Ever have the problem of a service not wanting to start on boot-up? Maybe you have to manually start your FTP or World Wide Web publishing service after every reboot of your server. We had this problem about a year ago on one of our servers. It has to do with the start order of the services that depend on each other. The WWW and FTP service in Windows both depend on the IISAdmin service. If it is unable to start in a timely manor, one or both may fail. The symptom will be that IISAdmin is running, but either FTP or the WWW service is not. This masks the actual problem - which is that there is an internal dependency that is either not specified or is not reporting back to the start-up routine. Coldfusion compounds the problem because it depends on some of the same internals as IISAdmin - so the problem often rears its head after installing CF or some other AP server or filter using IIS. To solve the problem you make the Coldfusion service "Depend" on the IISAdmin service so that it won't start unless IISAdmin is running. Then you make www (and or ftp) "depend" on the Cold fusion application server service before it starts. This outstanding blog entry by Dan Switzer shows how to make that happen.
An interesting issue came up last week. A customer has a production server servicing a high load and running CFMX 6.1. We migrated his site from CF 4.5 "spaghetti" code sprinkled with custom tags to CFMX code with CFCs. The project was thorough and included load testing and a dev and staging environment. When we launched it seemed fine - better than expected actually. It ran fine for about 2 weeks, then suddenly developed a problem. It seems that under a very light (almost non-existent) load the server slowed to a crawl.Read More
Finding a cause for something as generic as a CPU spike can be a frustrating task. In my experience it is best to start with "known" issues and get them out of the way. First, ensure that the OS is up to date with all patches (if using w2k - sp4). Likewise the RDBMS server should be up to date - both the OS and the application (sql2000 SP 2 for example). Next, examine the CF server and make sure that it is up to date as well. Be careful - make sure that all patches are installed and tested for compatibility on the dev server first. I never install a patch on the first day - or without doing it on the dev server first. Patches get rolled back too. Current CF 5 version is 5.0 - but there is an extensive list of hot fixes that may or may not be germane to your installation. Here's a link to Macromedia's Patch List.Read More
Did you ever have that helpless feeling when something on your computer goes wrong? Most regular users have that feeling daily. My wife was petrified to buy something on a web site yesterday because she didn't see the little lock in the corner. I was (naturally) thrilled to hear that she was even looking for the little lock. It turns out the site had some embedded images that were not secure - even though the page itself was secure.
That's a pretty typical user experience. You see something you don't expect, but you have no context or experience to tell you why something is behaving the way it is. But what if you are supposed to be the expert....Read More
Query of a query was introduced in CF 5 and has been a great benefit to Coldfusin developers. The concept is simple and unique to Coldfusion. I have yet to find anything like it native to any other language. Using Q of a Q a developer can pull a larger dataset from the database and chop it into smaller subsets of data. This is espacially handy for reporting. Query of a query has a number of quirks however. Here's one that bit me.