Consider the following situations …
* You don’t have access to the ColdFusion Administration, but need to make simple changes (like registering your IP addresses for debugging).
* You need temporary datasources (perhaps for data import tasks) and want to be able to programmatically create (and drop) them.
* You automate user account creation processes (FTP, e-mail, and more), and need to define ColdFusion Administrator settings for new users.
* You are the administrator, and want to allow users to be able to set specific Administrator settings only without granting them ColdFusion Administrator access.
You get the basic idea. The ColdFusion Administrator is a bit of an all-or-nothing proposition, and that is not changing in Blackstone. What we are planning on changing is providing developers with an alternative to the ColdFusion Administrator, and Administration API.
I am not going to comment yet on exactly how the API is implemented (or what the calling code looks like). But I do want to comment on the API itself, and the problem it addresses.
The intent is to provide a series of calls that will provide access to settings in the ColdFusion Administrator, both getting and setting. From reading current server settings, to changing debug settings, to defining datasources, to registering CFX tags, to … lots of stuff.
Now before anyone panics, this does not mean that anyone who can write CF code can make ColdFusion Administrator changes. The APIs will require that a password be specified, and it is unlikely that all developers would be given that password (if they had it they’d be able to use the ColdFusion Administrator now). Rather, the API will be used by administrators to create custom consoles, mini-admin applications, and scripts. Administrators will use the APIs to allow developers to self-manage (to the extent that they allow).
So, if you need to create datasources the administrator could whip up a “create a datasource” screen. And if you needed to register a debug IP address, a simple script could do that. And so on.
I’ll post more details in the future.