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Adobe ColdFusion Just Got More RAD

ColdFusion has always focused on making difficult things easy, and with the new features and tools announced for its public beta on July 13, 2009, Adobe seems set to deliver on that goal in a variety of different ways. Keep reading for a close look at how this beta will help simplify the lives of ColdFusion programmers.

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By: Brian Rinaldi
Rating: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars / 20
August 25, 2009
  1. · Adobe ColdFusion Just Got More RAD
  2. · ColdFusion Builder: a New IDE
  3. · Extending ColdFusion Builder with CFML

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Adobe ColdFusion Just Got More RAD - ColdFusion Builder: a New IDE
(Page 2 of 3 )

Those who have been around ColdFusion for more than a few years may recall when ColdFusion came packaged with something called ColdFusion Studio. In fact there are plenty of people who still use it, due in part to features such as RDS integration, code hinting and an intuitive interface that made it hard to give up.

Lately many ColdFusion developers have been using CFEclipse, which is an open source Eclipse plugin. It has been a good alternative for many years, offering features like code folding, snippets, framework support and outline views of a document -- all quickly becoming indispensable to a developer’s workflow. One other benefit is that, if you already use an Eclipse-based editor, such as Flash Builder (formerly known as Flex Builder), they can work together within the same Eclipse environment.

Now if we brought these two together and combined their best features, added in all the features of the ColdFusion Eclipse Plugins and then threw in JavaScript and CSS syntax highlighting, extensibility and server management, and ColdFusion component method insight, among other features, then you'd have ColdFusion Builder. ColdFusion Builder is built upon the Eclipse platform, and will be available as both a standalone install and as a plugin for an existing Eclipse install.

Building upon the underlying Eclipse integration, ColdFusion Builder will integrate tightly with Flash Builder. The engineers for ColdFusion Builder and Gumbo are collaborating to ensure that there is a solid workflow between the two products, helping to solidify ColdFusion as the premier back-end for Flex applications. For example, you will be able to generate a model within Flex based upon a service layer built in ColdFusion and bind the results to your application. Combining this with the ORM features described above, you can see how this workflow will create arguably the fastest means of developing rich Flex applications.

Application Code Generation

Among the many features included in ColdFusion Builder are the RDS data viewer and file viewer that were previously shipped separately as the ColdFusion Eclipse Plugins. “ So what ?”, you say. Well, not only does it include the features expected in the prior plugin, but it has expanded greatly on the code generation features.

Out of the box, ColdFusion Builder includes code generation for the ORM features discussed above, for the Model-Glue MVC framework and for generating ActionScript classes from either database tables or from an existing component. These include a number of additional features. For instance, the ORM code generator can also generate a list view page as either a standard HTML table or an Ajax grid using CFGrid.


However, more importantly, if you don't like the code that is generated, you can modify the templates yourself. You won't need to learn Java or XSL to do so, as the template code is written in straight CFML. "That's nice," you say, "but I use Mach-II and Transfer." You are in luck, as the RDS plugin is completely extensible. You can create your own plugins, again written in CFML, to generate code for whatever you like. Let's take a closer look.

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