CFUnited Blog

Doug Hughes on why CFUnited and Alagad TaskForce

Well known CF speaker Doug Hughes gives some great reasons to come to the final CFUnited including meeting feakin' smart CFers, networking, backup job hunting,recruiting and the latest news from Adobe.

While I was checking out Doug's comments I noticed that his company Alagad just announced a new service called TaskForce. TaskForce is a pre-paid on-demand elastic application development service. If you are the victim of "Drive By Programming" and recently lost a resource then this might be for you. You get a block of hours per month and there is roll over if you don't use all of them. Pretty cool.

Keynote Speakers for CFUnited 2010

We are excited to officially introduce our CFUnited 2010 Keynote Speakers: Adam Lehman, Terry Ryan and Charlie Arehart. Yes, you read correctly, Lehman, Ryan, and Arehart! Adam and Terry will double up for our opening Keynote on Wednesday! Make sure you get to there early to get the perfect seat! Charlie will be our keynote speaker on Thursday! You all are in for a real treat.

Adam Lehman is the Product Manager for ColdFusion at Adobe Systems based out of Washington, DC. Prior to joining Adobe, Adam developed enterprise applications for the US Department of State and Johns Hopkins University. Adam has spoken at over 100 events on topics ranging from web development to application security.

Terry Ryan is currently an Adobe Platform Evangelist for ColdFusion. He has been working with ColdFusion for 10 years. He's presented at various Adobe ColdFusion events including cf.Objective(), webDU, and Adobe Max. Prior to joining Adobe, Terry worked for the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in various roles around ColdFusion from Application Developer to System Administrator.

Charlie Arehart is a veteran ColdFusion developer and troubleshooter since 1997 with over 25 years in IT. He's a longtime contributor to the community and a recognized Adobe Community Professional. As an independent consultant, he provides short-term troubleshooting/tuning assistance and training/mentoring for organizations of all sizes and CF experience levels (

Besides running the 2000-member Online ColdFusion Meetup (, an online CF user group), he also hosts the UGTV repository of recorded presentations from hundreds of speakers ( and the CF411 site of over 1000 tools/resources for CFers ( A certified Advanced CF Developer and Instructor for each version since CF 4, Charlie's spoken at each of the major CF conferences worldwide and is a contributor to all three volumes of Ben Forta's ColdFusion 8 and 9 WACK books.

There will be more details to come about Charlie's keynote speech, so stay tuned!

Join us at CFUnited 2010 to hear from our rock-star keynote speakers, as well as our other fabulous speakers!

CFUnited Schedule is Officially Posted

Hello everyone!

We are very excited to announce the Schedule for CFUnited 2010.

You will notice there are still some TBA topics, and some events are still not identified, such as the BOFs and Special Events. The main thing to focus on are the presentations!

Also, for those attendees who have registered, you can now use the scheduler (when you log in). So start scheduling your sessions!!

For Saturday-only attendees, once we choose the most popular sessions, we will announce them so that you all can create your Saturday schedule!

Happy Hump Day!

Important Topics for Government Developers

Hear what Chaz Chumley, one of our Advisory Board members and fellow speaker, has to say about CFUnited for developers in the government:

Working for the government has its benefits and its challenges. As a web developer I often have constraints with technology. Being told what I can use, what I can't. Facing challenges to common problems but not always knowing what tools to use and what new technology is best suited for a government business.

With a lot of government agencies using ColdFusion, having a conference like CFUnited makes my life a little bit easier. Yet, every year the schedule comes out I find myself wondering with so many great presentations what will I benefit from the most. Often there are multiple topics going on at the same time and since I can't be in two places at one time, I may split my time between them. While this is not the best way to absorb all the information what else can I do?

So I thought I would help those this year that face this challenge by suggesting the Top Ten Topics to take in based on a typical application life cycle:

1) Setting up a Solid Local Development Environment - Kurt Wiersma

Good development starts with a solid development environment and for new to seasoned developers this is important to us all. If you find yourself struggling with the setup and are tired of wasting your time scouring the Internet to figure out the best way to setup your environment, then you don't want to miss this topic.

2) HTML5: The cool, the really cool, and the "huh"? - Christian Ready

As web design has progressed over the years and government websites needing a facelift to bring them into the Web 2.0 era, HTML and CSS has stepped up to make it easier. So what exactly changed with HTML5 and how do I use it along with CSS3 to get more bang for my buck in the latest browsers? Well this topic is for you as Christian shows you the ins and outs of the latest flavor of HTML.

3) ColdFusion and jQuery: Two Great Tastes that Go Great Together - Jeff Coughlin

Since ColdFusion 8 we have been introduced to Javascript User interface enhancements and with even more tools introduced in ColdFusion 9 you may be scratching your head. Maybe there is more you would like to do with the client interaction than what ColdFusion provides. JQuery is a great javascript library and ColdFusion a great server-side language. If you like to put your chocolate in the peanut butter and see what you come up with then you don't want to miss out on this topic.

4) Hidden Gems in ColdFusion Builder - Charlie Arehart

With cost and budgets constraints always at the forefront of government, it pays to know which editor you should be using to do your development in. Adobe has released a great editor target specifically for ColdFusion development but extensible to allow you to build upon it without buying additional software. Join Charlie as he shows you how to get the most out of ColdFusion builder.

5) ColdFusion and the Open Source Landscape - Sean Corfield

I have started to see a trend of the government moving toward more Open Source with databases, programming and server environments. Why? More Support? Cheaper costs? Where does that put ColdFusion? Join Sean as explains how ColdFusion plays a big part in the Open Source Landscape and how you can benefit both from the community and your next budget meeting.

6) CFWheels - Convention Over Configuration - Mike Henke

Choosing a framework in general can be a daunting task. How you manage your development team can often dictate which one to use. With so many good frameworks out there, how do I choose? I prefer convention over large XML configuration files and finally we have a framework that fits just that mold. Join Mike as he walks you through ColdFusion on Wheels, based on the popular Open Source Ruby on Rails, this framework has powerful database interaction, extensible plug-in support, provides rapid development, SES friendly url's and works out of the box on both ColdFusion and Railo.

7) Writing Secure CFML - Pete Freitag

If there is one thing synonymous with Government, it's Security. Being able to write secure ColdFusion code should be at the top of everyone's list. This presentation will cover several common yet dangerous vulnerabilities, and offer tips and tricks to protect your applications.

8) Searching with Apache Solr - Shannon Hicks

Search functionality or the lack of it has always been a topic of long conversations. Government agencies generally pay a hefty price tag for leasing a Google Appliance and while Google search is definitely powerful, it lacks the ability to provide a more faceted approach. With ColdFusion 9 introducing Apache Solr and Lucene you will definitely want to attend this session as Shannon explains how to harness this new search functionality.

9) ColdFusion Report Builder - Chaz Chumley

How many times has your manager or director asked you for a report? Does your agency spend a lot of money on report writing tools? Do you know ColdFusion provides a reporting tool for free? You definitely want to join us for the presentation as we look at how easy it is to use ColdFusion Builder to build and display reports right inside your applications.

10) AIR development with jQuery and ColdFusion - Raymond Camden

With Web 2.0 the buzz around the Government now a day, teams are scrambling to find the next coolest widgets, iPhone application or user interfaces to build. Why not consider AIR then to take your existing ColdFusion application and easily turn it into a desktop client. Join Ray as he walks your through how to put the tools you already know how to use to work in developing an AIR application.

Early Bird ends today and Hotel Rooms block 97% full

Hey everyone!!!

Tomorrow is the last day for the Early Bird pricing!!! Make sure you register tomorrow!!

Also, the room block at the Lansdowne Resort is about 97 percent full! Also, tomorrow is the last day before the room rates bump up! That's right - $179 for a single per night is only good 'till tomorrow! So make sure you reserve your room soon!

Also, if you need anything from our end in order to register, or book your room, please contact info (at) with your questions!

Thanks everyone!

Announcing the next set of topics!!

Lo and Behold - What You All Have Been Waiting For...


Building Self-Updating ColdFusion Builder Extensions- Brian Rinaldi - This will cover not just the basics of building ColdFusion Builder extensions but will also incorporate a library of components that allow you to make your extension update itself when new versions are released. The library is being built as part of a ADC article to be released in late January. It will even directly link to RIAForge to look for updates.

What Your Mother Never Told You About ColdFusion 9 ORM -Bob Silverberg - The ColdFusion engineering team have made it very easy to make use of Hibernate's ORM features out of the box, but what if you want to do something a bit more complicated? In this session we'll cover some topics that are important to understand, but that might not be that easy to pick up by reading the ColdFusion documentation. These topics will include Hibernate Session Management, Understanding Object States, Working with Detached Objects, Concurrency and Event Handling.

Real World ColdSpring - Kurt Wiersma - Have you ever wondered what ColdSpring is and why you would want to use it? If so this session is for you. We will go over the problems that ColdSpring solves and how you can use it to make your applications better.

CFWheels - Convention over Configuration - Mike Henke - Would discuss how Conventions over Configuration make life easier and use examples from CFWheels.

ColdFusion One Liners - Sam Farmer - ColdFusion is all about making the hard things easy. This topic will explore this concept by showing examples of what can be done with one line of ColdFusion to produce compelling results in AJAX, Rich Internet Applications, Converting Files, PDF and Object-Relational Mapping (ORM).

Practical Ajax Security-Jason Dean - With the introduction of Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) over the last several years, it seems that everyone is jumping on the RIA bandwagon. But is any thought being given to what might need to be done to ensure that our Web 2.0 applications are secure? Or are they are not introducing new vulnerabilities into existing applications? In this presentation, we will look at some of the security issues that can arise from introducing Ajax into your applications and about how to mitigate the risks of opening up remote services for Ajax.

How to Read a Stack Trace -Daryl Banttari - Learn how to gather, interpret, and act on Java exception and running-thread stack traces in ColdFusion.

Searching With Apache Solr - Shannon Hicks - Solr is now included with ColdFusion 9, but are you using it to it's full potential? Explore using Solr directly, instead of using CF9's built-in search tags & functions.

Testing and Debugging CF for Flex UIs - Joe Rinehart - When ColdFusion returns an error message to Flex, you're not exactly given a user-friendly error message. Instead, you often have to dig to find out just where the error occurred. Join Joe as he shares lessons learned from four years' of enterprise ColdFusion + Flex RIA development. We'll discover how to use MXUnit and ColdSpring to simulate a running Flex client, how write to automatic Flex tests for your ColdFusion services, and how to see exactly what bytes are travelling between your ColdFusion server and Flex clients. After this session, you'll be able to write ColdFusion RIAs with less bugs, and spend less time fixing problems when they do occur!

We are back at Lansdowne for 2010!

Big Announcement! Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back...

Last year was so nice, we are going to do it twice! That's right everyone, we have been invited back to the AAA Four-Diamond Award-Winning Lansdowne Resort for CFUnited 2010 and we have RSVP-ed with a resounding, YES!

I mean really, how could we resist? We are looking forward to seeing the faces of the friendly and accommodating staff, checking in to the sumptuously appointed guest rooms and suites, learning and networking in the award-winning conference facility, and getting in some playtime on the championship golf course and sparkling aquatic complex. Only the best for us please! Stay tuned for the code to book your hotel room at a discounted rate, we will be sharing the room block information shortly. Please let us know right away if you are interested in room sharing this year so we can begin putting something in the works. We have locked down the resort for July 28th - July 31st, 2010.

But wait, there's more! There were a lot of people who contacted us because they have wanted to register but needed to have exact dates/location in order to. For those people who missed out on the last early bird because they were waiting for this announcement, we are going to be offering the 11/30/09 early bird price from now until Monday 12/21/2009 at midnight. To take advantage of this offer, use the code EBEXT50, when you register.

We are so thrilled to be back at Lansdowne! 2009 was truly special thanks to the location, but you don't have to take our word for it. Here are some comments we got after last year that really convinced us to come back for 2010...

"And the location... one word, unparalleled. I mean, this place was a gem waiting to be discovered. I'm going to reserve the majority of this blog post just to talk about the conference center / hotel. Not that the sessions don't deserve more attention (they were beyond my expectations), but after all the previous CFUnited conferences I've been to (which were great), I never realized how much better an event can be just with subtle improvements at an event location." - Jeff Coughlin

"I really can't say enough good things about the location. The Lansdowne Resort was a beautiful location, it had great rooms, amazing food - and snacks and drinks were available all day, every day! - incredibly helpful staff and a good bar." - Sean Corfield

"Comfy room, lap pool, play pools, plenty of space to hang about, etc. There are advantages to being closer in to DC, but I'd come back here again, for sure. In particular, the outdoor patio was perfect for the evenings, and it was remarkably pleasant outside after the sun went down." - Barney Boisvert

Announcing first round of CFUnited sessions

Announcing first round of CFUnited sessions:

ColdFusion and jQuery: Two Great Tastes that Go Great Together : jQuery is one of the leading technologies in the javascript framework world. See what happens when we take advantage of some of CF9's cool ajax functionalities to build an application with CF9 and jQuery. - Jeff Coughlin

Flex 4 for Flex 3 Developers : Flex 4 offers a whole new approach to development. What do those of us who already know how to build apps in Flex 3 need to know to start being productive? - Jeff Tapper

Understanding Security in Adobe AIR Applications : Wait... You mean AIR applications have different security concerns than regular web applications? Yes, they do. Since Adobe AIR applications are desktop applications we have new security considerations to think about. Come learn how to ensure that your AIR applications are secure. In this presentation we will go over the Adobe AIR security model and some security best practices in Adobe AIR for both Flex and Ajax applications. - Jason Dean

Real Life RIA Powered By The Adobe Stack : This session will include a short introduction to RIA technologies for newcomers to the full range of Adobe RIA technologies. We will take a look at how ColdFusion, Flex and AIR empower developers to easily create engaging Rich Internet Applications. We'll take a detailed look at how utilizes these langauages, frameworks and tools to create a multimedia presentation sharing community. This session will include demonstrations on how to convert a presentation file to a browser based SWF using Adobe ColdFusion and Java, creating a powerful management console that allows users to record audio/video narration directly within their browser using Adobe Flex and extending the user experience to the desktop with Adobe AIR. - Todd Sharp

New Caching Features in ColdFusion 9 : In this presentation I explore new caching strategies introduced with Ehcache in ColdFusion 9. I walk through the use of new granular caching mechanisms including changes to as well as new caching functions, caching objects and data, page fragment caching, and finally disk and memory caching. - Aaron West

Making Bad Code Good- Part 2 : This talk is structured much like Part 1, examining code samples and making improvements in readability, structure and maintainability. Often, refactoring is discussed in context of patterns, but much can be gained by writing or rewriting code into easily understood forms. Since we spend a lot of time deciphering other people's code, this talk is geared to providing practical skills in interpreting code and restructuring in a way that saves time and money. This is a must see talk for those working in team environments! No powerpoints, only real ColdFusion code! - Dan Wilson

Automagic Validations for ColdFusion Objects : Are you confused about where to put the validation logic in your object oriented application? Are you tired of writing one set of validations for the server side and another set for the client side? Are you looking for a way to encapsulate your validation logic, so your business objects do not have to change each time your validation rules change? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then this is the session for you. In this session you will learn about an open source project that delivers all of the above, and is easy to integrate into any project. You define your business rules in a simple XML file and the framework will automagically perform all of your server side validations and generate all of your client side validations. What's more, the framework is flexible and extensible enough to allow you to define an unlimited number of custom validation types and messages, all without touching any of the framework's or your own code. You'll leave the session with an understanding of what the framework can do for you, as well as how to implement it into a new or existing application. This framework is meant to be used in an application that makes use of objects. This would include ones that use Transfer, Reactor, hand-coded beans/DAOs, and, of course, ColdFusion 9's ORM. - Bob Silverberg

Digging Into The Developer Toolbox : Every developer has their basic toolset - a robust IDE, source control and a good bug tracker. But what else is in your toolbox? In this presentation I'll explore some additional tools that can increase your productivity and allow you to concentrate on developing applications. Some of the tools we will explore include: Autohotkey - save time and type less! Autohotkey can do simple text replacements and well as complex GUIs! Keyboard Launchers - clean up that messy desktop and stop hunting for icons! Virtual desktops - Now that your desktop is clean - organize your applications into task focused areas. Cron - replace the unreliable Windows Scheduled task with a simple to use task scheduler. Clipboard managers - quit typing the same things over and over. A clipboard manager can keep a long running history of what you type so you don't have to. and more... All of these are free, open-source and for the most part have similar equivalents available on all three platforms - Windows, Mac and Linux. In this presentation we will focus on Windows. - Jim Priest

Thank you to all those who have submitted session topics so far. This is only the first round of session announcements, we plan to announce more topics in December and January. CFUnited call for speakers is still open so keep your submissions coming!

Trick or Treat

Happy Halloween! Time to get tricky, send cara(at) a pic of your geeked out costume and/or jack-o-lantern. The very best will get a treat! And don't forget to register before the witching hour on Hallows Eve to get a wicked discount! Use the code MAX09CF to get $100 off registration.

CFUnited 2010 Call for Speakers is now open!

I know its early, but due to popular demand we are opening the CFUnited 2010 Call for Speakers today!

For the past few months we have received emails from all over from individuals with ideas on what they would like to present at next year's conference. We are looking for talented speakers, fresh topics, and juicy ColdFusion & Flex content. Fill out the following form to suggest your topics

Watch out for more details about the call for speakers in the upcoming weeks.

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