Have you ever stopped to think about just how much functionality is baked into ColdFusion? We use
But what if these services could be accessed outside of ColdFusion? If a PHP developer in the next cube over needed to merge PDF files, why couldn’t he invoke ColdFusion’s PDF manipulation services? If a .NET developer needed to access Microsoft Exchange, why couldn’t she use ColdFusion’s brilliant Exchange tags (rather than having to write lots and lots of .NET code, and I do mean lots and lots)? What about the Java developer who needs to easily manipulate spreadsheet files without tinkering with low level libraries?
And while we’re at it, what about the Flex developer who needs to generate an e-mail message? Flex (well, Flash) has no built in SMTP libraries, and so Flex developers who need to programmatically generate e-mail messages do so by writing code on the server. For ColdFusion developers this means creating a ColdFusion Component which accepts data from a Flex application (likely via an AMF call) and then passes that same data to a
Well, with the upcoming ColdFusion Centaur, the answer to all of these questions is yes, these are all doable! In ColdFusion Centaur we’re exposing lots of those integrated ColdFusion services via AMF (Flash Remoting) and SOAP (Web Services). The PHP, .NET, and Java developers can invoke ColdFusion built-in Web Services, pass in data, and get back results. And the Flex developer can include a ColdFusion SWC file exposing ActionScript classes and MXML tags via simple abstracted AMF calls. Simply include the SWC in your Flash Builder project, define the ColdFusion name space like this:
and you’ll have access to CFML tags within your Flex project. For example, to send an e-mail you could use the following:
The above code creates an instance of the Mail object and names it “cfMail”, and sets to, from, subject, etc., with the values of other Flex objects. To actually send the mail all you’d need is to invoke the following (possibly when a Send button is clicked):
There is much more to this “ColdFusion as a Service” functionality, including lots more services exposed, and a sophisticated security model.
But the bottom line is that ColdFusion is now poised to become even more valuable to Flex and AIR developers, and now even of value to developers using other platforms and languages.
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