Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Liz McMillan, AppDynamics Blog, Flint Brenton, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

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
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, 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. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, 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. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, 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. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze 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. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
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...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze 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. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
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...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Already delivering nearly 23 million devices on five continents as one of the leading networking providers in the market, Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, 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. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...