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

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