Back Into ColdFusion

My new job is a 100% ColdFusion environment. That’s a switch from what I’ve been doing lately, and frankly, it’s a relief. At first, I was a bit apprehensive about going from object oriented C# back to CFML scripting. Then I realized that my ColdFusion expertise is a couple of versions out of date.

The last version of ColdFusion that I used extensively was CF 5. Since that time, three major release have passed me by. As I started to dig into the new capabilities of CF MX 6.1 and MX 7, my jaw hit the floor.

First and foremost are ColdFusion Components. While at first glance they appear to simply be another way to encapsulate and reuse code, they are much more. First, they are pseudo-objects. That is, they can be instantiated as objects in CFScript blocks, properties and methods can be referenced using dot notation, and they can extend from other objects. There are limitations, apparently, in the areas of persistence and levels of inheritance, but the are a huge improvement over straight scripting. For me, they let me design the way I’ve come to prefer, where business logic is safely segregated from the presentation layer.

Second, every CFC is a SOAP Web Service. Simply by calling the CFC file as a URL and adding the query string ‘?wdsl’ the CFC responds as a web service. Talk about versatile. I’m so excited I can barely stand it.

The good news is I have plenty of projects to flex these new techniques on. As I go forward, I hope to share some code snippets here for the sake of posterity.

Other People’s Data

I have decided that I will never again take on a development project where I have to build an interface to other people’s data. It’s a nightmare – always.

I’m consulting for a client of my previous employer. They have an application, which I built originally, that is causing them some problems. The issues, as it turns out, all relate to the data in the database. Since the app is strictly an aggregation and reporting tool, the changes in data structure come out of thier other systems. Now they are upset because the data no longer looks right.

It’s ridiculous. And since the systems in question now reside behind a firewall, it’s pretty difficult for me to diagnose the issue.

So never again. I will not do anything like this again, especially in the education market.

SQL Server Ownership Changes

I recently moved a SQL Server 2000 database from a server owned by a client to my test server. In the process, several objects retained as owner a user that was not in my server (and I did not want in my server). I’ve used the sp_changeobjectowner for single changes, but was not looking forward to having to do fifty objects one at a time.

After a quick Google, I found the this Microsoft Knowledge Base article (275312). It works like a charm.

So if you need to do a bunch of ownership changes in SQL Server 2000, check that out.