ColdFusion 9 and AIR

I think ColdFusion 9 should be able to produce AIR applications.

Oh wait, I’m should probably preference this I love ColdFusion 8, and I think it’s great and the CF team deserves a rest. I do, I do, and they do. I’ve been holding on to this idea ever since the Philadelphia stop of the AIR Bus tour, and if I don’t get it out unfinished, I’ll never get it out there.

Okay, so back to ColdFusion should be able to publish AIR applications.

ColdFusion is cursorily related to so many of the technologies that surround AIR. ColdFusion provides an easy webservice infrastructure you need to run remote Flex applications. These remote Flex applications can just as easily be AIR as Flex. ColdFusion 8 can now generate rich controlled HTML and JavaScript driven applications. Just like the kind of applications that can be packaged as AIR applications.

But the direct linkage between ColdFusion and AIR is missing. Its can help but only as an unglamorous background player. It shouldn’t be, especially when it can produce so much of what AIR is made from.

I can envision setting something in Application.cfc like This.publishAsAir = TRUE. When the application url is browsed the ColdFusion server compiles all of the CF JavaScript libraries that are used in the application, and adds every page that is specified in another application.cfc setting, and builds it as an AIR file.

  • How would this work with applications that aren’t page based but url string based (like framework based applicaitons)? I have no idea.
  • How would this deal with pages driven by database results? I have no idea.
  • How would it hande all of the backend activity of tags like <cfmail> or <cfldap>? I have no idea.
  • Would this be really hard to do? Probably, but have you seen what they’ve done with CF 8?

I’m thinking maybe there would be some way of limiting what gets created as the AIR components. Maybe you would have to wrap all of the application parts you wanted to use in a <cfair> tag, and it would prevent the calling of certain tags within it? I have no idea.

So am I nuts, or are the obstacles too high with this?

8 thoughts on “ColdFusion 9 and AIR

  1. I started out with claiming you were “flamin’ bonkers, mate!” but I’m having a change of heart.

    what you’re getting at is more than using HTML or Flash (Flex) as SaaS (software as a service).

    you’re talking about distributing the AIR runtime and apps.

    you’re actually getting pretty close to Microsoft’s “no touch delployment” of apps from a couple of years ago.

    I’m warming to the idea!


  2. part of my argument is that Adobe has one “web server” – ColdFusion – and doesn’t need any other front-facing server technology – CF can (should) cover it all.

    Thank heaven that Flex 1.5 compiling server died a death and Livecycle is busy with PDF stuff.

    As Tim Buntel recently said, Adobe are positioning CF to be a “glue” tool. well, time to up the ante and “glue” the server to the client in more meaningful ways (ie: distribution) than passing XML or remoting packets….**

    is it too early to start up CFWishlist again?

    eh, just my 2 buttons worth.

    (** jd/Adobe and I had an argument over this. .. my point was that while CF can provide remote data to AIR, so can a ton of other technologies – some of em $Free)


  3. Nice posting Terrence. It will be difficult for all traditional apps to become AIR apps automatically. AIR requires apps to be packaged as part .air file. Also there is no concept of back/forward button as in a browser when you are viewing apps in AIR.

    Interesting thought for next release đŸ™‚



  4. Thanks Hemant, always nice the get attention from the engineers. I should make the point though that i don’t think you should be able to publish ANY CF application as AIR. Just that ColdFusion should be able to create AIR applications.


  5. I loveee the idea of CF + AIR.

    Guys We Need this!!!

    I believe that to implement AIR with coldfusion we might need to follow a framework in order to make this possible for both worlds Desktop and Web. Having a development framework in place is not only going to probably help us with the integration of AIR we will be able probably to develop faster and more stable applications.


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