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Looking to buy ColdFusion? Get it at a discount from the FR folks, and an additional discount off FR

If you're in the market to buy ColdFusion 11, whether a full license or an upgrade from 10 or 9, you can get a discount off the retail (Adobe) price by buying from www.buy-adobe-software.com, which is a site by the fine folks who make FusionReactor, who are an official Adobe reseller. Why pay full price for CF if you can save, up to 10% currently?

Even better, for a limited time, folks making such a purchase of CF there will get 20% off a purchase of FusionReactor Standard or Enterprise Subscription, if purchased at the same time.

So if you're looking to buy CF11, save money on CF and get a great monitoring solution for CF. I work with it daily, using it on my sites and nearly always recommending it as the best tool for solving CF problems. (It also works with Railo, Lucee, and BlueDragon Server JX, as well as Tomcat, JBoss, Jetty, GlassFish, and indeed any Java application.)

See my FusionReactor category of blog posts for more I've shared on FR over the years.

FusionReactor updated today: some general info related to getting/applying FR updates

FusionReactor users will want to know that there was a new update released today, 5.2.6. The update is free for those on 5.2.x releases as well as those with maintenance agreements. And you can just download the installer and run it to update your current version (even back to FR 5.0, if you've not updated FR 5 since you first installed it).

But more than that basic info, I'd like in this post to take advantage of the chance to share a few things related to the topic of upgrading FusionReactor, including some common questions I often am asked as I assist people in using it:

  • Where do I get the update?
  • How do I find out what's new in the update?
  • Should I hesitate about applying the very latest FR update as soon as it comes out?
  • How would you I know there WAS an update to FR available?
  • Do I just need to run the full installer or can I update just one file perhaps?
  • Do I need to restart CF (or Railo/Lucee/Tomcat, etc.) for the update to take effect?
  • Can I update FRAM and choose NOT to update my monitored CF/Railo/Lucee/Tomcat/etc instance?
  • Why do you keep referring to "CF/Railo/Lucee/Tomcat/etc"? I thought FR was a CF monitor tool?
  • What if I'm on an FR version older than 5.0?

For these and more, read on.

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CF911: Help, How do I connect sites to a new instance w/ the ColdFusion 10/11 webserver config tool?

This one causes a lot of heartburn for folks: you add a new instance in CF10 or 11 (in editions other than Standard, which do support adding instances), and you find that you can't seem to have the web server configuration tool (wsconfig) connect sites to that new instance(s). You never see the new instance listed in the UI of the wsconfig tool. What gives?

The solution is relatively easy, and the problem could maybe be fixed (or at least warned about) by Adobe (and I just filed a bug report for it). Until that happens, I wanted to share this. For more, read on.

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Updates, updates. Get your CF updates! The CF Team has been busy fixin' bugs!

If you'd not noticed, the CF team has been busy fixin' bugs! Over 300 in CF11 in just the past month. Check out these two announcements today of prereleases of update 5 for CF11 and update 16 for CF10:

This is on top of the release earlier this week of the final version of CF11 Update 4 (which had been in prerelease for a couple of weeks):

Great to see the CF team cranking on the bug fixes. I count just under 120 in the technotes for CF11 update 5, and just under 40 in CF10 update 16. And there were just under 200 fixes in Update 3 of CF11, which again was released just in recent weeks.

Yeah, but what about all those bugs?

Yes, I know some could twist things and say "yeah, but the problem is that there are so many bugs to be fixed". Sure.

Still, for others who may have longed to see their bugs fixed, here's hoping that these or any of the other recent updates may address those for them.

File your bugs, vote for others

And let this be a lesson to folks: if you've got a problem, don't just publicly complain about it. File a bug report. That said, since the team does need to triage bug fixes and does take votes into account, some may want to publicize their particular bug to garner interest in it.

But please: don't ask me to do that for you here. :-) You may notice I don't even do that myself here for bugs I report. I trust that the system works and important problems will be found and voted upon by folks.

The recent spurt of bug fixes, as well as some specific responses to issues I've raised (some, not all), does give me hope that the process is working.

Do remove any prerelease updates when things go final

Oh, and if you may have applied (or will apply) one of the prereleases, don't forget to uninstall it when the final comes out. And change your CF Admin "update settings" page to point back to the original URL (versus the prerelease update feed URL). Use the provided "restore default URL" for that. In fact, I'd recommend you do that right after downloading a prerelease, so you don't forget.

Sadly, I have found that even with the default URL restored, we are NOT notified that a new final release is ready if we have the prerelease installed. That's unfortuante. Until that may be fixed, do keep an eye on that CF team blog above. It's a great resource of what's going on with CF.

Free, simple code to find out what SQL statements are running in SQL Server right now

Often when people are trying to troubleshoot seeming problems in CF, they may wonder if (or have tools which suggest that) their CF requests are being held up waiting for some long-running query to run in the database.

Wouldn't it be nice to know, at any moment (such as when things are going badly), just what queries (or stored procedures or commands) were running in the database at that point in time?

Well here's good news: if you're running SQL Server, the following query will show you just that, the currently running SQL statement(s) and some additional details about each query including their duration, their database name, the program executing the SQL, and much more.

(If you're running MYSQL, you may know that you can get pretty much the same info with SHOW PROCESSLIST. Or if you want to do it as SQL, you can use SELECT * FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.PROCESSLIST WHERE COMMAND != 'Sleep'. Sadly, it's just not that simple in SQL Server, it seems, thus the need for this entry.)

The code for SQL Server

Following is the code, and then some discussion of it:

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"Understanding SQL Server Statistics": A great, free, relatively brief ebook

If you want to understand the important concept of SQL Server statistics (a mechanism within SQL Server which tracks metadata about your data, and which can significantly affect query performance if not managed well), I think you can do no better than than to spend an hour or so reading the free 40-page e-book, SQL Server Statistics, written by Holger Schmeling and offered by Red-gate. book cover

The book is a quick read, and really well done, including a discussion of what statistics are, why they're important, how to diagnose trouble with them, and how to use the SSMS interface and/or SQL statements/commands to better understand them.

There are plenty of screenshots and it's written in a tutorial manner. And while it's from 2010 and covers only up to SQL Server 2008, most of the concepts apply just as well to SS 2012 and beyond, and of course many organizations are still running on SS 2008 or even earlier!

Most important, Schmeling explains why it's important that you take responsibility to both create and maintain statistics (rather than leave it as something that "the database" should handle. And if you are leaving it as something "the db should handle", you can use this to make sure that person is doing their job with respect to statistics.)

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Elaborating on an Adobe blog entry today, related to tweaking CFCLASSES to solve slow CF startup

The fine folks at the Adobe CF blog posted a blog entry today, on "Sometimes ColdFusion services refuse to start normally post server restart" (by Rahul Upadhyay), which offers some helpful information on one possible solution to the stated problem.

That said, there are some concerns I have, with respect to how I fear some may read and take action based on it (especially the notion of deleting the cfclasses files, as a possible solution to the problem). I'm not contradicting Rahul, just elaborating on some points, as someone who (like them, perhaps) helps people with CF server troubleshooting every day.

I started to write these thoughts as a comment there, and (as often happens) it grew long so I thought it better to be a blog entry rather than a long comment, and point people here. Once I did that I decided to go further still, hoping to really help those interested to consider the issue more carefully. (It also gives me a chance to highlight again the Adobe CF team blog, something I recommend EVERYONE reading this should follow!)

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CF911: "Help! I've updated the JVM which ColdFusion uses, and now it won't start!"

Has this happened to you? You follow some resource on the web showing how to update the JVM which CF uses, to a new version, and then wham, CF won't start. And now you may be stuck wondering, "what happened? how am I supposed to fix this?"

It's a tragic position to be in. (I was tempted to title this, "Help. My JVM has fallen and CF can't get up", but I fear that dated and veiled 80's reference would go over the heads of many of my readers.)

The thing is, there are several reasons why your attempt to update CF's JVM can fail, and fortunately I can offer several things you can look at to hopefully quickly recover from or undo things. If you're interested, read on.

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"The price for ColdFusion troubleshooting consultants is a joke. They're taking us for a ride"

Ok, so that's clearly not my sentiment but rather that of a certain "Simon" (no other identifying info offered) in a blog comment in one of the recent CF team blog entries.

After complaining about how poorly he felt CF had responded to his seeking help, he threw in additionally that "the existing private consultants prices are a total joke - they are taking us for a ride!".

Well, I just couldn't let go his comment go unremarked.

I started to write my reply there, but it grew long (as is my wont). So rather than post there (where most comments are brief), I decided to post it here instead and point to it there. Perhaps some of my readers here may appreciate it as well, as I also talk about some thoughts on CF troubleshooting in general.

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Hidden Gem: Importing CF Admin settings in ANY release via "import wizard", even AFTER installation

Have you ever faced the challenge of needing to migrate the CF Admin settings (datasources, mappings, scheduled tasks, etc.) from one machine to another? You may know of a couple of solutions (the CAR mechanism and the "import wizard" which runs at the end of installation).

But what if those solutions don't work for you? Or what if you didn't know of them before installation, and now you have dozens of dsn's, scheduled tasks, mappings, or other settings you want to get from one machine/release to another?

You are NOT stuck having to manually copy settings from one screen to another! (And you should be very careful about the common hack solution of copying neo*.xml files from one instance to another, which may not always work and may break things.)

In this entry I'll discuss how you CAN indeed import the CF admin settings from ANY release of CF into ANY OTHER release of CF, in a fully supported way, and which CAN be done even after installation of a new CF release.

I'll also mention an important potential gotcha to beware, as well as how to to get around that.

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Hidden Gem in ColdFusion 11: ColdFusion Archive (CAR) support now in Standard

Here's a nice surprise for some about a change in CF11: you can now create and read CAR files (ColdFusion archive files, a CF Admin feature) in the STANDARD edition of ColdFusion 11. In prior releases, it was available only in ColdFusion Enterprise.

Read on for more, including a gotcha regarding importing from previous release Standard editions, but for many this news will be a delight and all they need to know.

For more on what the CAR mechanism is, finding more on it, the gotcha (and what NOT to do if you hit that gotcha), and info on still more hidden gems in CF, read on.

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Get a headstart on checking out Update 3 for ColdFusion 11

If you didn't catch it, Adobe has come out with a prerelease version of the pending Update 3 for ColdFusion 11, which (like update 14 for CF10) adds many things:
  • bug fixes (over 160)
  • support for new OS's, databases, application servers, and web servers
  • support for Java 8
  • as well as updates to underlying technologies like Tomcat (now 7.0.54)

Update: Adobe released yet another version of this Update 3 prerelease, on Nov 19. See the blog entry for more about that, but the info below still stands and you will want to keep reading here if applying update 3 for the first time (indeed, even after the update comes in "final" form). That said, do see the updated blog entry (or more specifically the link to PDFs offered there) for more on what is in that newer version of the update.

For more on this update, read on here.

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Finding ColdFusion installers, updaters, hotfixes, and docs for all recent releases

This won't be new info for some, but many folks remain confused by the fact that they can seem to only find ColdFusion 11 installers on the Adobe site. What if you need installers for 10, or 9, or 8, and so on? There are a variety of reasons for why only 11 is offered (and not as nefarious as some may feel). I discuss that here as well.

Find CF installers, updaters, and docs for past several releases

The good news is that if one wants to find ANY installers for most ANY version of CF, they can be found on an external repository setup by Gavin Pickin (and added to by myself and others, to include updates, hotfixes, and docs):

Gavin Pickin's ColdFusion Downloads / Install Repo

If it helps, you can also access it using the easier to remember: http://bit.ly/cfdownloads

As for why we can find only CF11 installers on Adobe's site, as well as what happened to the tinyurl.com/cfdownloads alternative for Gavin's site, read on.

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New updates for Coldfusion 11, 10, and 9 (security update for 9, 11; still more for 10)

If you'd not heard the news, there were several updates released today, for CF 11, 10, and 9.

As for CF11 and CF9, it's mainly a security update. For CF10, it's got quite a bit more. (And there is another update for CF11 to come in the future which Adobe mentioned when it came out with its first update last month.)

For more on each, see below.

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My New Youtube Video on the Why and How of Using FR Stack Traces for ColdFusion Troubleshooting

As many of my readers know, I'm a big fan of the FusionReactor server monitor for ColdFusion (and Railo, BlueDragon, Tomcat, and indeed any Java server). I help people use it every day (just like I also help people leverage other CF monitors like the CF Enterprise Server Monitor and SeeFusion).

One of the most important features is the stack tracing feature, used to understand what's holding up a long-running request.

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My presentations at ColdFusion Summit, CFCamp, etc.

I wanted to share word here of the presentations I'll be offering at the upcoming Adobe ColdFusion Summit 2014 in Vegas on Oct 16-17, as well as CFCamp 2014 in Munich on Oct 20-21.

Also, sorry for the long delay in blogging. Just been so busy doing my CF server troubleshooting consulting.

As for my sessions at CFSummit (next week), I'll be doing the following (and you can follow the links to learn more about the talks, their dates and times, etc.):

At CFCamp, the following week, I'll be offering:

I had also presented the Hidden Gems talk at NCDevCon 2014.

These are all great conferences, and, in addition to cf.Objective 2014 (where I spoke also, on different topics), they are each great ways to keep up on what's going on in the world of ColdFusion and related technologies.

Finally, if someday you're visiting this blog entry and find that one of the conference links no longer work, you can find my own link to all my presentations, at all conferences the past 15+ years (as well as to any recordings made available) at my presentations page.

Come say hello if you're at any of these events.

BlogCFC was created by Raymond Camden. This blog is running version 5.005.

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