5.1 Introduction to ColdFusion MX

ColdFusion is a tag-based language, built as an extension to HTML. It is designed for simplicity of use and rapid application development. The ColdFusion programmer can create complex business logic using a few simple tags.

ColdFusion tags and their attributes implement commonly needed functionality. These attributes can be likened to the properties of an object. For example, a <cfmail> tag has to, from, and subject attributes. When the ColdFusion application server sees a <cfmail> tag, it sends an email according to the specified attributes. It's that simple.

ColdFusion MX is written in Java and runs as a Java servlet. The ColdFusion application server is a page preprocessor. User requests are passed from the web server to the ColdFusion Server. Tags in the page are executed sequentially. The first time the page is accessed on the Web, the page is compiled into a Java servlet. Each access after that benefits from the speed of compiled code.

ColdFusion Components are the closest thing in ColdFusion to the concept of object-oriented programming. With a CFC, you have a self-contained object containing methods that can be called by other ColdFusion pages, CFCs, or Flash applications. They can also act as web services to allow virtually any consumer of web services to access their methods. CFCs as they relate to Flash don't follow the concept of instantiation; when you call a CFC, you are calling a static object. CFCs support the notion of an instance of a CFC, but this involves the use of the session or application scope, which is not accessible from Flash.

While CFC instances are not accessible to Flash, you can create other CFCs that act as wrapper objects, allowing the use of session or application instances of other CFCs.

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