versions of ColdFusion and ColdFusion Studio, complete source code listings, sample applications, and add-on applications and utilities.
  • This 3rd edition of this highly successful book has been updated to cover recent enhancements to both the ColdFusion Application Server and the ColdFusion Studio development environment.
  • For coverage of advanced ColdFusion see our other ColdFusion book, Advanced ColdFusion 4 Application Development.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789718099
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 12/23/1998
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 1032
  • Product dimensions: 7.42 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 2.08 (d)

Meet the Author

Ben Forta is the Allaire Corporation Product Evangelist for the ColdFusion product line. He is a regular spokesman for ColdFusion and conducts ColdFusion seminars all over the globe. Ben has been developing Internet and client/server applications for over 15 years.
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Table of Contents

Who Should Use This Book. How to Use This Book.


1. Why ColdFusion?
Introducing ColdFusion.

2. Introduction to ColdFusion.
Understanding the World Wide Web. Introducing ColdFusion. Linking to External Applications.


3. Installing ColdFusion and ColdFusion Studio.
Preparing to Install ColdFusion. Installing ColdFusion. Preparing to Install ColdFusion Studio. Installing ColdFusion Studio.

4. Administering ColdFusion.
Using the ColdFusion Administrator. Using the Server Tab. Using the Data Sources Tab. Using the Debugging Tab. Using the Mail Tab. Using the Logging Tab. Using the Tags Tab. Using the Mappings Tab. Using the Scheduler Tab. Using the Verity Tab. Using the Applets Tab.


5. Designing an Application.
Introducing Application Design.

6. Database Fundamentals.
Understanding Databases. Understanding Relational Databases. Understanding the Different Types of Database Applications.

7. Creating Databases and Tables.
CreatingDatabases. Creating the A2Z Database. Creating Tables. Understanding Table Relationships. Adding Data with Microsoft Access.

8. Introduction to SQL.
Introducing SQL, the Structured Query Language. Introducing ODBC. Creating an ODBC Data Source. Using Microsoft Query. Preparing to Create Queries. Creating Queries. Sorting Query Results. Filtering Data.

9. SQL Data Manipulation.
Adding Data. Adding Multiple Rows. Modifying Data. Deleting Data.

10. Introduction to ColdFusion Studio.
Understanding ColdFusion Studio. Using the Editor. Getting Help. Using Tags and Expressions. Accessing ColdFusion Application Server Services. Configuring Studio.

11. ColdFusion Basics.
Using Templates. Understanding ColdFusion Templates. Passing Parameters to Templates. Creating Data-Driven Templates. Understanding Data-Driven Templates. Using Drill-Down Applications. Building Dynamic SQL Statements. Creating Frames for Use with ColdFusion. Displaying Results in Tables. Grouping Query Results. Specifying Field Types.

12. ColdFusion Forms.
Using Forms. Creating Forms. Processing Form Submissions. Creating Dynamic SQL Statements. Building Truly Dynamic Statements. Creating Dynamic Search Screens.

13. Using Forms to Add or Change Data.
Using a Web Browser as a Universal Client. Adding Data with ColdFusion. Introducing CFINSERT. Updating Data with ColdFusion. Introducing CFUPDATE. Deleting Data with ColdFusion. Reusing Forms. Creating a Complete Application. Using CFIF to Create Conditional Code.

14. Using the SQL Query Builder.
Understanding the SQL Query Builder. Generating SQL SELECT Statements. Using Query Builder SQL Statements. Generating Other SQL Statements.

15. Form Data Validation.
Understanding Form Validation. Using Server-Side Validation. Using Client-Side Validation. Putting It All Together.

16. The Report Writer.
Introducing Crystal Reports Professional. Creating Reports with Crystal Reports Professional. Embedding Reports into ColdFusion Templates. Customizing Reports On-The-Fly.

17. Debugging and Troubleshooting.
Debugging ColdFusion Applications. Understanding What Can Go Wrong. Debugging Web Server Configuration Problems. Debugging ODBC Driver Errors. Debugging SQL Statement or Logic Errors. Debugging ColdFusion Syntax Errors. Using the Document Validator. Debugging URL and Path Problems. Debugging Form Problems. Using the ColdFusion Debugging Options. Using the Studio Remote Debugger. Using the ColdFusion Log Files. Preventing Problems.


18. Working with Projects.
Understanding Projects. Using Projects.

19. Advanced SQL.
Using the DISTINCT Keyword. Using Column Aliases. Using Aggregate Functions to Report on Your Data. Combining SQL Statements. Working with Null Values. Using Views to Simplify and Reuse Your Queries. Using Scalar Functions to Manipulate Data Row-by-Row.

20. Working with Stored Procedures.
Why Use Stored Procedures? Calling Stored Procedures from ColdFusion Templates. Creating Stored Procedures.

21. Advanced ColdFusion Templates.
Reusing Code. Organizing Your Code. Browsing “Next n” Records. Caching Query Results.

22. Lists, Arrays, and Structures.
Using Advanced Data Types. Working with ColdFusion Lists. Working with ColdFusion Arrays. Working with ColdFusion Structures.

23. Enhancing Forms with CFFORM.

24. Interacting with Email.
Generating SMTP Mail. Including Query Results in Email. Sending Email to a List of People. Using HTML to Make Your Email Look Better. Sending Attachments with Your Email. Using CFPOP. Creating a Complete Mail Client. Mail Daemons. Working with Attachments.

25. Online Commerce.
Leveraging the Internet with ColdFusion. Understanding the Mechanics of Internet Commerce. Building the QuickStore Application. Using Payment Processing Systems.

26. Web Application Framework.
Introducing the Web Application Framework. Using the Application Template. Addressing the Web's Statelessness.

27. Session Variables and Cookies.
Using Client-State Management Techniques. Using ColdFusion Client and Session Management. Using Cookies.

28. Working with Files and Directories.
Manipulating Files and Directories. Understanding the CFFILE Tag and Its Attributes. Uploading Files Using the CFFILE Tag. Accessing the Local File System with CFFILE. Reading and Writing Files with CFFILE. Directory Manipulation with CFDIRECTORY.

29. Full-Text Searching with Verity.
Getting to Know Verity. Creating a Search Tool for Your Documents. Indexing Data. Maintaining Collections. Administrating Collections with CFCOLLECTION. Understanding Verity's Search Syntax.

30. Directory Services.
Understanding Directory Services. Understanding LDAP. Understanding CFLDAP. Retrieving Data with CFLDAP. Using CFLDAP. Accessing Public LDAP Servers. Creating an LDAP Client. Creating the Services List. Adding, Modifying, and Deleting LDAP Entries.

31. Version Control.
Using Revisions Control. Understanding Version Control. Using Versions 2.0. Using ColdFusion Studio Source Control Integration.

32. Event Scheduling.
Scheduling Template Execution. Using the Administrator to Create Tasks. Using the Administrator to Edit Tasks. Programming Control Tasks with the CFSCHEDULE Tag. Dynamically Creating Static Pages. Logging Scheduled Events.


Appendix A. ColdFusion Tag Reference.

Appendix B. ColdFusion Function Reference.
Using ColdFusion Functions. String Manipulation Functions. Date and Time Functions. Data Formatting Functions. Mathematical Functions. International Functions. List Manipulation Functions. Array Manipulation Functions. Structure Manipulation Functions. Query Manipulation Functions. Security Functions. System Functions. Client Variable Manipulation Functions. Expression Evaluation Functions. Bit and Set Manipulation Functions. Miscellaneous Functions.

Appendix C. Verity Search Language Reference.
Using Angle Brackets Around Operators. Operators Are Not Case Sensitive. Using Prefix Instead of Infix Notation. Searching for Special Characters as Literals. Understanding Concept Operators. Understanding Evidence Operators. Understanding Proximity Operators. Understanding Relational Operators. Understanding Score Operators.

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First Chapter

[Figures are not included in this sample chapter]

The ColdFusion 4.0 Web Application Construction Kit
- 3 -
Installing ColdFusion and ColdFusion Studio

In this chapter

  • Preparing to Install ColdFusion 
  • Installing ColdFusion 
  • Preparing to Install ColdFusion Studio 
  • Installing ColdFusion Studio 

Preparing to Install ColdFusion

Before getting started, you need to know that ColdFusion is extremely easy toinstall and configure. As long as the basic hardware and software requirements arein place, installing ColdFusion should take just a few minutes.

NOTE: ColdFusion comes in two distinct versions, a professional version and an enterprise version. The enterprise version provides sophisticated scalability and security features, and additional high-end features. Everything taught in this book applies to both versions of the product. The evaluation version on this book's accompanying CD-ROM is the enterprise version of the ColdFusion Application Server. 

Installing ColdFusion involves the following steps:

1. Verify that you have the correct hardware.
2. Select an operating system and ensure that it is configured correctly.
3. Select a Web server and ensure that it is installed and functions correctly.
4. Perform the actual installation.
5. Test the installation.

The first half of this chapter walks you through each of these steps.

Hardware Requirements

The ColdFusion Application Server runs on two different types of hardware: Intel-basedhardware (capable of running 32-bit Windows), Sun SPARC hardware running Solaris,and HP boxes running HP/UX.

Intel-Based Hardware 

ColdFusion runs under Windows 95 and Windows 98, and Windows NT (on Intel hardwareonly). The minimum recommended hardware is a Pentium class machine running at 100MHz.

If you'll be using Windows 95 or Windows 98, you should have no less than 32MBof RAM; 64MB of RAM is the minimum if you'll be using Windows NT. Additional memoryenhances system performance, especially if you're running Windows NT.

Your computer should have 50MB of disk space available after the Web server isinstalled and configured. Obviously, as you create applications on the server, theamount of disk space needed will increase.

The computer also needs to be connected to a network. This is usually via a networkinterface card (NIC) installed into the computer on an Ethernet or Token Ring network.A modem can also be used to connect the computer to a network.

Sun SPARC Hardware 

ColdFusion requires a minimum of 64MB of RAM, but 128MB is recommended.

Your computer should have 60MB of disk space available after the Web server isinstalled and configured. Again, th e amount of disk space needed will increase asyou create applications on the server.

The computer also needs to be connected to a network. Usually this is done viaa NIC installed into the computer on an Ethernet or Token Ring network. A modem canalso be used to connect the computer to a network.

Selecting a Hardware Platform 

ColdFusion runs on two very different hardware platforms, each with its own advantagesand disadvantages. Which is right for you? There is no right or wrong answer, buthere are some points to consider when making this decision:

  • Almost all of your ColdFusion code will run seamlessly on either platform. It is therefore possible to change your hardware platform at a later date without having to rewrite all of your code.
  • Sun SPARC hardware is considerably more expensive than Intel hardware, and you do not have the selection of vendors and products that you have with Intel-based hardware.
  • Intel-based hardware runs 32-bit Windows (Windows 95 or 98, or Windows NT), which is easier to install and manage.
  • Intel hardware expertise is more readily available than is Sun SPARC hardware expertise.
  • The hardware you have available, and any existing expertise, are primary factors to consider when selecting a hardware platform.
  • Sun SPARC hardware generally performs better than Intel-based hardware, and it is more scalable.

Evaluation version of both the Windows and Solaris versions of the ColdFusionApplication Server are on the accompanying CD-ROM. If you would like informationon other versions, contact Allaire at 617-761-2000 or at h ttp://

Selecting an Operating System

Once you have selected the hardware on which you will run your ColdFusion ApplicationServer, the next step is to select an operating system. The choices available toyou are going to be based on the hardware platform you select.

Operating Systems for Intel-Based Hardware 

You have two operating system choices when running Intel-based hardware: Windows95 or Windows 98 (from a ColdFusion perspective these are one and the same), andWindows NT. Windows 95 and Windows 98 does not come with a built-in Web server, WindowsNT (version 4 or later) does.

Windows 95 and Windows 98 are a great testing and development platform, and couldalso be used for very low volume Web sites. Live production Web servers should runon Windows NT, not Windows 95 or Windows 98. Windows NT was designed to handle greatersystem loads, and is far more scalable than Windows 95 or Windows 98.

NOTE: ColdFusion runs under both Windows NT Server and Windows NT Workstation. The practical differences between using Server and Workstation are the number of concurrent connections that your Web server (and thus ColdFusion) will be able to handle. Windows NT Workstation limits the number of connections to 10; Windows NT Server does not have this limitation. 

Your operating system must have the TCP/IP protocol installed in order to runWeb services. You may do this either during operating system installation or afterthe operating system is installed. To verify that TCP/IP is installed (and to installit if not), do the following:

  • Windows 95 and Windo ws 98 users can right-click the Network Neighborhood icon on the desktop and select the Properties option to display the Network properties dialog box shown in Figure 3.1. The TCP/IP protocol should be shown in the Configuration tab. If it is not present, click the Add button to install it.
FIGURE 3.1 The Windows 95 Control Panel applet shows all installed clients, protocols, and adapters.
  • Windows NT users can right-click the Network Neighborhood icon and select Properties (select Network from the Control Panel if you are using Windows NT 3.5x) to display the Network properties dialog box, shown in Figure 3.2. If it is not present, click the Add button to install it.
FIGURE 3.3 The Ping command may be used to check that the TCP/IP protocol is installed and running.

TCP/IP--as well as DNS and router settings--must be installed and configured properlyfor your Web server to function properly. Refer to your operating system documentationfor details, or contact your network administrator or ISP. See Chapter 2,"Introduction to ColdFusion," for more information about TCP/IP and IPaddresses.

To verify that TCP/IP is installed and operating properly, do the following:

1. Open an MS-DOS or Command Prompt window by selecting that option from the Start, Programs menu.

2. Type PING localhost or PING at the DOS prompt. You should see a series of replies echoed onto the screen, as shown in Figure 3.3. If the replies are shown, TCP/IP is installed and working.

FIGURE 3.3 The Ping command may be used to check that the TCP/IP protocol is installed and running.

NOTE: IP address is a special address that always refers to your own computer, regardless of what the actual IP address is. localhost is the host name for this special IP address. 

Another good way to test that TCP/IP working is to install a Web browser on theserver and try to use it to access other Web sites and pages. TCP/IP is working properlyif you can browse the Web or access other intranet pages.

NOTE: ColdFusion only supports Windows NT on Intel-based hardware. There is currently no version of ColdFusion for Windows NT on other hardware, like DEC Alpha. 

Operating Systems for Sun SPARC Hardware I

f you have opted to use Sun SPARC hardware, you will use Sun's Solaris as youroperating system. ColdFusion requires that you be running Solaris version 2.5.1 orlater, and that Solaris Patch 101242-11 or later be installed.

For more information about Sun's SPARC hardware and the Solaris operating system,visit the Sun Internet site at

Selecting a Web Server

Your next task is to select a Web server. As explained in Chapter 2, Web serversare software programs and you must select a Web server that runs on the hardwareplatform and operating system that you selected.

ColdFusion supports several different Web servers, allowing you to choose theserver that best suits your needs. Table 3.1 lists the supported Web servers andthe platforms on which they are supported, as well as the address where you can obtainadditional product information.

TABLE 3.1 ColdFusion-Supported Web Servers

Product URL Platforms
Microsoft IIS
Windows NT, Windows 95
Netscape Enterprise Server
Windows NT, Solaris
O'Reilly WebSite Pro
Windows NT, Windows 95

Which Web server is right for you? There is no right or wrong answer here, andasking this question of a group of Webmasters is likely to elicit strong and differingopinions. If you already have a Web server installed or have experience with anyparticular product, you are best off starting with that product.

Here are some points to consider when picking your Web server:

  • Microsoft IIS (and i ts Windows 95 counterpart, Microsoft Personal Web Server) are available from Microsoft at no charge. In fact, IIS comes bundled with Windows NT version 4 or later. IIS uses the user lists and security options in Windows NT itself, not requiring you to maintain yet another list of users' passwords and rights. This also means that IIS users must have a network login in order to have a Web server login.
  • Netscape Enterprise Server is the latest addition to a long line of popular commercial Web servers. Evaluation versions are available from the Netscape Web site. Enterprise Server runs on both Windows NT and Sun Solaris, and the administration is all Web-based. Enterprise Server maintains its own user and rights list, and does not integrate its security with the operating system.
  • O'Reilly WebSite Pro is extremely popular with ISPs and companies that offer hosting services. It is inexpensive and extremely easy to configure and maintain. An evaluation version is available on the O'Reilly Web site.
  • Apache is the most popular Web server on the Internet. It has a solid and proven track record, and is available at no charge from the Apache Web site. It is, however, far more difficult to install and configure than any of the other servers listed here. It is supported online by the user community.

ColdFusion supports all of the servers listed here, and the code you write isportable among these servers. This means that you can choose one option now and thenchange your mind later. While this requires you to reconfigure your Web server itself,ColdFusion needs very little to be changed from a ColdFusion s tandpoint.

TIP: IIS version 2 is the version of Microsoft IIS bundled with Windows NT 4. If you have decided to use IIS as your Web server, it is worth your while to upgrade to IIS version 4. You will gain many new features, including the capability to use ColdFusion pages as default documents. To download the upgrade, visit the IIS page on Microsoft's Web site at

NOTE: The list given only has the Web servers that ColdFusion supports using server APIs. Many other Web servers are supported via the ColdFusion CGI interface, but they are not listed here. As explained in Chapter 2, the CGI interface to ColdFusion should never be used if you can use the server APIs. 

Installation Checklist

You're about to install ColdFusion. Before doing so, run through this checklistto make sure your server is ready:

  • Verify that the hardware you are installing ColdFusion onto meets the requirements previously listed.
  • Verify that a supported operating system is installed and that the TCP/IP protocol is installed and working. (See the preceding section for details on how to test this.)
  • Determine whether the operating system vendor has published patches or service packs. If any do exist, you might want to consider applying them before proceeding.
  • Make sure you have installed a supported Web server. See Table 3.1 for servers supported by ColdFusion.
  • Verify that the Web server is working. The simplest way to do this is load a browser on the server and go to http://l ocalhost. The Web server is working if the default home page comes up.
  • Make sure that you are logged in with administrative rights. (This step does not apply to Windows 95 machines.)
  • Make sure that there is sufficient disk space following the Web server installation.

Once you have checked off the items in this list, you'll be ready to install ColdFusion.

Installing ColdFusion

The ColdFusion installation program walks you through the entire installationprocess. It usually even detects which Web server you have installed and configuresColdFusion accordingly.

NOTE: The installation instructions detailed here are for the Windows versions of ColdFusion only, as that is the only version bundled with this book. If you have downloaded the Solaris version of ColdFusion, refer to the documentation that came with it for installation instructions. 

Beginning the Installation Process

To start the installation program, run CF4EVAL.EXE found in the Evaluation directoryon the accompanying CD-ROM. If you have downloaded ColdFusion from the Allaire Website, run that executable instead. You should see a Welcome screen similar to theone shown in Figure 3.4.

FIGURE 3.4 The ColdFusion installation program walks you through the entire ColdFusion process.

NOTE: All the installation instructions provided here apply to the live version of ColdFusion, not just to the evaluation version provided on the CD-ROM. The only difference between the two is that when installing the l ive version, you are prompted for a serial number that you will receive along with the software. 

Once you have agreed to the license conditions (and, if you are installing a liveversion of ColdFusion, entered your serial number), you are prompted for the installationdirectory; this is shown in Figure 3.5. The default directory is C:\CFUSION, butyou may choose another directory if you so desire. It is strongly recommended thatyou keep the default directory if possible.

FIGURE 3.5 To install ColdFusion on a directory other than the default, specify that directory during the installation process.

The installation program attempts to automatically detect which Web server isinstalled and then prompts you to verify the results (see Figure 3.6). If you havemore than one Web server installed, you are prompted for the server with which ColdFusionwill be used.

FIGURE 3.6 The ColdFusion installation program attempts to automatically detect which Web servers are installed.

TIP: If you are using one of the servers listed in Table 3.1 and the installation program does not automatically detect it, cancel the installation. You might need to reinstall the Web server before proceeding.

Once ColdFusion knows which Web server you are using, it attempts to determinethe location of the Web server's root directory. The ColdFusion examples, documentation,and Java applets are installed into this directory's subdirectories. The installationprogram displays the directory that it wants to use, as shown in Figure 3.7, andyou may accept or change it.

FIGURE 3.7 Select Web server document directory.

Once you have specified the installation directories, you are prompted for thecomponents to install. The components available to you will vary based on the operatingsystem you are using. Figure 3.8 shows the Select Components dialog box that you'llsee if using Windows 95. Figure 3.9 shows the Windows NT version. Table 3.2 liststhe components and their descriptions, as well as the versions and platforms theyare available on.

FIGURE 3.8 Only a subset of the ColdFusion Application Server components may be installed on Windows 95 and Windows 98.

FIGURE 3.9 The entire set of components may be installed if using Windows NT.

TABLE 3.2 ColdFusion Components

Component Description
ColdFusion Program Files ColdFusion itself. This component is the only one that must be present for ColdFusion to work. This option is available on all platforms.
Documentation and Examples Complete online documentation and example applications. This option is available on all platforms.
CFXAPI Tag Development Kit Everything you need to create your own tags in Microsoft Visual C++ ver sion 4 or later. If you do not have MSVC installed, there is no need to install this component. If the installation program detects that MSVC is present, ColdFusion tag wizards are automatically added to it. This option is available on all platforms.
Load Balancing Fault tolerance and load balancing features. This option is only available in the Enterprise version of the product, and only when installing on Windows NT or Solaris.
Advanced Security Services Advanced security and server sandbox support. This option is only available in the Enterprise version of the product, and only when installing on Windows NT or Solaris.

TIP: If you omit a component that you want to install at a later date, you can rerun the installation program and just select that component.

Now you are prompted for two passwords, as seen in Figure 3.10 and Figure 3.11.The administrator password is the password that is required to administer and configureColdFusion using the Web-based administration program. The ColdFusion Studio passwordis the one ColdFusion Studio users need in order to access directories, files, anddata sources on the server machine.

FIGURE 3.10 The ColdFusion Administrator password is used to configure and administer the ColdFusion Application Server.
FIGURE 3. 11 The ColdFusion Studio password is used by ColdFusion Studio users to access services on the ColdFusion Application Server.

NOTE: If you are reinstalling ColdFusion, you are not prompted for the passwords--the existing passwords are used. 

You must provide these passwords; they can be the same password if you prefer.

SEE Chapter 4, "Administering ColdFusion," for more information about administering and configuring ColdFusion, p. 57.

SEE Chapter 10, "Introduction to ColdFusion Studio," for more information about ColdFusion Studio, and using it to access server files and data sources, p. 169.

TIP: The passwords specified here may be changed at a later time using the ColdFusion Administrator described in Chapter 4.

The installation program now prompts you for the name of the program group tocreate; then you are asked to verify all the options selected. Read through the settings,verify that they are correct, and then click the Next button to perform the actualinstallation.

FIGURE 3.12 The Windows 95 and Windows 98 taskbar displays the ColdFusion Application Server icons when ColdFusion is running.

You might be prompted to restart the server when you have finished installingColdFusion.

Testing the Installation

Your next task is to test the installation using the provided test programs. Asexplained in Chapter 2, the ColdFusion Application Server must be running in orderto process ColdFusion pages.

If you are ru nning Windows NT, select the Services applet from the Control Panel.You will see a ColdFusion service listed, and the status should say Started. If theservice is not Started, highlight it and click the Start button.

If you are running Windows 95 or Windows 98, an icon is displayed in the taskbarwhen ColdFusion is running, as shown in Figure 3.12. You may right click these iconsto stop the server if needed. To manually start the ColdFusion Application Server(if it has been stopped, or if it is shown in the taskbar), select the ColdFusionmenu option from the ColdFusion group beneath the Start button's Programs menu.

Once you have verified that ColdFusion is running, select the Welcome To ColdFusionoption from the ColdFusion group, which is beneath the Start button's Programs menu.You should see a Getting Started screen similar to the one shown in Figure 3.13.

FIGURE 3.13 The ColdFusion Getting Started screen provides quick access to documentation, Help, testing tools, and links to Allaire.

Select the Test Your ColdFusion Installation option from the Here's Where to Beginlist. The Verify Installation and Configuration screen, shown in Figure 3.14, allowsyou to perform a databases lookup and display the results. You'll know that the installationwas successful when this operation succeeds. Select a department from the Departmentdrop-down list and then click the Verify Query button. If everything is working correctly,you'll see a results page like the one shown in Figure 3.15. If not, a series ofsuggestions is made to help you resolve the problem.

FIGURE 3.14 The Verify Installation and Configuration page contains a series of tests to ensure that ColdFusion is running properly.

FIGURE 3.15 The Test Query Results page displays data retrieved from an Access database if ColdFusion is functioning properly.

TIP: The Installation Test page also contains links and instructions to other tests that you can perform to verify the operation of other ColdFusion features. You may use this page at any time to ensure that ColdFusion is running properly.

If you've made it this far--congratulations! You're ready to begin applicationdevelopment.

Preparing to Install ColdFusion Studio

ColdFusion Studio is a complete development environment designed especially forColdFusion developers. You do not have to use Studio for your ColdFusion applicationdevelopment, but I strongly recommend that you do. Studio is full of features thatwill both simplify your application development and save you considerable amountsof time.

ColdFusion Studio comes bundled with a single user version of the ColdFusion ApplicationServer. This is primarily of use when you are writing your code on a computer otherthan the one running the ColdFusion Application Server. The separate, local, single-userserver allows you to test your applications locally.

TIP: Studio is usually not installed on the Web server itself, but on any other computer on the same network. Studio can also be installed on a computer on a remote site, in which case it will communicate with the ColdFusion Application Server via any existing TCP/IP connection.

Hardware Requirements

Studio runs on Windows 95, Windows 98,and Windows NT only. There is no 16-bitversion of Studio, nor is there a UNIX version. However, Studio running on Windows95/98/NT can be used in conjunction with ColdFusion Application Server running onany platform, including Solaris and HP/UX.

Studio will run on any computer running Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows NT(Intel only), but a minimum of 32MB of RAM is recommended; 15MB of disk space isalso needed to install Studio.

What's on the CD-ROM

This book's accompanying CD-ROM contains a 30-day evaluation version of ColdFusionStudio. This is a complete version of Studio and it comes complete with all the documentationand Help. The only restriction is that it will only run for 30 days. This shouldbe enough time for you to evaluate the product.

Once you have determined that Studio will work for you, you need to contact theAllaire Sales department at 617-761-2000 to order a live copy. You can install thelive version directly over the evaluation version, and any options and settings willstill be accessible to you.

The evaluation version of the ColdFusion Studio is saved in the ColdFusion directoryon the CD-ROM as Setup.EXE.

Installation Checklist

You're about to install Studio. Before doing so, run through this checklist tomake sure your system is ready:

  • Verify that the hardware you are installing ColdFusion Studio on meets the requirements previously listed.
  • Make sure you have sufficient disk space.
  • If you are planning on using Studio's remote access features, make sure that the TCP/IP protocol is installed and working. (See this chapter's previous details on how to test this.)
  • Make sure that you are using the same version of both the ColdFusion Application Server and ColdFusion Studio.

You'll be ready to install Studio once you have checked off the items in thislist.

Installing ColdFusion Studio

Just like ColdFusion itself, the Studio installation program makes installingColdFusion Studio a very simple task.

NOTE: All the installation instructions provided here apply to the live version of ColdFusion Studio, not just to the evaluation version provided on the CD-ROM. The only difference between the two is that when installing the live version, you are prompted for a serial number, which you will receive along with the software. 

Beginning the Installation Process

To start the installation program, run the CFSTUDIO4EVAL.EXE found in the Evaluationdirectory on the accompanying CD-ROM. If you have downloaded ColdFusion Studio fromthe Allaire Web site, run that executable instead. You should see a Welcome screensimilar to the one shown in Figure 3.16.

FIGURE 3.16 The ColdFusion Studio installation program walks you through the entire Studio installation process.

You are then prompted to agree to the license, as well as to enter a serial number(if you are installing a live copy of the software) and the destination directory.Once you have provided this information, you are prompted for the components to install,as shown in Figure 3.17. Unless you are suffering from the lack of disk space, it'srecommended that you keep both components selected.

FIGURE 3.17 You may select any or all ColdFusion Studio components to be installed.

The installation program now prompts you for the name of the program group tocreate. Then you are asked to verify all the options selected. Read through the settings,verify that they are correct, and then click the Next button to perform the actualinstallation.

Testing the Installation

To test Studio, just run the program by selecting it from the Studio program groupunder the Start button's Programs menu. You are welcome to try it out right now.However, Studio is discussed in detail in Chapter 10. 

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Who Should Use This Book

This book is written for anyone who wants to create cutting-edge Web-based applications.

If you are a Webmaster or Web page designer and want to create dynamic data-driven Web pages, this book is for you. If you are an experienced database administrator who wants to take advantage of the Web to publish or collect data, this book is for you, too. If you are starting out creating your Web presence, but want to serve more than just static information, this book will help get you there. Even if you are an experienced ColdFusion user, this book provides you with invaluable tips and tricks, and also serves as the definitive ColdFusion developer's reference.

This book teaches you how to create real-world Web-based applications that solve real-world problems. Along the way you acquire all the skills you need to design, implement, test, and roll out world-class applications.

How to Use This Book

This book is designed to serve two different, but complementary, purposes.

First, it is a complete tutorial of everything you need to know to harness ColdFusion's power. As such, the book is divided into four sections, and each section introduces new topics building on what has been discussed in prior sections. Ideally, you will work through these sections in order, starting with ColdFusion basics and then moving on to advanced topics.

Second, this book is an invaluable desktop reference tool. The appendixes and the accompanying CD-ROM contain reference chapters that will be of use to you while developing ColdFusion applications. Those reference chapters are cross-referenced to the appropriate tutorial sections, so that step-by-stepinformation is always readily available to you.

NOTE: ColdFusion has grown into a massive application in a very short time, and a single Volume could not do justice to all its features. As such, this book is being released in conjunction with a second book: Advanced ColdFusion 4 Application Development Kit (Que, ISBN 0-7897-1810-3). Some of the advanced chapters that appear in prior editions of this book have been moved into that new book to facilitate better coverage of those topics.

Part I: Introduction

Part I of this book introduces ColdFusion and explains what exactly ColdFusion enables you to accomplish. Internet fundamentals are also introduced; a thorough understanding of these is a prerequisite to ColdFusion application development.

Chapter 1, "Why ColdFusion?," explains the concepts of data-driven World Wide Web sites and presents real-world examples of how this technology is being applied on some of the most popular sites on the Web. This chapter is not a technical overview of ColdFusion. Rather, it is a discussion of how ColdFusion can be used to enhance your Internet or intranet site.

In Chapter 2, "Introduction to ColdFusion," the core technologies that ColdFusion is built upon are introduced. The Internet and how it works are explained, as are DNS servers and URLs, Web servers and browsers, and Web server extensions such as CGI and server APIs. A good understanding of these technologies is a vital part of creating Web-based applications. This chapter also teaches you how ColdFusion works and explains the various components that comprise it.

Part II: Getting Up and Running

In Part II you learn how to install and configure ColdFusion, so that you can begin actual application development.

Chapter 3, "Installing ColdFusion and ColdFusion Studio," goes over ColdFusion's hardware and operating system prerequisites and walks you through the entire process of installing the ColdFusion Application Server and the ColdFusion Studio development environment.

Chapter 4, "Administering ColdFusion," introduces the ColdFusion Administrator. This Webbased program, written in ColdFusion itself, manages and maintains every aspect of your ColdFusion Application Server.

Part III: Getting Started with ColdFusion

Part III teaches the basics of Web-based application development, database design, and ColdFusion development. You learn how to create databases and tables, design relational databases, and create ODBC data sources that allow applications to interact with these tables. You also learn how to use ColdFusion Studio and begin creating live Web-based applications with ColdFusion.

Chapter 5, "Designing an Application," introduces fundamental concepts in application design and explains the process by which an application specification is created. Spending time up front on methodical application design pays great dividends later in the development process.

In Chapter 6, "Database Fundamentals," you are introduced to databases. Databases are mechanisms for storing and retrieving information, and almost every Web-based application you build will sit on top of a databases of some kind. Key database concepts such as tables, rows, columns, data types, keys, and indexes are taught, as are the basics of the relational database model. You also learn the differences between client-server- and shared-file-based databases, as well as the pros and cons of each.

Chapter 7, "Creating Databases and Tables," actually applies the lessons taught in Chapter 6. This chapter walks you through creating databases and tables for the sample application, with detailed step-by-step explanations of the entire process.

In Chapter 8, "Introduction to SQL," you learn the basics of the SQL language. SQL is a standard language for interacting with database applications, and all ColdFusion database manipulation is performed using SQL statements. 'Me link between ColdFusion and your database itself is via ODBC, so this chapter introduces this technology and walks you through the process of creating ODBC data sources. Chapter 8 also teaches you how to use the SQL SELECT statement.

Chapter 9, "SQL Data Manipulation," introduces three other important SQL statements: INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE.

Chapter 10, "Introduction to ColdFusion Studio," introduces ColdFusion's new development environment. ColdFusion Studio is a powerful HTML and CFML editor, and it is chock full of features designed to make Web page design and application development a whole lot easier. You learn how to use the editor, the tag chooser, and the expression builder, as well as how to configure the environment to work the way you do. You also learn how to use Studio for remote development.

Chapter 11, "ColdFusion Basics," is where you create your first ColdFusion application, albeit a very simple one. You also learn how to use to create queries that extract live data from your databases, and how to display query results using . Various formatting techniques, including using tables and lists, are taught as well. One method of displaying data on the Web is data drill down (which has become very popular), and this approach to data interaction is taught.

In Chapter 12, "ColdFusion Forms," you learn how to collect user-supplied data via HTML forms. This data may be used to build dynamic SQL statements that provide you with infinite flexibility in creating dynamic database queries. Ibis chapter also teaches you how to create search screens that enable visitors to search on as many different fields as you allow.

Chapter 13, "Using Forms to Add or Change Data," teaches you how to use forms to add, update, and delete data in database tables. The ColdFusion tags and are introduced, and you learn how can be used to insert, update, and delete data.

Chapter 14, "Using the SQL Query Builder," teaches you how to use the ColdFusion Studio SQL Query Builder to create complete SQL statements automatically. You learn how to create a JOIN, embed ColdFusion variables within your statements, how to test your statements within the environment, and about SQL statement reuse.

In Chapter 15, "Form Data Validation," you learn how to perform server-side and client-side validation. ColdFusion can generate JavaScript client-side validation code automatically, without you having to learn javaScript. You learn how to use this feature, and how to provide your own validation rules.

Chapter 16, "Me Report Writer," teaches the basics of using the Crystal Reports Professional report writer. 'Me report writer allows you to create powerful data-driven reports that can be rendered into HTML on-the-fly using the ColdFusion tag.

Chapter 17, "Debugging and Troubleshooting," teaches you the kinds of things that can go wrong in ColdFusion application development and what you can do to rectify them. You learn how to use ColdFusion's debugging and logging features and the powerful integrated debugger; most importantly, you learn tips and techniques that can help you avoid problems in the first place.

Part IV: Advanced ColdFusion

Part IV teaches you advanced ColdFusion capabilities and techniques. The chapters in this section have been written with the assumption that you are familiar with basic SQL syntax and are comfortable creating ColdFusion templates.

Chapter 18, "Working with Projects," teaches you how to use the integrated ColdFusion Studio project tool. This time-saving feature allows you to work with entire applications at once, and one-step deployment simplifies the publishing process.

Chapter 19, "Advanced SQL," teaches you how to create powerful SQL statements using subqueries and joins and explains the advantages and disadvantages of each. You also learn how to calculate averages, totals, and counts, and how to use the EXISTS, NOT EXISTS, and DISTINCT keywords.

Chapter 20, "Working with Stored Procedures," takes advanced SQL one step further by teaching you how to create stored procedures and how to integrate them into your ColdFusion applications.

In Chapter 21, "Advanced ColdFusion Templates," you learn the tips and tricks needed to write powerful, scalable, and manageable applications. You learn how to comment your templates so that you, or other developers, will have an easier time maintaining the code in the future. You also see how ColdFusion facilitates code reuse with the tag and how to improve page processing time by using cached database queries. Finally, you learn how to create next N records-style interfaces-the same interface used by every major search engine and spider on the Internet!

Chapter 22, "Lists, Arrays, and Structures," teaches you how to use these advanced ColdFusion data types, enabling you to better manage and manipulate application data.

In Chapter 23, "Enhancing Forms with CFFORM," you learn how to take advantage of the ColdFusion-supplied Java form controls. These controls include a Windows Explorer-style tree control, an editable grid control, a slider control, and a highly configurable text input control. You also learn how to embed your own Java applets using the tag.

Chapter 24, "Interacting with Email," introduces ColdFusion's email capabilities. ColdFusion allows you to create SMTP-based email messages using its tag. You learn how to send email messages containing user-submitted form fields, how to email the results of a database query, and how to do mass mailings to addresses derived from database tables. Additionally, you learn how to retrieve mail from POP mailboxes using the tag.

Chapter 25, "Online Commerce," teaches you how to perform real-time electronic commerce, including credit card authorization via CyberCash. You build an entire working shopping cart application-one that you can use as a stepping stone when writing your own shopping applications.

In Chapter 26, "Web Application Framework," you learn how to take advantage of the ColdFusion Web Application Framework in order to add features to your Web application, including persistent client variables, sophisticated parameter and variable manipulation, and customized error message handling. You also learn how to use the application template to establish applicationwide settings and options.

Chapter 27, "Session Variables and Cookies," you learn how to use client, session, and application variables, as well as HTTP cookies. These special data types play an important part in creating a complete application that can track a client's state.

Chapter 28, "Working with Files and Directories," introduces the powerful and flexible ColdFusion and tags. You learn how to create, read, write, and append local files, manipulate directories, and even how to add file uploading features to your forms.

Chapter 29, "Full-Text Searching with Verity," introduces the Verity search engine. Verity provides a mechanism that does full-text searches against all sorts of data. The Verity engine is bundled with the ColdFusion Application Server, and the and tags provide full access to Verity indexes from within your applications.

In Chapter 30, "Directory Services," you learn all about directory services and the LDAP protocol. You also learn how to use the powerful new tag that enables your applications to interact with directory services.

In Chapter 31, "Version Control," introduces version control and explains why it is such an important application development tool. You learn how to use ColdFusion's built-in version control system, as well as how to interface with existing version control systems of your own.

Chapter 32, "Event Scheduling," teaches you to create tasks that execute automatically and at timed intervals. You also learn how to dynamically generate static HTML pages using ColdFusion's scheduling technology.


Appendix A, "ColdFusion Tag Reference," is the definitive reference for every ColdFusion tag, with descriptive explanations, syntax tables, and examples for each. Topics are cross- referenced extensively to related topics and appropriate tutorial chapters in the book.

Appendix B, "ColdFusion Function Reference," is a complete reference of every ColdFusion function organized by category. Thorough descriptions and examples are given for every function, and extensive cross-references are provided.

Appendix C, "Verity Search Language Reference," is a complete guide to the Verity search language. Using the information provided here, you will be able to perform incredibly complex searches with minimal effort.


The accompanying CD-ROM contains everything you need to start writing ColdFusion applica- tions, including:
  • Evaluation versions of ColdFusion 4 (for Windows, Windows NT, and Solaris)
  • Evaluation version of ColdFusion Studio 4
  • Source code and databases for all the examples in this book
  • Thirty add-on tags designed for use within your own applications
  • A demonstration version of Synergy, a complete information management system, written entirely in ColdFusion
  • Additional reference material and resources
Turn the page and start reading. In no time you'll be creating powerful Web-based applications using the ColdFusion Application Server.
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During the past three years the software industry has moved at an astounding pace. From the moment the first Web page was viewed with Mosaic until the present, change at an unprecedented rate has swept up everything and everyone in its path. Behind all of this turbulence is the relatively simple set of technologies that composes the World Wide Web.

The Web has evolved from its early years as a publishing medium into its adolescence as a simple, two-way information exchange platform. We are now entering the next phase of growth, and it promises to be the most exciting one yet-the emergence of the Web as a platform for distributed applications. 'Me effect of this next stage of growth will be no less than revolutionary.

What has made (and will continue to make) this revolution tick is the many thousands of pioneers and visionaries who recognized the potential of the Web and acted on that recognition. They are the people who saw that the Web provided remarkably simple solutions to extremely complex problems-and who made these solutions happen.

These visionaries provided Allaire with the inspiration and ideas to create ColdFusion, a complete platform for Web application development. We began work on ColdFusion over three years ago and are now shipping our -fifth major release of the product. Our original vision for ColdFusion remains intact: to provide a simple and powerful toolset that empowers developers to go from inspiration to implementation as rapidly as possible. Our mission was to create a platform that was accessible to the novice developer, powerful enough to satisfy expert developers, and scalable enough to deliver the most demanding sites and applications.

With this book, Ben Forta has once again created the definitive learning and reference guide for ColdFusion. Every great development platform I have encountered has a defining book that serves as an ongoing road map for developers seeking to exploit the platform to its fullest. For the ColdFusion development platform, this is that book.

As a learning tool for beginners, the book contains the key information needed to get started, including the basics of ColdFusion, an explanation of databases and application design, and indepth information on using SQL.

For experienced ColdFusion developers, the depth of information about CFML-including tips and tricks that I didn't even know of myself-will make it a phenomenal reference. And for those of you who want to be on the cutting edge of Web applications, advanced materials on creating CFX extensions, full-text indexing and searching with Verity, and accessing directories with LDAP (among many others) will enable you to push the limits of the Web platform.

With this book we welcome you to a rapidly growing worldwide community of developers powering their applications with ColdFusion.

J.J. Allaire
Executive VP of Products Allaire Corp.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2000

    for newbies, intermediate, advanced

    I used this book, plus a working code sample, to teach myself Cold Fusion. Now I've got a couple of year's experience with CF and I find I use it more and more. It's organized well, clearly written, and covers the topics you need in order to build applications for the web. Great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2000

    The best place to start learning cold fusion!

    This is the fourth time I have bought this book. It seems some of my co-workers are too lazy to buy it themselves. Everyone in the office could not live without it! from beginners to novice cold fusion programmers MUST have this book within reach at all times!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2000

    Great start in Cold Fusion!

    I have been doing web site design for a few years now, and I really wanted to get into Cold Fusion. I looked at several training options and books, but 'the Cold Fusion 4.0 web application construction kit' was the best reference I have found for learning Cold Fusion! I have been through books on Java, ASP, etc... and by far this one is the easiest to get into, and there are no 'assumptions of prior training' to keep you from fully understanding the content of this book! I can't wait to finish this one and move into the advanced book. My hat is off to Ben Forta for putting together this reference and learning tool for the complete beginner to Cold Fusion!

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