Join Candyce Mairs for an in-depth discussion in this video What is ColdFusion?, part of Learning ColdFusion 10.
I get asked quite often, when I'm talking to new web developers or new web designers, I get asked what is ColdFusion. If I mention the name, and it is a somewhat difficult topic to explain, so I have some visuals to assist you in understanding what ColdFusion is. First of all, ColdFusion is a server side language product. And I'll go through some explanations so that will make a little more sense.
The Adobe website does a nice job in the ColdFusion 10 area, on this line, talking about a lot of the things that ColdFusion can do for you. And as you can see, you can work with PDF documents, you don't have to work with SQL when you're working with a database. You can use ColdFusion as a service. You can do all these different things with ColdFusion. But when you're new to all of this, that doesn't really make sense.
So, what I want to do is break it down a little more for you so it does make sense. But one thing I want to point out before I do that is this piece right here, tight integration with Adobe ColdFusion Builder. I'm going to be using ColdFusion Builder as my interface. And the reason for that is this is a fairly new product for Adobe. It's in Version 2 only, and what ColdFusion Builder does is create and environment where you can build ColdFusion pages.
And you don't have to but ColdFusion Builder ties in so well with the product of ColdFusion because it was created just for ColdFusion. So, feel free to come back and look at this website. It gives a nice listing of a lot of the incorporated features within ColdFusion. Also, I want to point out the product comparison. There are a couple of different versions of ColdFusion.
Enterprise is if you want to host multiple applications from multiple companies within your same ColdFusion server, there is also the Standard version. So, just be aware there's this product comparison so you can understand of the two versions, Enterprise and Standard, the two licensed versions. What the difference is between the two. The other thing you can do, by using this link here, is it's a comparison guide between ColdFusion 10, 9, and 8, what features are available. So, if you're stepping into a website that's using ColdFusion 8, this is a really nice guide to be able to understand, okay? I've been working in ColdFusion 10, they are using ColdFusion 8. What features are not available that I'm used to being able to have available? So, let's take a look at the actual ColdFusion page request process. The ColdFusion page request process begins just like any other page request with regards to a web server.
It all begins with the user requesting a web page in the browser. And you can see I have a nice antique computer here just to show you how far computers have come. I purposely don't change this particular computer, just for old time's sake. So, our browser is over here. We have somebody sitting at this machine. They make a request to a web server. And a web server is simply software residing on a computer system.
Once that page request is made of the web server, the web server says, wait a minute. This is a .cfm page, not an HTML page. So, it sends the request over to the ColdFusion server here. What the ColdFusion server does is process any ColdFusion coding on that page. It communicates with the database to request information to go onto that page.
And it also assembles that page back together in order to send that page information back to the web server which routes it to the client. So, it's ColdFusion that communicates with the database. And the language of the database is SQL, standing for Structured Querying Language, and it's ColdFusion that communicates with that database.
So, our database we're using for this course is the Apache Derby database that is built into ColdFusion. We have the ColdFusion Application server, which is the application server software, and also the ColdFusion Language. We also installed a web server. And new to ColdFusion 10, ColdFusion comes with a Tomcat, or an Apache Tomcat web server built into ColdFusion itself.
So, all three of these pieces right here are coming from the install of our ColdFusion software. You can see how handy it is not to have to install three separate items. So, that is the ColdFusion page request. It all begins with user requesting a web page and their browser that page has a .cfm extension that tells the web server send this onto ColdFusion. ColdFusion does its work, makes requests, and sends that page right back to the web server as HTML, which ends up in the user's browser.
So, that is how ColdFusion processes a page request, and the .cfm extension is a very important piece. Because that's what ultimately allows the web server to send that page to the ColdFusion server. So, that is the ColdFusion page request process.
- Understanding static vs. dynamic requests
- Using the ColdFusion Administrator
- Creating, displaying, and scoping variables
- Working with include files
- Pulling data from a database
- Displaying and modifying database data
- Passing data between pages
- Working with form data
- Populating form fields with query data