Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Linux Authors: Elizabeth White, Jason Bloomberg, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: ColdFusion, Linux

ColdFusion: Article

A Wedding Invitation: CF & Java

A perfect marriage between ColdFusion and Java

If you missed this year's CFUN conference (June 26-27), you missed a lot. In addition to the great time spent meeting and talking with other ColdFusion programmers, Ben Forta gave a keynote demo of the next version of ColdFusion, code-named "Blackstone".

I haven't been this excited about the release of a version of ColdFusion in quite some time. Blackstone has new features for using Flash to produce very sophisticated, very user-friendly forms with advanced features such as tabs and accordions. It adds excellent support for producing PDF files from native ColdFusion code, and it introduces a new, very powerful report writer. And of course, it does all this with the trademark ease of programming for which we've come to depend on ColdFusion. It will, in short, make you a coding hero.

This makes ColdFusion the best presentation language available and this is important - very important - because to the users, the user interface is the application. I have been puzzling for some time over the question of where ColdFusion fits in the enterprise space increasingly dominated by the J2EE and .NET platforms, and with Ben's presentation I think I see how perfect a marriage ColdFusion is with Java.

Java is the proverbial 800-pound gorilla in the enterprise computing space. It runs on virtually every processor (given its "write once; run anywhere" ability) and is used for everything from running Mars rovers to cellphones to gas station pumps. But Java is primarily a server-side language, which is where it excels. Adoption of Java applets on the other hand, has slowed to a crawl.

ColdFusion - particularly the Blackstone version - excels at providing the presentation layer, but is much weaker than Java on the server side, where it lacks such Java features as constructors, interfaces, abstract classes, overloading, and a null object - all undergirded by Java's strong data typing that virtually eliminates runtime exceptions.

In this article, I want to demonstrate how ColdFusion and Java can work beautifully together. First, though, I must apologize for the ColdFusion presentation layer shown here. Due to space considerations, my presentation code is going to be woefully simple, but I hope it will show how easily ColdFusion can work with Java.

First, let's look at the Java code. I've used several of Java's features that ColdFusion lacks to create a more robust "domain model." (A domain model is a scale model code representation of the "domain" under study.) I start with a Pet interface. In Java, an interface provides the specification for a data type (including methods), but provides no implementation. Here's the code:


package pettingZoo;

public interface Pet {
	public String getName();	
}

Now any class that wishes to can declare itself to be of type Pet. The requirement, set forth in the Pet interface, is that all "implementing classes" must implement a getName method that returns a string. The Java compiler will ensure that all implementing classes will be well behaved.

Next, I'll create an abstract class, Animal, that won't be used to create actual Animal objects, but is meant to be used by subclasses, where it will provide a base of inherited code:


package pettingZoo;

public abstract class Animal {
	private String food = null;
	
	public Animal(String food){
		setFood(food);
	}
	
	public String eat(){
		return "Thanks for the " + getFood();
	}
	
	public String getFood(){
		return this.food;
	}
	private void setFood(String food){
		this.food = food;
	}	
}

Two more Java classes, Dog and Cat, will extend Animal while implementing the Pet interface by providing a getName method:


package pettingZoo;

public class Dog extends Animal implements Pet {
	private String name = null;
	
	public Dog(String name){
		super("kibbles and bits");
		setName(name);
	}

	public String getName() {
		return this.name;
	}
	private void setName(String name){
		this.name = name;
	}
}
__________________________________________
package pettingZoo;

public class Cat extends Animal implements Pet{
	private String name = null;
	
	public Cat(String name){
		super("fish nibblies");
		setName(name);
	}
	
	public String getName(){
		return this.name;
	}
	public void setName(String name){
		this.name = name;
	}
}

Next, we have a RoboDog class that, while not extending Animal, implements Pet:


package pettingZoo;

public class RoboDog implements Pet{
	private String name = null;
	
	public RoboDog(String name){
		setName(name);
	}
	
	public String getName(){
		return this.name;
	}
	private void setName(String name){
		this.name = name;
	}
}

Our last Java class, PettingZoo, provides a way of modeling a very simple petting zoo. It has a method that allows us to add a pet to the collection and another method to return all of the pets:


package pettingZoo;

import java.util.*;

public class PettingZoo {
	private List pets = null;
	
	public PettingZoo(){
		setPets(new ArrayList());
	}
	
	public void addPet(Pet pet){
		getPets().add(pet);
	}
	
	public List getPets(){
		return this.pets;
	}
	private void setPets(List pets){
		this.pets = pets;
	}
}

"But wait!" you say. "I don't understand all that Java stuff."

Well, that's the whole point. You don't need to. You're going to make use of a domain model written in Java to produce ColdFusion applications. The Java classes don't do anything by themselves: they just wait to be called upon. All you need to do is understand the API (the Application Programming Interface) for the classes you'll be using. In simpler terms, you need only understand what methods are available to call and what these will return. It's the same process you use when calling a built-in ColdFusion function (though with a different syntax). Java has a wonderful tool called "Javadoc" that automatically produces the API documentation you'll need from the underlying Java code.

With the Java out of the way, we can get down to our ColdFusion application code. First, I created an Application.cfm file:


<!--- set up application framework --->
<cfapplication name="CFandJavaDemo" />

<!--- create an application-scoped Java class, Petting Zoo --->
<cfif NOT IsDefined('Application.pettingZoo')>
	<cfset Application.pettingZoo = CreateObject('java',
	'pettingZoo.PettingZoo').init() />
</cfif>

We're creating an object called pettingZoo from the Java class, PettingZoo, and placing it in the application scope. Now, for a main menu from MainMenu.cfm:


<h1>Main Menu</h1>

<p><a href="NewPetForm.cfm">Create</a> a new pet to add to the Petting
Zoo</p>

<p>Ask each of the pets in the zoo for their <a
href="PetGreeter.cfm">name</a></p>

It looks like that shown in Figure 1. If the user elects to create a new pet, the NewPetForm page is displayed:


<h2>New Pet Form</h2>
<p>What kind of pet would you like to add to the Petting Zoo?
<form action="ProcessNewPetForm.cfm" method="post">
<ul>
	<li><input type="Radio" name="petClass" value="Dog" checked> Dog</li>
	<li><input type="Radio" name="petClass" value="Cat"> Cat</li>
	<li><input type="Radio" name="petClass" value="RoboDog"> Robot Dog</li> 
</ul>
</p>
<p>What would you like to name them? <input type="Text" name="petName"></p>
<p><input type="Submit" value="ok "></p>
</form>

The code produces the page shown in Figure 2: This forms asks the user the type of pet to be created and the new pet's name. When the form is submitted, ProcessNewPetForm is run:


<cfset newPet = CreateObject('java',
'pettingZoo.#form.petClass#').init(form.petName) />
<cfset Application.pettingZoo.addPet(newPet) />
<cflocation url="MainMenu.cfm" />

It's very short, letting Java do the heavy lifting of creating Pet objects and storing them in the petting zoo's collection. It then returns to the main menu.

If the user chooses to ask each of the pets for their name, PetGreeter is called:


<!--- Ask each pet in the pettingZoo for their name --->
<cfset pets = Application.pettingZoo.getPets() />
<cfloop from="1" to="#ArrayLen(pets)#" index="i">
	<cfoutput>
   	#pets[i].getName()#<br />
   </cfoutput>
</cfloop>

PetGreeter loops over the pets returned by Java's PetZoo object, asking each pet - each Java Pet object, that is - for its name (see Figure 3).

With code understandable by any ColdFusion programmer, we've created a ColdFusion application that ties into a Java domain model.

The possibilities offered by the marriage of Java and ColdFusion are tremendous. It allows enterprises to call on the strength of each language and allows for the separation of the very different skills of server-side programming and presentation layer programming.

When Blackstone is released, ColdFusion programmers will have an entirely new set of features and tools to work with, empowering them to produce richly interactive applications while integrating with Java enterprise domain models. It promises to be a lovely wedding - and we're all invited to the party.

More Stories By Hal Helms

Hal Helms is a well-known speaker/writer/strategist on software development issues. He holds training sessions on Java, ColdFusion, and software development processes. He authors a popular monthly newsletter series. For more information, contact him at hal (at) halhelms.com or see his website, www.halhelms.com.

Comments (3) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Robert Wilson 08/02/04 09:31:52 AM EDT

I do understand that your code was designed to be simple, but In my many years of programming I have not found a problem that I could not solve using CF. Most problems, that some may think, need super languages and big powerful computers etc... almost always can be solved by re-thinking the problem at hand, When you really look at a problem objectively, without personal bias and other adjendas, and really ask what is the problem we are trying to solve, undoubtly you would come up with something much different than the orginial problem. Ask the question, "What is the root problem", not what is the problem, only then will you will solve the real problem with a real solution.

Bryan Tidd 07/15/04 08:34:52 AM EDT

I think that many CF Developers who have worked with the last two releases of Coldfusion have found quite a bit of use for using Java for heavy lifting in applications that require it. I also think that CF Developers who have become Certified have spent time learning some Java.

I also think many developers have always used different languages and platforms based on the problem they are out to solve. This article just provides additional proof that Macromedia is more than willing to assist in blurring the lines between Internet, Intranet & Enterprise applications. This will add value to CF Developers and demonstraights Macromedia''s continued support to the develops'' needs.

Steve Nelson 07/15/04 06:36:00 AM EDT

I''m sorry Hal, but this is the craziest thing I''ve ever read:

"With code understandable by any ColdFusion programmer, we''ve created a ColdFusion application that ties into a Java domain model."

What *might* be correct is this:

"With code understandable by 1% of the ColdFusion community, we''ve created a ColdFusion application that ties into a Java domain model."

@ThingsExpo Stories
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will addresses this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MetraTech, now part of Ericsson, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society- a world leader in communications infrastructure, software and services. Some 40% of the world’s mobile traffic runs through networks Ericsson has supplied, serving more than 2.5 billion subscribers.
While great strides have been made relative to the video aspects of remote collaboration, audio technology has basically stagnated. Typically all audio is mixed to a single monaural stream and emanates from a single point, such as a speakerphone or a speaker associated with a video monitor. This leads to confusion and lack of understanding among participants especially regarding who is actually speaking. Spatial teleconferencing introduces the concept of acoustic spatial separation between conference participants in three dimensional space. This has been shown to significantly improve comprehe...
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists will peel away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fil...
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
The recent trends like cloud computing, social, mobile and Internet of Things are forcing enterprises to modernize in order to compete in the competitive globalized markets. However, enterprises are approaching newer technologies with a more silo-ed way, gaining only sub optimal benefits. The Modern Enterprise model is presented as a newer way to think of enterprise IT, which takes a more holistic approach to embracing modern technologies.
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
Every day we read jaw-dropping stats on the explosion of data. We allocate significant resources to harness and better understand it. We build businesses around it. But we’ve only just begun. For big payoffs in Big Data, CIOs are turning to cognitive computing. Cognitive computing’s ability to securely extract insights, understand natural language, and get smarter each time it’s used is the next, logical step for Big Data.
There's no doubt that the Internet of Things is driving the next wave of innovation. Google has spent billions over the past few months vacuuming up companies that specialize in smart appliances and machine learning. Already, Philips light bulbs, Audi automobiles, and Samsung washers and dryers can communicate with and be controlled from mobile devices. To take advantage of the opportunities the Internet of Things brings to your business, you'll want to start preparing now.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...