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What is ColdFusion MX?

ColdFusion is a set of Web development products developed by Allaire, which has now merged with Macromedia.

The ColdFusion development environment makes it easy for you to build dynamic Web sites and Internet applications. With ColdFusion, you can develop a site or application that pulls data from a content database and then use templates to dynamically create Web site pages using the content stored in your database. ColdFusion is often used to build ecommerce sites.

ColdFusion enables you to perform tasks such as:

• Query existing database applications for data.
• Create dynamic queries facilitating more flexible data retrieval.
• Execute stored procedures in databases.
• Enhance the standard HTML form capabilities with data validation functions.
• Dynamically populate form elements through database retrieval.
• Customize the display dates, times and currency values with formatting functions.

ColdFusion includes ColdFusion Studio, which you can use to design and develop your templates, and ColdFusion Server, which interacts with relational databases and serves the Web pages to your users. ColdFusion Server is what 2020Media provides to you.

How to create a ColdFusion website

Because ColdFusion integrates its code (CFML) with standard HTML code, you can use any standard Web development application or a text editor to develop your templates. However, if you plan on building a large or complex site, you may find it helpful to use ColdFusion Studio.


We offer Coldfusion MX Professional, Macromedia's latest version as at 2002/2003. We also have legacy support for ColdFusion 4.51 and this will be phased out in 2003. CFMX is run on Windows and CF 4.51 is hosted on Linux.


MySQL is offered as standard with CFMX. You can also use Access at no charge, or upgrade to Microsoft SQL server at additional cost. Contact 2020Media Sales for details. ColdFusion supports both DSN and DSN-less connections.

ColdFusion variable settings

The default setting (and maximum value) for session variables is 20 minutes.
The default setting (and maximum value) for application variables is 2 days.

CFHTTP workaround

The CFHTTP tag does not work as described in the ColdFusion Manual due to security restrictions in a shared environment. Specifically, if the METHOD attribute is set to "GET" then the #CFHTTP.FileContent#variable cannot be used to retrieve data extracted with CFHTTP.

You can work around this problem by using the PATH and FILE attributes to specify where the file should be created. Instead of using the CFHTTP.FileContent variable, read the downloaded file using CFFILE tag from the location specified in the CFHTTP PATH attribute. You may want to use a special directory for the PATH to these temporary files, as you will need to grant write access to the directory.

Using CFQUERY to access an ODBC DSN

Once you have created an ODBC Data Source Name for your database, you can use CFQUERY:

<CFQUERY Name="myqueryname" DATASOURCE="DSNName" USERNAME="username" PASSWORD="password">

Sending an email from your application

To send an email from a ColdFusion application, you use the CFMail tag. The following sample code illustrates how you can send a confirmation email to a visitor:


<CFMAIL to="#ContactEmail#" from="From Email" Subject="The          Subject">

Thank you for your message,
We'll be in touch as soon as we can. Thanks for visiting our site,
You wrote:
Message By: #ContactName# - #ContactEmail#

RDS (Remote Development Services)

When discussing ColdFusion, RDS stands for Remote Development Services. Because RDS is not designed for a shared hosting environment, it presents a high security risk and is not enabled on 2020Media's shared servers

Coldfusion Tags

We can install custom tags by arrangement and approval by our technical support team. You can place your custom ColdFusion tags (.cfm) in any directory under your /www directory. Once you have uploaded your files, you will need to use the CFMODULE tag to specify the location of your .cfm tags.

If you call custom CFM tags directly, the custom tag must be placed in the same directory as the calling template. We support both CFX and CFFILE tags by default.

Can I use ColdFusion in conjunction with ASP?

Yes you can, but we do not offer technical support for ASP if you have purchased a ColdFusion package. You will need to order an ASP hosting package to gain technical support

"Data Source Not Found" error.

If you are receiving this error, make sure that you have created the DSN. You should also check for any spelling errors.

"File Not Found" error.

This error indicates that the ODBC driver can not find the file in the location it expected. To try and resolve this problem, perform the following steps:

• Ensure that you have created the data files.
• Check the ODBC source settings and spelling.
• If the file has been moved, manually update the file location information for any ODBC sources that reference the file.
• Check that the database file defined by the DSN has not been renamed.

Parameter errors.

Parameter errors occur when a SQL statement references a field name that does not exist in the data source. You should check the SQL statement or query indicated in the error message and verify that:

• You are using the correct data source with the query.
• The fields exist and you have spelled their names correctly.
• Any literals or strings in the query are enclosed in single quotes.

Further reading about working with ColdFusion

There are a number of resources that can help you as your work with ColdFusion, including:

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