Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Liz McMillan, Jason Bloomberg, Elizabeth White, Anders Wallgren, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: ColdFusion, Linux Containers

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
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and 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 ...
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
18th Cloud Expo, taking place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some...
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life ...
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.