ColdFusion 9 New Features
Illustration by Don Barnett

Getting started with ORM


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ColdFusion 9 New Features

with Daniel Short

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Video: Getting started with ORM

ORM stands for Object Relational Mapping, which is a programming technique for converting data in a relational database to a set of objects designed to describe that data. In essence, it means that you have a user object that describes and is built against a user table in your database. The ORM software acts as the map between these two disparate objects and ensures that they stay in sync. In the case of ColdFusion 9, you are in fact using a Java library called Hibernate to take care of this mapping. You can find out more about Hibernate specifically at hibernate.org, but in this chapter, we are going to focus strictly on those features that are exposed directly through ColdFusion.
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  1. 4m 30s
    1. Welcome
      53s
    2. Using the exercise files
      3m 37s
  2. 7m 49s
    1. Adding managing and comparing servers
      5m 26s
    2. Monitoring server health
      2m 23s
  3. 22m 10s
    1. Setting the default data source and SMTP
      5m 6s
    2. Getting programmatic debugging and exception handling
      5m 54s
    3. Reviewing the new onCFCRequest method
      5m 29s
    4. Using ApplicationStop()
      2m 24s
    5. Working with Server.cfc and onServerStart
      3m 17s
  4. 17m 45s
    1. Using ternary and chained operations
      5m 46s
    2. Using New and Import
      4m 2s
    3. Reviewing CFScript enhancements
      7m 57s
  5. 20m 23s
    1. Building with implicit getters and setters
      4m 26s
    2. Working with LOCAL scope in functions
      4m 35s
    3. Serializing objects
      6m 6s
    4. Writing components in CFScript
      5m 16s
  6. 19m 27s
    1. Getting started with ORM
      5m 51s
    2. Logging ORM activity
      2m 13s
    3. Saving objects to the database
      6m 10s
    4. Defining table relationships
      5m 13s
  7. 16m 59s
    1. Caching page fragments
      5m 29s
    2. Managing the cache
      4m 48s
    3. Working with in-memory files using VFS (RAM disks)
      6m 42s
  8. 12m 39s
    1. Working with Excel spreadsheets
      4m 56s
    2. Working with Word documents
      4m 4s
    3. Working with PowerPoint presentations
      3m 39s
  9. 28m 59s
    1. Loading Google maps with markers onto a page
      4m 53s
    2. Adding a Flash movie with the built-in FLV player
      2m 14s
    3. Using multi-file upload control
      6m 7s
    4. Building a progress indicator
      3m 37s
    5. Working with accordion layouts
      3m 19s
    6. Showing information with data grid enhancements
      5m 1s
    7. Informing users with Confirm Alert and Prompt dialog boxes
      3m 48s
  10. 9m 8s
    1. Accessing IMAP accounts
      6m 31s
    2. Working with the new array functions
      2m 37s
  11. 15s
    1. Goodbye
      15s

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Watch the Online Video Course ColdFusion 9 New Features
2h 40m Intermediate Oct 05, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In ColdFusion 9 New Features, author and developer Dan Short has gathered together the important updates and improvements in this dynamic web application. Dan showcases the new ColdFusion Builder application throughout the course, using it to work through the new language and CFScript enhancements in this release. He shows how to use the new Server Manager to compare servers and create server groups, as well as monitor server health through notifications. He also explains the new integration with Office applications, building Excel, Word, and even PowerPoint files on the fly from ColdFusion. Finally, he covers the important new Object Relational Mapping feature and how to use the built-in Flash Player. Exercise files accompany this course.

Topics include:
  • Using new implicit Getters and Setters in ColdFusion Builder
  • Utilizing RAM disks using VFS
  • Managing the system cache to boost site/application performance
  • Learning the new ternary and chained operations
  • Loading detailed Google maps with markers and notations onto a web page
Subjects:
Developer Web
Software:
ColdFusion
Author:
Daniel Short

Getting started with ORM

ORM stands for Object Relational Mapping, which is a programming technique for converting data in a relational database to a set of objects designed to describe that data. In essence, it means that you have a user object that describes and is built against a user table in your database. The ORM software acts as the map between these two disparate objects and ensures that they stay in sync. In the case of ColdFusion 9, you are in fact using a Java library called Hibernate to take care of this mapping. You can find out more about Hibernate specifically at hibernate.org, but in this chapter, we are going to focus strictly on those features that are exposed directly through ColdFusion.

In this video, we are going to go over the basics of enabling ORM for your application, building a basic ORM enabled CFC, and pulling some records out of the database. So, the first thing to do is to enable ORM for your particular application. By default, all ORM features are disabled to ensure backwards compatibility with existing applications. So, to enable ORM, open up your Application.cfc inside Chapter5 and at the top of the file, we are going to add cfset this.ormenabled = "true".

So, now we have told ColdFusion that for this particular application, we want to use ORM features. But we also need to tell it where we're going to store all of the cfcs that will map to our database. So, to do that we can create a structure into this scope called this.ormsettings. There is a good number of settings that you can declare here, but the only one we are going to worry about for now is where we are going to store all of our CFCs. So, we are going to set our cfclocation to the cfcs folder.

So, let's go ahead and create that folder. We will right-click on Chapter5, choose New > Folder and name it cfcs. Now we need to create a CFC to map against one of our tables. So, inside cfcs folder, we will do New > File and name it Artist.cfc and then click Finish and in our CFC, we will create our cfcomponent tag. I am going to say that this is going to be called Artist. I am going to tell at which table we want the CFC to map to.

In this case, it's going to map to Artists and then I need to say that it is our persistent CFC. So, I set persistent = "true." Believe it or not, this is all I have to do to start using ORM. Let's open up hibernate.cfm and see if we can pull a record out of the database. So, if I want to get all artists inside the Artist table, I will do cfset Artists = EntityLoad, which is a new function in ColdFusion 9. I would tell it which entity I want to load, in this case, our Artist.cfc and then I can dump out my variable.

So, let's take a look at that. And voila, I have an array full of Artist objects. You can see for every record in my database, I have an array node with a full-blown object, with all of the properties. If I expand my Methods, I have SETTHEPASSWORD, SETPOSTALCODE, GETCITY, GETFAX. I have all of the implicit getters and the setters for each of my records. Now that's nice, but I'm honestly used to working with queries in my application. I have a lot of code based off of looping over queries, so getting back an array of objects makes things a little bit complicated if I'm trying to refactor existing code.

If I go back to Safari, we can also use the EntityToQuery function. This will actually take this array of objects and convert it into the standard query I'm used to using inside of my applications. So, let's switch back to our preview. Now we can see we have the same old query that we're used to dealing with in our day-to-day work. The next thing I will show you is how to pull out just a single record from the database. Let's go back to the source code and get rid of our EntityToQuery and after the Artist here, I am going to put some filter criteria.

I only want Artist ID 2 and save our file, preview it and now I've just got that single artist return back to me. Now you will notice that this returned that single record to me inside an array, which isn't very useful. So, if I go back over here to Source, in my EntityLoad function, I can provide a third argument that says I only want to return a single record. If I go back to Safari, you will notice it's returned just the raw object to me outside of an array. Now, I can do more than just return a single record based off of the id.

If I go back into my source code, I can provide a structure of arguments here. Let's get all artists that are in the state of California and preview my page and now I have an array with two artists that are inside the state of California. Now, one more thing to look out for as you're developing your ORM enabled applications is if you make change to your CFC or the table structure, it will not be immediately apparent inside the application. Every time your application starts, ColdFusion caches all of your ORM configuration.

It won't reload it until the application restarts. So to get an ORM configuration reloaded, if you go to your source code, say cfset ORMReload and it will reload the entire ORM application. Also, calling ApplicationStop, which we covered in an earlier video, will also reset the entire ORM application. So now you've learned how to enable your application for ORM, how to reload the ORM settings when necessary and you have created your first persistent CFC and pulled some data out of the database.

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