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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Eben Hewitt, author of Core ColdFusion 5, possesses truly encyclopedic ColdFusion knowledge. (He's created ColdFusion sites visited by nearly 2,000,000 people a month. He's also a regular ColdFusion Developer's Journal columnist, a member of the prestigious ColdFusion Edge faculty, and head of production at a leading Web development shop.) But this book doesn't share everything he's learned: only the 800 pages worth that'll do you the most good, right now.
Core ColdFusion 5 is an exceptional resource for any Web developer with problems to solve. Maybe you've already built many dynamic sites using ASP or JSP, and you want a different alternative (or you've been called upon to enhance a site that already uses ColdFusion and CFML). Or maybe your experience is primarily with "static" sites, and you now need to deploy personalization, or e-commerce features, or interact with a data warehouse. Either way, Hewitt has written this book with you in mind.
It's packed with examples that programmers wryly term "non-trivial." Better yet, Hewitt shows you how everything fits together -- your web server, HTTP 1.1 headers, applications, conditional logic, you name it. He also points out the gotchas you'd otherwise have to learn the hard way. (Sure, you can use the CFLOCATION tag in your templates to quickly jump users to another URL, but thanks to HTTP headers, you can't set a cookie in the same template you're jumping away from.)
You'll start with an overview of how ColdFusion does what it does (and what's new in Version 5); then walk through preparing your ColdFusion environment and installing ColdFusion on both Windows and Linux servers. Hewitt then introduces the CFML language, which packages an awful lot of power in a very simple form. You'll learn how to use variables and output text to browsers; and pass data between templates. Next, using CFML's tags for expressions and conditional logic, Hewitt walks through creating a complete flow control framework that keeps your pages' graphics and HTML layout entirely separate from your ColdFusion code -- which makes a ColdFusion site a heck of a lot easier to manage.
The book includes two detailed chapters on integrating ColdFusion with your relational database -- even including how to design your database for effective use in Web applications. (The examples rely on SQL Server 2000 and Oracle 8i, though you can use ColdFusion with just about anything, all the way down to Excel spreadsheets.)
You'll find chapters on using ColdFusion to build mail-enabled applications; writing custom tags that extend ColdFusion's power; integrating XML and ColdFusion; providing for state management; serving data-driven Macromedia Generator graphs; and even creating "intelligent agents." The culmination of the book: a start-to-finish 60-page application case study that integrates many of the smaller applications you've created in earlier chapters.
The book's several appendices are anything but an afterthought: not just tag and function references, but a guide to common errors and what to do about them; best practices for ColdFusion development; an overview of wireless development with ColdFusion; even a briefing on getting a job with your ColdFusion skills.
Then, there's the accompanying CD-ROM -- containing the most comprehensive set of ColdFusion tools you can get for free without resorting to piracy.
You get 30-day evaluation versions of ColdFusion Enterprise Server 5.0 for Windows, HP-UX, Sun Solaris, and Linux; ColdFusion Studio 4.5.1, Macromedia's optional template development environment; the HomeSite 4.5.1 HTML editor; the Harpoon Flash Toolkit, which gives ColdFusion access to the capabilities of the Flash Player; Macromedia's JRun 3.0.1 server for JSP, servlets, and EJB; and Macromedia Spectra 1.5 for Windows and Sun Solaris, the packaged application solution for content management, e-commerce, and personalization. You also get ColdFusion Express, Macromedia's free, unrestricted, low-end ColdFusion server -- plus, of course, thousands of lines of code from the book. (Bill Camarda)
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer with nearly 20 years' experience in helping technology companies deploy and market advanced software, computing, and networking products and services. He served for nearly ten years as vice president of a New Jerseybased marketing company, where he supervised a wide range of graphics and web design projects. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.