Even though ColdFusion does not always generate the latest hype and the CFUnited conference is no more, rest assured that ColdFusion is not dead. Adobe will not ignore its back-end server engine and let that key component lay fallow. While Adobe’s push for client-facing Rich Internet Applications will always be in the forefront, the communication channel that provides the data for the application is vitally important. The features that Adobe provides to publish SOAP-based web services on the server-side and the Flex consumption on the client-side reflect that simple integration is the aim.
Creating and publishingSOAP web services on the ColdFusion 9 platform is much easier than on many other platforms. First, a system administrator must set up the appropriate access permissions, including authentication and IP address whitelist. Then, the programmer only needs to create a typical ColdFusion Component containing a cffunction that defines the data types of the expected arguments to the web service and its corresponding return value. Now the ColdFusion magic is where the WSDL for the SOAP web service is automatically generated by passing the querystring “wsdl” to the public-facing ColdFusion component. Many other options exist when create the component for more control over the WSDL generation. A properly formed WSDL can be consumed by any SOAP client, many of which auto-generate objects based on the data provided by the WSDL.
With web services becoming the popular way to expose an API, both publicly and privately, and Adobe’s commitment to Rich Internet Application thin-clients, ColdFusion is positioned to be a major player in regards to backend and Flash integration. Specifically programmatically through the use ofFlex teamed with ColdFusion. When paired with other Adobe technologies ColdFusion proves to be a powerful solution. With Flex and Air, ColdFusion can share common constructs including ColdFusion’s markup language and even MXML through SOAP accessors. As a tightly integrated back-end to Adobe’s client-side efforts, ColdFusion is as relevant as ever.