Scorpio File I/O Enhancements

At one of the usergroup sessions this week someone asked if there was a way to get file information (size, date time, etc.) easily using a function. I said they should use , but afterwards remembered that we did indeed add a new function to Scorpio called GetFileInfo() which returns a structure containing:

  • canread
  • canwrite
  • ishidden
  • lastmodified
  • name
  • parent
  • path
  • size
  • type

Which makes this a good opportunity to review some of the file i/o changes coming in Scorpio.
For starters, if you have ever had to work with large text files in ColdFusion (maybe parsing a large CSV file) you’ll know that doing so is very inefficient. You probably use code like this:


This is slow for two reasons. Not only does ColdFusion read the entire file into memory in a variable all at once, but also looping through the file requires treating it as a list which involves lots of parsing which can also be resource intensive.
Well, inefficient no more. In ColdFusion Scorpio you’ll be able to replace the above code block with this:


This code block open the file, reads one line at a time, and closes it when done. I actually used this myself recently in a ColdFusion code snippet that had to parse a massive tab delimited file, turning each line into a query row. Replacing the old with a new cut down processing time from several minutes to under 10 seconds.
Oh, and although reading files line by line is the more common use case, you can also read by n characters at a time, like this:


In addition to the enhancements, we’ve also added lots of new file i/o functions that you can use to access and manipulate files directly. The new functions include:

  • FileClose()
  • FileCopy()
  • FileDelete()
  • FileIsEOF()
  • FileMove()
  • FileOpen()
  • FileRead()
  • FileReadBinary()
  • FileReadLine()
  • FileSetAccessMode()
  • FileSetAttribute()
  • FileSetLastModified()
  • FileWrite()
  • GetFileInfo()
  • IsImageFile()
  • IsPDFFile()

11 responses to “Scorpio File I/O Enhancements”

  1. Rob Wilkerson Avatar
    Rob Wilkerson

    Am I safe in assuming that the file loop releases each line from memory when it’s processing completes? Otherwise the memory issues will persist, but you didn’t mention it explicitly so I thought I’d verify.

  2. Ben Forta Avatar
    Ben Forta

    Rob, yes, it reads a line at a time, it does not keep previously read lines in memory, and so it does indeed solve that memory issue.
    — Ben

  3. Rick Root Avatar
    Rick Root

    Ben, this is awesome. I especially like being able to do file/directory operations in cfscript without having a bunch of UDFs!

  4. tony of the weeg clan Avatar
    tony of the weeg clan

    you have just made my day! thanks for the info ben.

  5. Stephen Cassady Avatar
    Stephen Cassady

    Arrgh. So just release the @#$%@$#%^ thing already! 🙂
    Seriously, looks like we’re getting some very nice robust enhancements.
    Some which I can use like now! :-0
    Anyways, I do look forward to the release and your teaser points are nice to read. It’s comforting to know the there are advantages to an owned and fiscally supported product – ie: features, and that Adobe’s first full release under their own name (I think the current version has one of Adobe’s longest official products names, something like "Macromedia ColdFusion MX 7 Standard Edition By Adobe", or something like that) should be a substantial re-launch for the product.

  6. James Holmes Avatar
    James Holmes

    In the words or Dr Who, "Fantastic!"

  7. Damien Jorgensen Avatar
    Damien Jorgensen

    I cant wait to see the performace increase when dealing with CSV style files

  8. Shuns Avatar

    I am wondering though if there is any functions for directory manipulation to complement then file I/O functions? That would be great also.

  9. Marko Avatar

    Oh boy, this is going to solve so many problems I’ve had in the past using cffile/cfloop.
    Fantastic new feature.

  10. Abhi Avatar

    Hello Ben
    This is just great work. Thanks for all you did.

  11. Downs Avatar

    This is an old thread but I am parsing a large CSV file with data that might contain commas in each quoted string. For instance, one record might look like this: "454454545","Last Name, First Name","City, State" It’s the comma INSIDE the quotes that is throwing everything off. How can I allow for this?

Leave a Reply