ColdFusion Muse

Converting Fusebox 2 to FW1 - Creating Scaffolding

Mark Kruger February 28, 2019 3:19 PM ColdFusion, Coldfusion Tips and Techniques Comments (0)

A quick Muse post with a bit of code. I know I know it's been a while and my coding has suffered. Still, some of you may find this useful.

I'm converting a Fusebox 2 application to FW1 and I wrote a simple script to automate some of the shell files I need. FW1 uses a URL convention that looks similar to Fuesbox. In Fusebox you have a 2 part URL param that dictates what your code is supposed to do. For example, fuseaction=reports.users would logically be a "circuit" called "reports" - think of it as collection of code or an application within a suite of applications. The second part of the fuseaction dictates which report exactly is supposed to be run.

FW1 is not dissimilar to this approach although it tends to introduce complexity for complexity sake at times (don't @ me). In FW1 an "action" parameter dictates which controller to run which in turn calls services and views as needed to set up a page or action. So FW1 may have action=reports.users - it looks quite familiar.

Since my Fusebox application is well organized I created a script that builds off the circuit and creates the necessary FW1 files. For each circuit I am going to create:

  • circuitName.cfc in the FW1 /controllers folder.
  • circuitName.cfc in the FW1 /model/services folder.
  • circuitName.cfc in the FW1 /model/DAO folder.
  • A folder named for the circuit in the FW1 /views folder with a placeholder file within (default.cfm) for my eventual content.

The script is pretty easy and it's designed to be run within the fusebox application where the FW1 application is accessable via file operations. First some setup:

<!--- MAK: location of my F1 files. --->
<cfset targetFW1 = "E:\eclipse-ws\new-fw1\trunk\">

<!--- MAK: Set up our target Dirs for FW1. --->
<cfset controllerDir = targetFW1 & "controllers\">
<cfset serviceDir = targetFW1 & "model\services\">
<cfset DAODir = targetFW1 & "model\DAO\">
<cfset viewDir = targetFW1 & "views\">

Next I created some placeholder files for controller, services and DAO. I'm going to read those files into variables.

<cffile action="read" file="#templateDir#dao.txt" variable="daoContent">
<cffile action="read" file="#templateDir#service.txt" variable="servicesContent">
<cffile action="read" file="#templateDir#controller.txt" variable="controllerContent">
Then I'm going to use my Fusebox applications structure called "Fusebox.circuits" and loop through it taking action on my plan.
<!--- MAK: loop through them and check them out. --->
<cfloop collection="#fusebox.circuits#" item="circ">
    <!--- MAK: Does the controller exist? --->
    <cfif NOT fileExists(controllerDir & circ & ".cfc")>
        <cffile action="write" file="#controllerDir##lcase(circ)#.cfc" output="#controllerContent#">
    <!--- MAK: Does the services file exist? --->
    <cfif NOT fileExists(serviceDir & circ & ".cfc")>
        <cffile action="write" file="#serviceDir##lcase(circ)#.cfc" output="#servicesContent#">
    <!--- MAK: Does the DAO file exist? --->
    <cfif NOT fileExists(DAODir & circ & ".cfc")>
        <cffile action="write" file="#DAODir##lcase(circ)#DAO.cfc" output="#daoContent#">
    <!--- MAK: Creat the Directory in the view along with a default.cfm --->
    <cfif NOT directoryExists(viewDir & lcase(circ))>
        <cfdirectory action="create" directory="#viewDir##lcase(circ)#">
        <cffile action="write" file="#viewDir##lcase(circ)#\default.cfm" output="<h4>Hello World</h4>">

That's it. The end result is matching DAO, Controller and service files and view folders. Of course I may delete some of them or merge or whatever as my FW1 application takes shape, but having a matching convention with Fusebox let's me examine code from one into the other without a lot of fuss.

Follow Up

I created a script that handles the "second" part of fuseaction and places an CFM in the views folder as a placeholder. Basically "reports.users" should result in a /views/reports/users.cfm file containing HTML. This is where the eventual display code will be housed.

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Building a Robust Error Handler Part 2

Mark Kruger July 12, 2017 5:03 PM ColdFusion, Coldfusion Tips and Techniques Comments (1)

The Muse is fortunate to have a number of very talented and smart developers work for him. Mary Jo Sminkey has been with CF Webtools for several years now and we simply love having her around. She's a fantastic developer and a fantastic resource. You might catch her at cf.objective() where she will be speaking next week.

Meanwhile, you might remember part 1 of this series – Building a Robust Error Handler. Below is part 2 in that 3 part series. Enjoy!

Well it's taken a couple years to get around to it, but at long last here is part 2 of my error handling post! Of course, in that time I've continued to work on improvements to my error handler, so many changes that I'm going to need to break THIS post up into multiple parts as well. I'll try not to take too long to get the final part out to you!

So in part one we looked at things like using the error handler for both global errors as well as in cfcatch blocks, dumping all the available scopes while scrubbing them for any sensitive data, keeping track of already reported errors to prevent receiving tons of duplicate emails for the same error, etc.

In this post (part 2) we will expand the functionality of the error handler and talk about strategies for use throughout the application. Let's start with how to handle errors "in depth".

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Building a Robust Error Handler

Mark Kruger February 11, 2014 11:25 AM ColdFusion, Coldfusion Tips and Techniques Comments (2)

If you have been around the ColdFusion world as long as the Muse you have heard of Mary Jo Sminkey. Mary Jo built a popular ColdFusion ecommerce platform called CFWebstore. She has vast experience in ColdFusion and a seemingly boundless fountain of energy. Her eclectic interests range from technology to baking to dog training. As far as CF Webtools and the Muse can tell, Mary Jo excels at everything she does. We frankly suspect she is actually twins or triplets pretending to be only one person :) The following article is by Mary Jo and details her approach to application specific error handling. She has a detailed and thorough knowledge of the topic. Using this approach she has been able to reduce the number of errors on a very high traffic E-commerce site to practically nil. In the first of 2 articles MJ (as we call her with great affection) details the structure and usage of the handler.

Building a Robust Error Handler (by Mary Jo Sminkey)

Let's face it, sometimes we put less effort into the error handler than into the rest of our code. We might put something in place that throws up a "user friendly" page, and maybe email a dump of the catch or error structure, but when the site goes live, and we are deluged with errors due to search bots, hack attempts and poorly coded pages we turn it off or send all those emails to a seldom-visited mailbox. Sometimes we implement error handling as cftry/cfcatch blocks that do little more than preventing errors from being thrown, instead of helping us track down the issue.

I look at the error handler as a way to help make a site as bug-free as possible. By having it email me as much information as possible about errors, I troubleshoot, fix and patch, and get to a point where errors are the exception rather than the rule. In this article, we'll look at building a single-page, comprehensive error handler. In a future article, we'll look at integrating that error handler with the open source bug tracker BugLogHQ. Before we begin with our error handler let's talk about our error handling strategy.

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Setting Timeout Successfully on a Web Service Call

Mark Kruger March 21, 2013 2:17 PM Coldfusion Tips and Techniques Comments (2)

One of the annoying things about ColdFusion (yes even the Muse gets annoyed) is the sort of haphazard way it deals with timeouts. If the process you are timing out involves a call to an external service it's really a crap shoot whether or not it will work. Once CF hands off to the external service and starts its vigil waiting for the callback, the timeout value is largely ignored. Don't believe me? Create a long query to a DB Server and then pull the network cable while the query is running. The thread will usually continue to hang even if you have added a timeout value.

Recently Super Guru Jared Riley (Computer Services Inc. (CSI)) was lamenting this very problem with regard to a web service he was using. Because the web service would sometimes hang at the other end due to reliability issues his server was accumulating dormant ColdFusion threads which eventually would fill up the simultaneous request pool and begin to queue all other requests - effectively locking up the server.

It turns out a savvy developer named Jeff Nelson (also of CSI) came up with a solution for this particular issue. Before I share I must warn my readers that this is an undocumented solution that sets an underlying AXIS property. That means that subsequent changes to some future version of the underlying Axis libraries could cause this to error out at some point. The Muse has been known to use undocumented features successfully from time to time - but it pays to be vigilant when upgrading or patching. Also keep in mind this is only for web services. It will do nothing for Queries or cfmail etc. With that in mind here is the "fix".

Setting the timeout axis property

<cfset webservice =
createObject('webservice', '') /

<cfset webservice._setProperty("axis.connection.timeout",
                        javaCast("int",10000)) /

Now some of you might immediately say "hmmmm.... that's the connection timeout, but it doesn't really cover long running requests that occur AFTER the connection is made does it?" Jared has actually done a good bit of testing and claims that this property will timeout a request for either a connection reason or a time of process reason.

So if you are trying to solve this particular problem this might be an appropriate course of action. Now if we could just find similar settings for various DB Drivers my life would be complete.

Follow Up

For those of you who want to remind me that there already is a timeout property to cfinvoke that can be used here I would respond that that setting works correctly for creating the stub classes. In other words if ColdFusion can't compile the WSDL with the time alloted it will timeout. But it doesn't work for actual calls to the methods instantiated.

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Performance Tip - CF Builder 2 Plugin on Windows 7 64 bit

Mark Kruger January 27, 2012 11:20 AM Coldfusion Tips and Techniques Comments (13)

The Muse is a slow moving tools user. I just switched to CF Builder about a year ago in fact. Before that I was using CF Eclipse. I still use the venerable Homesite for quick troubleshooting on production servers or to review code. I'm using it to write this blog in fact. I have written my blogs in hand coded HTML for many years - which I'm sure, explains the copious amounts of in-line CSS throughout. But I'm a full convert to CF Builder now and have been for some time. All my "Code-for-production" work is done using CFB with integrated SVN through a local environment. Recently on one of the email lists I follow I heard a tip from mad-genius Kevin Miller (

Like the Muse, Kevin runs CF Builder 2 on Windows 7 64bit as a plugin against a heavily customized version of eclipse 64bit. Also like the Muse he finds it to be an underachiever. CFB (or perhaps it's just 64bit Eclipse and we are throwing CFB in there unnecessarily) tends to use way more processor than seems necessary and at times seem to lag and catch up like a fat man at a marathon. On rare occasions when I'm editing large files or (in particular) browsing files on the network it simply peters out and needs to be defibrillated - also like the fat man I suppose. Of course I have edited the eclipse.ini file and I run a large heap. I've experimented with different GC's and other params. In the end I just kind of assumed that.... well that it was a dog like many Java desktop apps (don't judge me). And at age 46 I've learned to settle for a lot of things, so I was reasonably content to simply live with it. I know - it sounds horrible when I write it down like that (doh!).

But Kevin suggested switching from javaw.exe to the jvm.dll by adding the "-vm" switch. I had assumed that "javaw.exe" was necessary because it builds a Windows GUI. But that "GUI" is not the Eclipse gui (at least I don't think so). More likely it is that annoying system tray thingy that keeps begging me to let it spout all the wonderful things Oracle is doing while it upgrades my SDK. Anyway, with a little trial and error I found that Eclipse runs splendidly using the jvm.dll and I'm having fewer lags and problems with. Kevin's post is here if you want the full story. Let me add to his comments that I had a bit of trouble finding the right "jvm.dll". The first one I tried was apparently 32 bit. The one I needed was in the jre6 folder - which eventually I found installed elswhere on my machine. Thinking back I think the SDK install does ask for a specific location for those files - so that makes sense.

Once I had right path I opened my eclipse short cut and added..

eclipse.exe -vm "C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\server\jvm.dll" the target area so that I'm using it each time I open eclipse. Note the necessary quotes around the path. They are needed because of the space in "program files". As always I count on my readers to add to the conversation - just be nice. Remember I grew up on Andy Griffith, not South Park. So let's leave Kenny alone on this post. On the other hand Aunt Bee is fair game.

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Good Developers Practice Safe Query Caching

Mark Kruger September 19, 2010 12:00 AM Coldfusion & Databases, Coldfusion Tips and Techniques Comments (31)

First let me say that query caching on a CF server is not a panacea. There are many ways to improve performance and there are many techniques for caching. All techniques have trade-offs. Still, there are instances where caching will save you time and money - and those are both things in short supply. More to the point, query caching is so easy to implement that it can be done for an entire site or application in a relatively short time - as long as you follow some simple rules and take some precautions (please people - use "safe caching").

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MS Throws a Curve: IE 8 and the New Security Message

Mark Kruger April 19, 2010 10:00 PM Coldfusion Tips and Techniques Comments (3)

You have probably seen the special security warning that appears when a page has "a mix" of secure and not secure resources. I recently ran into a usability issue with regard to this message that I thought deserved a quick post on the Muse. Let's start with an example:

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The Boolean-O-Matic: ColdFusion's Weird Relationship With Truth

Mark Kruger February 5, 2010 12:28 PM Coldfusion Tips and Techniques Comments (7)

Hello muse readers. I apologize for my long hiatus (which means a stretch of time where I was absent - it's not a size joke).  I have been swamped with closing out the old year and implementing plans for the new year. I'm afraid our little chats were put on the back burner temporarily. However, now that new year has begun I am committed to continuing our friendship. I'd like to start out with something simple. Indeed, some of you may find this to be ColdFusion 101.

This post is going to discuss Boolean values. A Boolean is one of those datatypes more defined by how it is evaluated than by what it contains. The muse definition is that if something can return a "true" or "false" in the context of a logic statement (cfif) it is a Boolean. It may be other things as well, but it has the properties of a boolean and returns one of 2 states - true or false. Interestingly, every language handles Booleans differently and many of them use the same wild west sort of approach that ColdFusion uses - where several things can be used as Booleans.

Even if you don't know it, you use Booleans every time you create a cfif statement. Still, it's surprising how many advanced developers do not fully grasp all the ways that ColdFusion has of evaluating something as True or False. And having said that I am fully aware that some smarty-pants developer will immediately inform me of some new way I haven't seen before of evaluating true or false (thank you sir, may I have another).

Anyway, I'd like to take a little journey into the world of Booleans to start off my 2010 blogging. Note: this post has a number of neat "tips and tricks" that you may have not seen before. Whether you choose to use them can depend greatly on your environment, the structure of your code and the standard you are using (especially in a team environment). I'm not advocating for or against, although I have my own preferences. I'm only putting it out there as another arrow in your quiver. So with that caveat taken care of, let's begin.

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