CFUnited Blog

CFUnited Interview: jQuery/CF Integration - John Farrar

John Farrar

John Farrar talks about his CFUnited presentation on jQuery/CF Integration & CF Powered Traffic Optimization.

Is this your first time speaking at CFUnited?

John I have spoke at the Frameworks conference and CFU Chicago.

Why should people attend your session?

John jQ+CF: jQuery is slim and powerful. Integration with CF can make coding AJAX pages zesty when you use jQuery. During this session we will cover the benefits of jQuery, showing how to connect to both CFCs and REST based services, and showing how to wrap up jQuery features with ColdFusion for simpler and faster delivery and integration.

WSO: SEO is very important. That is how you get someone to your site. WSO is how you keep them there and get them to act on why you wanted them to come there. Tracking, testing and knowing what works will be the result of ColdFusion based web site optimization.

Will people see anything new at your session?

John jQ+CF: YES! We will show shhhh (we will be showing a NUMBER of special jQuery releases!... grid, plotting, and more... shhh, I didn't tell you. This is a secret.). WSO:

We will be releasing an Open Source library that should work with about any framework. This will be built on several other successful concepts and will make optimization just plain simple.

What is the highlight of your session?

JohnThis is like asking what the highlight of ColdFusion is! Smile emoticon

(Other points...) Can you tell us about your session?

jQ+CF: For those who missed Hal's class, this will give you an idea why you should have attended it. Prototype made JS AJAX a reality. jQuery was the first trim agile superstar. It continues to pave the way and beginners and experienced web developers will find this session inspiring. You will learn how to AJAX and interact with your pages in jaw dropping cool ways.

WSO: Learn how to be profitable or know how profitable you are rather than just being found. Web site optimization is about changing visitor bounces into visitor conversions. Reach your goals, know what will help you reach your goals, try out new ideas and rate the success. Try out several ideas at the same time and compare them.

CFUnited Interview: Dan Wilson - Refactoring to Object Oriented Programming in ColdFusion

Dan Wilson

Dan Wilson talks about his CFUnited presentation on Refactoring to Object Oriented Programming in ColdFusion

Why should people attend your session?

Dan: Making the transition from procedural programming to Object Oriented programming is hard! It requires a whole new shift in logical thinking. It is easy to get stuck in endlessly circular thought loops trying to understand Object Orientation by reading blog articles and books, I know because I've done it myself.

If you've been interested in Object Orientation and want information straight from the horses mouth, come to my Refactoring in ColdFusion session. We'll cover basic but important OO structures in ColdFusion. We'll examine some procedural ColdFusion code and compare it with the refactored OO version. Finally, we'll talk about some helpful tips designed to help you over the hump.

What is the highlight of your session?

Dan: Most material on Object Oriented programming is written with the Java language. In my session, all the examples are in ColdFusion! The highlight of my session is the abundant code samples. We have lots of code samples. Everyone likes code samples, right?

CFUnited Interview: Adam Howitt - Build a scalable architecture with Amazon's EC2

Adam Howitt

Adam Howitt talks about his CFUnited presentation on how to Build a scalable architecture with Amazon's EC2

Is this your first time speaking at CFUnited?

Adam: Yes it is! I've attended three times and thought it was time for a free ride :-)

Why should people attend your session?

Adam: To discover how easy it is to get started with Amazon's EC2 service and get some perspective on hosting your website on their servers.

Will people see anything new at your session?

Adam: I'll create a robust webserver running ColdFusion from scratch in about 10 minutes without having to worry about hardware.

What is the highlight of your session?

Adam:I think the hosting assessment slide offers an invaluable overview of where Amazon EC2 fits in the context of other hosting options.

Brian Meloche: Promoting ColdFusion Outside the ColdFusion Community

Brian Meloche talks about his CFUnited panel discussion "Promoting ColdFusion Outside the ColdFusion Community".

Q: Is this your first time speaking at CFUnited?

Brian: Yes, this will be my first time speaking at CFUnited. This will also be my first time at CFUnited since the name change. I haven't been able to make it since CFUN-04. I am very much looking forward to it!

Q: So your topic "Promoting ColdFusion Outside the ColdFusion Community" was given at MAX 2007, correct?

Brian: Technically, it was a Birds of a Feather at MAX 2007. It was only an hour, and the BOFs weren't all that well publicized at MAX. We got a decent turnout, despite the BOF being at 10pm, but an hour wasn't long enough to really accomplish what I wanted to do with the BOF. Since MAX, there has been a lot of movement to promote ColdFusion to a wider community. Flex 3 and AIR have been released, demand for CF developers seems to be on the rise, and New Atlanta announced the open sourcing of the J2EE version of BlueDragon, among several other positive things happening within the community. We'll take those things into account in this session.

Q: What do you plan on accomplishing at CFUnited 2008?

Brian: The MAX BOF was formatted as a brainstorming session, and the session at CFUNITED will also be in a similar format. Because we only had an hour at MAX 2007, and we could only scratch the surface. At CFUNITED, the session will be two hours, and it will be the last session of the day, so I expect we'll get a bigger turnout, and get something accomplished out of it. The format will be similar, but we will do it in a more structured session this time around. Everyone in the session will participate. The concept is to break the audience out into groups, where each group will focus on a particular audience to promote ColdFusion to. Each group will come up with ideas, vote on them, and develop marching orders for the community. Unlike at MAX, we'll have white boards and sticky notes like a typical brainstorming session.

Q: Is there anything else attendees can expect when attending this session?

Brian: YES... EVERYONE in the session will be a participant, much like we did at MAX 2007. Plan to discuss and participate!

Nat Papovich: Reviving the Lost Craft of Writing Specifications

Nat Papovich, CFUnited topic Reviving the Lost Craft of Writing Specifications

1. Is this your first time speaking at CFUnited?
This will be my first CFUnited presentation, but I've spoken at the old CFUN conferences, the old Fusebox conferences, the more-recent Frameworks conferences and dozens of CFUGs around the country.

2. Why should people attend your session?
Most everyone knows what a spec doc is. Some people may have read one. Some people may have written one. But the fact that so few projects successfully employ spec docs means that, for some reason, we aren't using spec docs to their maximum potential. I'm a big fan of spec docs myself, having written and read many of them over the years. My goal is to encourage people to write and advocate for spec docs by showing them all the benefits they provide during a development project. I'm also going to cover how to write a spec doc step-by-step, since I think that's a tripping point for a lot of people. They have a white page in Word and don't really know how to go about writing one.

3. Will people get a template to help them write spec docs?
I do have a spec doc template that I'll be showing to attendees and which will be available to all conference attendees. Although I'm not an advocate of a one-size-fits-all spec doc template, I think having a starting point of reference is crucial to assisting the spec doc creation process.

4. Will you address concerns that spec docs are a waste of time?
The highlight of my session will be how I systematically debunk every single argument against writing spec docs. No critic will come through unscathed and I'll leave no rock unturned in my attempt to root out the evil of people who insist that spec docs are a waste of time and resources.

You can find more information on Nat Papovich's presentation on his blog

CFUnited Europe Speaker Interview: "Testing CF Applications" with John Paul Ashenfelter

CFUnited Europe Speaker Interview: "Testing CF Applications" with John Paul Ashenfelter

Michael Smith: This time we are talking with John Paul Ashenfelter about his CFUNITED Europe talk "Testing ColdFusion". So why should a developer come to your session John Paul ?

JP : I think most ColdFusion developers have *heard* something about testing over the past year, whether it's test-driven development, unit testing, or one of the myriad other testing topics that are being discussed in the web development community but don't quite know how to *use* those tools and techniques in the daily work. This session demonstrates several different testing tools and techniques and shows how to integrate them into your existing development workflow.

MS: What kinds of tools are you covering?

JP: Well, we're going to cover tools for each aspect of testing as well as the environments that glue all of those tools together. We'll start with the basics -- unit testing and functional testing, and then cover some of the supporting tools and more sophisticated topics like load testing.

MS: Let's hear some more about unit testing.

JP: Sure! Unit testing focuses on testing tiny *units* of an application. In the ColdFusion world, this means testing the methods of CFCs. I'm going to specifically talk about CFCUnit, which functions much as all the other xUnit testing tools in other languages -- JUnit in Java, etc. We'll look at using it standalone, integrating it into Eclipse, and using it in an automated build process.

MS: How should a ColdFusion developer get started with unit testing?

JP: First of all, unit testing is really only going to help the parts of the application that are implemented using CFCs. I think the easiest way to get started is to write unit tests for parts of the application that cause the most trouble or are the most sensitive to bugs -- tax and discount calculations in a commerce application for example.

MS: So what about functional testing?

JP: Functional testing is what we do as web developers all the time -- clicking through a login window, adding a blog post, or any of the many other functions that the web application performs. Computers are *really good* at handling boring, repetitive activities which I think accurately describes how many developers test their applications. During the session we're going to look at the open source Selenium functional testing tool. Selenium basically lets you script (or even record) interactions with a web page and play them back. And of course this can be done either standalone or integrated into an automated build process.

MS: Selenium sounds pretty interesting.

JP: It is! I find that many developers immediately put Selenium to use in automating their current browser-based testing so they can focus on other, more interesting things like development. QA teams have also use Selenium to let their testers developer more sophisticated testing plans with the time freed by automating all of the clicking. Not to mention the reduction in wear-and-tear on your mouse.

MS: What else will you cover?

JP: I'm going to cover a lot of related tools that improve your testing process -- tools like DBUnit for managing data during testing and testing the database itself is one good example. We'll also touch on load testing, but that's a far more complex topic that deserves it's own talk.

MS: You've mentioned automated testing several times -- tell me more about that.

JP: Automated testing is how all these pieces are pulled together. I typically use Ant to automate my entire build process, including tests. Once the testing process is automated, it's straightforward to use something like CruiseControl to *continuously* build and test the application, so as changes are made by any developer, problems are immediately detected and can be fixed early while it's still easy and cheap to do so.

MS: Anything else you want to say about testing?

JP: I'd like everyone to know that even though testing sounds boring, you'll learn things in this session that you can immediately put into practice that will save you time and improve the quality and reliability of your code. Unless you're in love with testing your application manually and dealing with bugs, you should be here!


Testing CF Applications: Test-driven development is very popular in the Java and Ruby worlds and becoming moreso in the ColdFusion world. This session covers the tools that are available to test ColdFusion applications and discusses how to implement them into your existing workflow. We'll specifically cover:

* CFCUnit/CFUnit for testing ColdFusion code

* Selenium for testing web pages

* DBUnit for managing the database during testing

* Other testing for web applications Together, these tools can provide unit, functional, regression, and load tests for your applications. Finally, we'll touch on automating these tests so you can ensure that you are delivering higher-quality, well-tested code.

Speaker Bio: John Paul Ashenfelter is CTO of, where he builds web-based business applications using a mix of open source tools, ColdFusion, and Java. He has been the technical lead on a number of ColdFusion projects for startups as well as regularly serving as an architect for existing ColdFusion sites converting to Fusebox. A ColdFusion developer since version 2.0, John Paul has written several books covering ColdFusion, contributed articles to CFDJ, and spoken at several ColdFusion conferences.

CFUNITED Europe is Thursday 03/12/2008 - Friday 03/13/2008 in Hammersmith, West London UK. It costs $749 until 10/31/07 then $849. For more information on CFUNITED Europe see

CFUnited Europe Speaker Interview: "Practical Code Generation" with Peter Bell

Michael Smith: This time we are talking with Peter Bell about his CFUNITED Europe talk "Practical Code Generation". So why should a developer come to your session Peter?

Peter Bell: If they'd like to build maintainable applications more quickly and easily, they should learn the proven techniques that are allowing other developers to substantially improve their productivity by generating more of their code.

Michael Smith: What will you be covering in the session?

Peter Bell: Code generation is becoming increasingly popular both in the ColdFusion world and within the wider programming community, but there are a number of key distinctions that can help you to get a lot more value from generating your code. For example, if you use "passive" code generation, it'll just save a bit of time upfront whereas "active" code generation will allow you to build and maintain your application more quickly. The difference is just the way you architecture your code and I'll be explaining what has been proven to work in projects around the world.

Michael Smith: Domain Specific Languages seem to be a hot topic these days. Will you be talking about those?

Peter Bell: Absolutely. Code generation is the easy part. The hard part is structuring the information you want to use to generate your code (your metadata). That is where Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) come in as they allow you to describe what you want your application to do more quickly and efficiently. We'll be looking at a wide range of techniques for editing, storing and consuming DSLs to provide attendees with a range of techniques for solving real world problems.

Michael Smith: And I believe you'll be talking a little bit about frameworks as well?

Peter Bell: That's right. Frameworks aren't just about community efforts like Fusebox and Mach-II. Often when you develop a code generator, you'll create some kind of core framework to use between projects. At SystemsForge, we've actually created a complete framework for taking our DSLs so we don't have to generate code to create new applications - the framework does all of the work. The important point to realize is that whether you write a framework to interpret your DSLs or a generator to generate code is a decision you can make pretty late in the process. The important thing is to come up with the right structure for your meta-data - and that brings us back to DSLs.

Michael Smith: So, what would be your final comments to someone who is still not sure about whether they'd like to attend?

Peter Bell: Code generation and Domain Specific Language are all about making programming quicker, easier and more enjoyable. You have probably used some of these techniques already, but in this session I'll help you to round out your toolkit so you'll be ready to generate more of your web applications - more quickly and easily.


Practical Code Generation: Learn how to generate your applications in a fraction of the time by using the latest techniques proven to reduce application development times - from Software Product Lines to Domain Specific Languages.

Speaker Bio: Peter Bell is a passionate advocate of Application generation and meta-programming in ColdFusion and writes the popular Application Generation blog ( He has lectured both locally and nationally on using ColdFusion for application generation and to create software product lines and runs a company ( that generates custom applications quickly and cost effectively.

CFUNITED Europe is Thursday 03/12/2008 - Friday 03/13/2008 in Hammersmith, West London UK. It costs $749 until 10/31/07 then $849. For more information on CFUNITED Europe see

Interview with Simon Horwith "Success from the Trenches..."

Simon Horwith on "Success From The Trenches - Building Better Applications"

Mar 26, 2007

by Clark Valberg

Today I sat down with Simon Horwith ( to discuss his upcoming talk at CFUNITED. Simon is the CIO of AboutWeb, editor of ColdFusion Developer's Journal, an Adobe Certified Master Instructor, a Flex developer, a consultant to some of the largest ColdFusion-using organizations in the world, and if all that's not enough, he's also quite the globe trotter.

Read more on Fusion Authority

Interview with Hal Helms "OO Programming with CFCs"

Hal Helms on "OO Programming with CFCs"

Mar 19, 2007

by Clark Valberg

Hal Helms is regarded by many as the patriarch of the ColdFusion MVC movement. His upcoming CFUNITED 2007 talk, "OO Programming with CFCs", promises to be an exploration of OO techniques and thinking from one of the foremost experts on the subject. Today I sat down with Hal to find out a bit more.

Read more on Fusion Authority

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