ColdFusion7 BlackStone


Tonight I went to Mid-Michigan ColdFusion Users Group meeting to see Ben Forta speak on ColdFusion 7 CodeName: BlackStone.


First off, an update to MX6.1 is due out (circa) this fall. It will include the 60+ bug fixes that have been released as individual patches as well as a rewritten database engine. The new engine slated for release in BlackStone but was deemed too cool to wait on.


Now onto BlackStone… this is an upgrade that everyone is going to want to budget for. 🙂 The added functionality and enhancements cover so much of ColdFusion that it will have something that everyone can appreciate at some level.


Here are my notes from the presentation.


It will contain some “data entry enhancements”. CFFORM will have a format=”” attribute. When you set it to xform it will become a “sinkable form”. All you code are a bunch of form fields and it does the rest. The skins will be .XSL files (XML Style Sheets). I can 't wait to see what people do with this and download them from the Macromedia Developer Exchange.


CFSELECTGROUP will be added. This will allow grouping of datasets for use in trees, drop downs and whatever else you use grouping for.


FLASH-IFICATION!


Now this is cool stuff! CFGRID and CFTREE will have new format=”” parameters that will allow you use flash. The flashed tree and grid are far more usable than the current java ones and a lot prettier. With CFFORM you can code all of your fields and leave all the display crap out (again). Using format=”flash” on CFFORM will now return a flashed form complete with some awesome real time input validation and awesome possibilities for forms morphing and changing based on earlier user input. A great example of this used by Ben Forta was having a first and last name text box side by side with an email text box with a value of “@macromedia.com” sitting underneath it. As he typed in his first name it was dynamically showing up in the email textbox as ben@macromedia.com. Doing something in similar in java script would be messy at best.


I saw at least one new cfform field type that is going to be introduced called dateChooser. It.s a nice little pop up calendar that will allow a user to click ran than having to type a date in (in whatever format the coder wants).


<CFDOCUMENT>


This is a family of tags that will allow you to dynamically output content into a PDF or FlashPaper. It contains a cfdocument item tag that will allow you to do things like a page break or headers and footers. It also introduces the new cfdocument. Scope. It has neat things such as currentPageNumber and so forth.


 


<CFREPORT>


This is a neat one. 🙂 It will allow you generate reports of many different kind. It has a (currently) external program called “Coldfusion Report Builder” that has an interface very similar to that of MS Access ' report maker. When you use CFREPORT you simply point to the file generated in report builder and BLAMO.. Instant report. Did I just say “Blamo”?


You will be able to package your applications in an EAR, JAR or WAR file for distribution and deployment. It will contain a complete runtime version of CF as well as your application and all datasources, mappings, registered tags and so forth. You can then move that file to any Java compliant web server (aren 't they all these days?) and your app will run. It will ask for a cf license key of course… But it will run, without having to install cf.


Dreamweaver is being tweaked and will have a lot more useful CF wizards including a login mechanism and a next – previous generator.


Details on this are sketchy and we had to push Ben to get the info… But…. HomeSite may be phased out at some point to be replaced with something else. A new product. Not dreamweaver. 🙂 I 'm not sure what to expect with this and I think Ben (or Macromedia) wanted it that way. 🙂