ColdFusion Builder 2 Beta

About two and a half years ago, I got my first look at something called “Bolt.” It was an early alpha of what would go on to become ColdFusion Builder. I remember thinking, nothing could get me to switch IDEs. Two years later, I can’t believe I ever lived without it.

That’s why I’m thrilled to join in announcing the ColdFusion Builder team is releasing Coldfusion Builder 2 Beta to Labs today.

ColdFusion Builder has a ton of cool features, and I’m sure the usual suspects will give you a complete run down. But I’ll focus on what they’ve done to win me over with this release.

First, they focused on making it not just an editor, but an extremely productive one. More shortcuts are available, those shortcuts are more configurable, and you can create your own.

One of my favorite new features is called Quick Fix, which is a little hard to explain, but awesome when you get it. Let’s say you’re working in a file, and you know you need a function down the road but don’t want to stop your flow to go off and write it. So you write the call out, and your editor gives you red squiggly lines telling you that the function is undefined. But ColdFusion Builder gives you a yellow squiggly. This isn’t that exciting, except that when you see a yellow squiggly, you can hit a shortcut and get the option to generate that function. ColdFusion Builder will then generate the function definition for you, including typing any arguments in it based on what you passed into it when you wrote the call. Very cool, very productive. It’s also not limited to just functions. You can create standalone functions this way, or functions in existing CFCs, or even CFCs.

Finally, my favorite feature from ColdFusion Builder 1 is getting an upgrade. ColdFusion Builder Extensions have gotten some cool treatment from the team. There is tons more interactivity between the server and the IDE. Extensions can now launch in views, instead of a modal box. Finally, extensions can even add their own custom Code Assist.

All of these features and more are available for download today on Labs. Get it, try it out, and get more productive, today.

Go get it at

Apptacular ColdFusion Builder Extension – Reigning in Relationships

Apptacular is great at aggressively mapping out relationships.  This is good, when trying to build a quick admin interface for your applications. However when you get working on “real” applications, this aggressive relationship building can bite you.

This video will take you through, not just the problem, but how to use Apptacular to fix it.


Apptacular ColdFusion Builder Extension – Taking it down a notch from Terry Ryan on Vimeo.

Adobe at the Heartland Developers Conference 2010

I’m happy to say I’ll be at the Heartland Developers Conference in Omaha Nebraska this year.

I’ll be talking about ColdFusion, and how it can power truly rapid RIAs. In order to explain the whole workflow, I’ll be touching on ORM, scripting, Flash Catalyst, Flex 4 and Flash Builder.

Additionally, two other Adobeans will be making the trip, Paul Trani and Kevin Hoyt. Here’s our lineup:

So hope to see everyone in Omaha this September 8-10.


Apptacular Bug Fix – Use Automatic Updates

A couple people have reported an issue that happens when you use Apptacular with “Enable Request Debugging Output” checked in the ColdFusion Administrator. Basically, the XML that is supposed to go to ColdFusion Builder has the debugging tacked on to the end of it rendering the XML invalid, and Apptacular dies.

I thought I had a fix for it, but I was wrong.

So I added a new fix for it.

You can go to and download it…

or you can use Automatic Updates. To do that:

  1. Launch ColdFusion Builder.
  2. Right-click and bring up the Apptacular context menu.
  3. Select Check For Updates.
  4. Click the big ole “Yes, I want to update!” button.

That’s it; if you don’t choose to run the update you’ll get a subtle indicator that an update is available until you do update.

1 Day of Apptacular

24 hours after pushing Apptacular out, I have over 150 downloads, and only 2 reported problems.


One of the problems was that a user tried to run Apptacular against a database without primary keys. Apptacular and ORM in general have a dependency on primary keys. I should make that clearer in the documents, and error, and I will. But just know that.

In the meantime, keep downloading Apptacular and checking out my materials on it.

Get Apptacular

We’ll be releasing Apptacular soon on, but I’m tired of saying “It’s coming soon.”

You want Apptacular: Go get it:

If you have any issues, please report them using this site:

If you want to participate in building Apptacular, you want to look at the source, and tests, etc. Check it out on GitHub:

If you want to know more about what Apptacular can do for you, check out these tutorial videos:

Come be Part of Adobe Developer Week

Adobe Developer Week is next week, and it is shaping up to be massive. We’ve put together a lineup of 19 sessions dedicated to current and pressing topics on the Flash Platform. In response over 20,0000 of you have signed up and are ready to learn more.

I’m personally doing two sessions:

Adobe Flash Builder 4 and Adobe ColdFusion 9

May 12, 2010 2 pm PDT

Flash Builder 4 and ColdFusion 9 were made to work with each other, literally. This session will show you the features in ColdFusion 9 that will make your Flex life easier. You will also get to see how Flash Builder’s new features help to rapidly make Flash-powered front ends for your ColdFusion back ends.

Adobe ColdFusion 9 and Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5

May 14, 2010 11 am PDT

ColdFusion has always been about RAD. It continues to be the fastest way to create back-ends for your data-driven applications. Flash Catalyst can do the same for your front ends, making it easy to create Flash-powered content that people want to use. This session will show you how Flash Catalyst and ColdFusion can be combined for some lightning-fast application development.

So go sign up and be a part of what is shaping up to be quite a massive event.

Make sure you check out the rest of the content:

  • Welcome and Introduction to the Adobe® Flash® Platform: Ben Forta
  • Building Multi-Screen Applications with the Adobe® Flash® Platform and Adobe® Creative Suite® 5: Paul Trani
  • New Features in Adobe® Flex® 4 Framework: Deepa Subramaniam
  • New Features in Adobe® Flash® Builder™ 4: Andrew Shorten
  • Adobe® Flash® Catalyst™ CS5 for Developers: Doug Winnie
  • Building Mobile Applications with Adobe® Flash® Professional™ CS5: Create a Game: Paul Trani
  • What’s New in Adobe® Flash® Builder™ for Java Developers: James Ward
  • New Features in Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1: Lee Brimelow
  • Creating Sexy Applications with the Adobe® Flash® Platform: Designer-Developer Workflow: Serge Jespers
  • A Basic CRUD Application with Zend AMF and Adobe® Flex 4 Ryan Stewart and Kevin Schroeder
  • Adobe® Flash® Builder™ 4 and Adobe® ColdFusion® 9: Terry Ryan
  • Advanced Features In Adobe® Flex®: Ely Greenfield
  • AS34J: ActionScript 3 for Java Developers: Chet Haase
  • Adobe® Flash® Platform and James Ward
  • Adobe® Flash® Builder™ for Adobe® Dreamweaver® CS5 Users: Ryan Stewart
  • Using Advanced Features with Adobe® Flex® & PHP: Ryan Stewart
  • Adobe® ColdFusion® 9 and Adobe® Flash® Catalyst™ CS5: Terry Ryan
  • Adobe® Flex® and BlazeDS Integration with SpringSource: Christophe Coenraets and Jeremy Grelle
  • Building Desktop Applications with Adobe® AIR® 2.0: Ryan Stewart

ColdFusion Builder Tour – LA Area

This week I’m doing two stops on the ColdFusion Builder User Group tour. Both are in the LA area.

I’ll be stopping by the The Inland Empire ColdFusion User Group meeting on April 7th at 7:00PM on the Cal Poly Pomona campus. Check out their site for directions and whatnot.

I’ll also be stopping by the LA Web Professionals meeting on April 8th at 6:30 in Hollywood. Check out their site for whatnot and directions.

I’ll be talking about ColdFusion Builder as well as Flex and Flash Builder. I look forward to seeing you all there.

Apptacular, onProjectCreate, and Annoying Database Conventions

Sorry for the MeatLoaf-esque title, but I have a video demo that shows off some new features of both ColdFusion Builder extensions in general, and Apptacular in particular.


One feature of extensions that hasn’t been getting any play is the fact that you can wire up your extensions to run after a project is created. At the end of the New Project Wizard you can choose from a list of all of the extensions that have this enabled, and run anything an extension can do. This is really cool for starting up your projects with your preferred structure and style right from the get go. The video demo shows running Apptacular in this manner.


ORM and databases are great together, but sometimes database conventions run afoul of ORM best practices. Take table prefixes for example. Having a table with tbl_user makes some sense on the database side, it’s basically Hungarian notation for tables. (I’ve also seen people append the schema name to the table, as in the video.)

As necessary as it may be on the database side, it’s a big pain on the ORM side. We don’t want to work with a tbl_user object, we want to work with a user object.

Apptacular allows you to set a prefix that you can have removed from any of your tables. In this case it will convert the table tbl_user to the ORM entity user. Very handy, and saves a lot of work.


The other convention that gets in the way of generating ORM content from the database is plurals in tables. So table users should translate to the ORM entity user. I’ve added a checkmark option that will try and do that for you.

So these options combine to make writing clean, readable ORM from databases with these conventions really quick and easy. Check out the video to see this in action.

Apptacular ColdFusion Builder Extension – onProjectCreate, prefixes and depluralizing. from Terry Ryan on Vimeo.

Adding Spacers to ColdFusion Builder Menus

One of the things missing from ColdFusion Builder Extensions is the ability to make spacers in your menu items. This makes it a little hard to organize menu items.

But it turns out that you can add handlerless menu items. I have posted sample SML below.

Unfortunately, they are still clickable but because they don’t have a handler they don’t do anything. So it’s not a perfect solution, but it does make it a little easier to organize your menu options.


<contribution target=”projectview” >
<menu name=”Apptacular”>
<action name=”Regenerate Application” handlerid=”generate”></action>
<action name=”——————————” />
<action name=”Create Application” handlerid=”handlerCreateProject”></action>
<action name=”Edit Application Configuration” handlerid=”editConfig”></action>
   <action name=”Edit Database Data Model” handlerid=”editDB”></action>
<action name=”Edit Item Data Model” handlerid=”configtable”>
<filter type=”file” pattern=”.*.cfc” /> 
<action name=”——————————” />
<action name=”Prune Excess Files” handlerid=”purge”></action>