Interview for Leveraging Web Services with ColdFusion
"Leveraging Web Services with ColdFusion" interview with Glenda Vigoreaux
Michael Smith: This time we are talking with Glenda Vigoreaux about her
CFUNITED-05 talk "Leveraging Web Services with ColdFusion". So why should a
developer come to your session Glenda?
Glenda Vigoreaux: Web services can save a developer's time by allowing access to
application functionality from a remote computer with very little code. If
you've never used web services before, you will learn how to consume a web
service. Since the communication can take place regardless of operating system,
platform, language or protocol, developers can consume a web service written in
.NET or in Java. You will also learn how to create your own web services and
make them available to others for remote access. This is called publishing a web
MS: Wow that sounds complex! Can you give an example of why this is useful?
GV: Expedia is a good example. They don't own the planes or the cars or the
hotels. However, they tap into existing web services that provide the
information they need. So they become a one stop shop for travel. Web services
are useful because you can quickly give a client or a business partner access to
data without having to write an application. The person that needs the data can
write the application. Both parties can use different development languages and
still talk to each other.
MS: Is it hard to use or create web services in ColdFusion?
GV: Dreamweaver actually writes most of the code for you. To consume a web
service, you let Dreamweaver do most of the work, you simply provide the
arguments. To publish a web service, you need to know how to write a ColdFusion
Component or CFC. This session will show you how to use Dreamweaver wizards to
create your own CFC. To attend this session, you need to be familiar with basic
ColdFusion code, but you do not need to be an advanced programmer.
MS: So is writing a CFC hard to do? Do you have to understand Object Orientation
GV: I will show you how to create a CFC from scratch. It is not hard to do if
you can write basic ColdFusion code. CFC's are object based, they are not object
oriented. If you've never used object oriented technology before you will have
no problem with this session. I won the speaker award in New Orleans with this
presentation by obtaining the highest overall evaluations, so I'm sure all
attendees will be pleased. Many attendees in New Orleans commented how easy this
session was to follow and understand.
MS: That is great! You mention consuming and publishing web services in your
topic description. What does it mean to consume a web service? What about
GV: Consuming a web service is making a request to a web service, providing the
parameters it needs and then using the data returned in your program. You can
request the current temperature of a city by providing a zip code. You then
write the interface to make the page pretty. When you publish a web service, you
put some process or data on the web accessible by a URL so that other programs
can access it and use it in their own applications. You could provide order
status to a client in a recordset and have the client write their own interface
using your data.
MS: So consuming a web service is similar to calling a method in a CFC and
publishing is like making a method in a CFC publically available to other
developers. Is that right?
GV: Yes, it is that easy!
MS: So is it easy to consume and publish web services in ColdFusion? And how
does that compare to do it in other languages?
GV: Yes - it is much easier that in other languages where you may have to write
the WSDL description for the web service (a picky file to create).
MS: Cool! I will look forward to seeing you at CFUNITED.