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My upcoming presentations for spring/summer 2017: some on CF, some on other topics

I'm going to be speaking several times in the coming weeks and months (on several topics, some on ColdFusion and/or CFML, some on generic topics applying to any server, and one on SQL Server 2016 SP1 specifically). I thought I ought to post that fact here (I have often failed to think to do that here over the years).

I offer below first the events at which I'll be speaking, and then the preso titles and descriptions for any readers interested. (As an update, I was informed on 5/16/17 that I'd been selected to speak at NCDevCon. While it's not in "spring/summer" per the subject above, I've added it to the info below.)

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The 100 most interesting posts on the Adobe ColdFusion blog, the past 3 years

The Adobe ColdFusion team blog often has really some interesting content, but I find that some people are either not aware of the blog or just don't keep up on it, or perhaps they have trouble finding something they saw before or maybe heard was there.

So here I present what I feel are the 100 (technically, 105) most interesting/useful posts made there over the past 3 years (2014-16), offering information about CF and CFML which should be valuable to readers for years to come.

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2016 in review: top 10 CArehart ColdFusion posts of the year

I thought it may be useful to gather up a categorized listing of my most (seemingly) helpful/resourceful blog posts of the past year, to help others be aware of them (and indeed to help me be reminded).

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I'll be speaking at CFCamp in Munich, Germany, Oct 20-21. See you there!

I'm delighted to announce that I'll be presenting again this year at CFCamp, in Munich, Oct 20-21.

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Why you should think twice about leaving on the "public JRE" option of the Java JDK installer

This is a follow-up to a post I did in late 2014, CF911: 'Help! I've updated the JVM which ColdFusion uses, and now it won't start!'. In that post, I listed about a dozen common problems that befall people who try to update the JVM that CF is using (and it and this post apply as well to Lucee or BlueDragon, or indeed any Java application server).

In this post, I want to elaborate on one more common mistake. Well, mistake may be too strong word. It's about a default option when you run a Java JDK installer (see the other post for more on JDK vs JRE options).

In short, I make the case here for why you should NOT let the JDK installer implement its "public jre" option.

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How to solve common problems with applying ColdFusion updates (in 10 and above)

While ColdFusion 10 and later releases add a new automated update installation mechanism, what do you do if the update doesn't work? The answer may be simple on the surface, but not obvious to most. (And you'll likely be in panic mode.)

Many find after applying a ColdFusion update that either CF won't start at all, or they can't access the ColdFusion Admin, or some part of CF or their app doesn't work. The problem may be simply that there was an error in the update process CF did, and it may be rather easily confirmed and resolved.

In this post, I share several tips and observations to help resolve this, based on my years of providing remote CF troubleshooting support.

The TLDR version: check the ColdFusion update log (not logs in the normal CF "logs" folder. More detail below.) And if there are errors, try stopping CF yourself and then either try the update again, or if it still fails, try to manually apply the update from the command line. If that's enough to get you going, great--especially if you ARE in panic mode! (If the "problem" you need to solve, instead, is that you can't get CF to show you updates because you're behind a firewall preventing outbound internet access, I help with that also, toward the end.)

For most people, though, even those "simple things to do" can prove challenging (and understandably so). And you may find different resources on the web offering perhaps truncated discussions of the topics, which is why I elaborate on things in this post.

And even if you're in a panic, it may take only about 10 minutes to read this whole post. (You can also hire me to help instead, of course. See the link above.) Hope the info to follow is helpful for you.

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I'll be speaking at the Adobe ColdFusion Summit in Vegas, Oct 10-11. See you there!

Many have been asking if I'd be speaking again at this year's Adobe ColdFusion Summit, in Last Vegas (Oct 10-11). I will indeed!

(There was some challenge in getting all the speakers posted until just last week, so though I had known I was speaking for months, I held off announcing it until I could point to the link.)

I'll be presenting (as I do for each release) my "Hidden Gems In ColdFusion 2016" See the description via the links above. It should be as classically useful as ever, whether for those either new to or experienced with CF 2016.

I certainly do appreciate the conference team selecting me again to be a speaker. I've spoken at each of the 3 so far, the first in 2013.

The conference is always a great time (and has gotten larger and better each year, by most accounts). And Vegas is of course a great location (though honestly I barely leave the venue the whole time). Then there are all the great attendees, and sponsor booths, as well as nearly the entire CF team on hand, and of course lots of useful information shared from all the presenters.

If you'll be attending, I hope to see you there! And if you're still considering it, see the Why attend? page and other links offered there. Finally, note that the "early bird" price has been extended to August 31. See the Pricing page.

I'll be speaking at dev.Objective() conference, June 15-17. See you there!

I'll be speaking at next week's dev.Objective() Conference, in Minneapolis (June 15-17). The conference is always a great time, in a great location, with great people, and lots of useful information shared, and I appreciate the conference team selecting me again to be a speaker. If you'll be attending, I hope to see you!

I'll be presenting two talks, "Hidden Gems In ColdFusion 2016" (as my personal talk) and the sponsor talk for the Integral (FusionReactor) folks, "Keep Applications Online And Detect & Isolate Application Issues & Performance Bottlenecks In No Time With FusionReactor 6".

See the descriptions for each, via the links above. My Hidden Gems talk should be as classically useful as ever, for those either new to or experienced with CF 2016. And the FR 6 talk will be more than "just another intro" to FR, highlighting as it will the important new features of FR6. Again, see the description [I wrote the description, they picked the title :-)] to appreciate what it will be about.

Also, let me give a heads-up to all attending: do be sure to look at the email that was sent out today or yesterday, with all kinds of important information to be aware of, from timing of events, to ground transport, to the very important map to see how to get from the conference hotel to the conference location at the college just a few minutes away, and more.

New whitepapers from Adobe on ColdFusion 2016: lockdown, migration, and performance

Continuing my series of posts on new things in CF2016 which some may miss,there are some new resources from Adobe about CF 2016, posted in recent days. (I suppose we may see a post from Adobe on their blog at some point, but I wanted to share it in the meantime.)

You can find them listed as "whitepapers" at the bottom of ColdFusion.com (as I view it today, at least), so keep an eye there to see if perhaps any others may ever be added.

Here are the docs, with some observations also about their size and version, if available:

  • Lockdown Guide (85 pages, currently version 1.0, released Feb 2) - An update to the classic document that Pete Freitag has been doing for CF for a few releases. Everyone should read this, and heed its recommendations. I'll have more to say on that in another post.
  • Migration Guide (22 pages, currently version 2.0, no date offered) - Focuses on a few things: how installation on a current server running CF already offers to migrate admin settings; how one can do that with the CF Archive (CAR) feature (available for CF Standard since CF11); using the Code Analyzer, and how to troubleshoot some server-level migration issues. For more on "what's new" in 2016, see the docs page on What's New in CF2016. For more on what's deprecated, see the docs or my other post discussing what's deprecated in 2016
  • Server Performance White Paper (9 pages, version 2.0, no version or date info offered) - Discusses specific performance improvements in CF 2016 (not performance of CF in general, nor performance-related changes in previous releases, nor all available optimizations in code or config). It's focused solely on changes in CF 2016 (or could be a huge document), whether regarding existing code/configuration as migrated or as impacted via new config/coding options available. Includes an appendix indicating the server and CF admin configuration for the testing they did.
  • API Manager Performance White Paper (18 pages, no version or date info offered) - Discusses load testing done against the new API Manager, and the rate of traffic sustained (very important as an aspect of the API Manager is to act as a gateway for performing, managing, monitoring, caching, and even throttling API calls, whether against CF or any server in your infrastructure). Since the API Manager is a new product, it's a larger document than that on CF, focused as it is only on changes in 2016 (in case anyone may comment that the CF Performance guide is only half its size)

There is also now a single page from Adobe listing all the CF2016 whitepapers (and datasheets).

Hope that's helpful. Check 'em out.

The ColdFusion 'metrics log', an oft-missed or misunderstood feature, 'new' since CF10 (Part 1)

I'd like to take a diversion from my recent posts focused on CF2016 and talk about something that applies (and should interest) anyone using CF 10, 11, or 2016.

Have you heard of the new "metrics log" option that was enabled in CF10? If you have not, it's worth knowing about (there's precious little documentation, and I'll point to it, and give you still more info to help you use it). It's a useful, low-impact mechanism to get some high-level metrics logged by CF every 60 seconds (by default), and stored along with other CF logs.

If you did know about it, you've probably had some problems with it. Why does it show "nulls"? What do reported metrics really mean? Why do they not jive with what I'd expect to be the numbers reported?

In this post, and a Part 2 to come, I will introduce the metrics log, pointing out some key things you need to know to have it setup to work at all, and then I'll share my observations of things I've come to understand about the reported metrics.

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ColdFusion 2016: What's new that's in CF Enterprise only?

Continuing my series of posts I started last week on CF2016, here's a quick post on what's new in CF 2016 that is in the Enterprise edition only (not Standard).

Fortunately, the list is pretty short:

  • The ColdFusion API Manager (for more, see this summary and still more details)
  • The Security Analyzer (called from within ColdFusion Builder, but works only against CF Enterprise...and not even CF Developer edition). More in the docs

Before any chime in to complain about the fact that these features are Enterprise-only (and that the Security Analyzer is not even supported against the free Developer edition), I do agree with you. These were both quite surprising to most paying close attention. (There's even a more subtle limitation regarding the Security Analyzer: it only works against an Enterprise CF deployment if that deployment is running with the "Developer profile", not either the "Secure" or "Production" profiles.)

Update: See my comment below about how you can use an Enterprise license key on a dev/test server, to allow you to use the Analyzer on other than your production server. An Adobe representative confirmed my observation today on the Adobe webinar reviewing CF 2016 (recording to be posted there soon, if not by the time you read this.)

FWIW, if you would like to find a more substantial comparison of the differences between CF Enterprise and Standard (including all the differences that are NOT new to CF2016), see this Buying Guide table from Adobe.

Pricing for ColdFusion 2016, including upgrading from CF 10 or 11

Continuing my series of posts on CF2016 which I started last week, I wanted to pull together a post on its pricing. Here I show both the base price (for someone purchasing from the US, in Feb 2016), for CF Standard and Enterprise, as well as the upgrade price from CF10 and 11. I also answer a few common questions (where I could find the answer), and I end by pointing to a currently available discount price for CF.

Before we proceed, let me note: if you're already aware of pricing, and want to complain about it, or want to know about anything beyond what's documented on the Adobe site (I offer several references below), this is not a place where such things will be debated.

I'm simply presenting actual pricing information that I found on the Adobe site. Only Adobe, or perhaps a reseller, can answer questions that are NOT answered on the Adobe site, as I have presented here. If you may find that helpful, please read on. If you were thinking this was going to be a place discussing the FACT that Adobe charged for CF, or how much, etc., that's NOT the goal here. Sorry.

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ColdFusion 2016: Changes in the CF Administrator

As folks continue to explore ColdFusion (2016 Release), aka CF2016, regarding what's new or changed, I thought I'd put together a listing of what has changed in the CF Admin specifically. This is another in a series of posts I started last week on CF2016.

In the past, I've tracked these Admin changes in each release, in the various "Hidden Gems" talks I've done about each release. (Somehow I never did a blog post about those earlier releases, at least 9, 10, and 11. The last such post I did was about Admin changes in CF8.)

So without further ado, here are the changes I've found.

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CF2016: What's deprecated and/or 'no longer supported' (note: nothing 'removed')

Continuing a series of posts I started last week on ColdFusion (2016 Release), aka CF 2016, I'd like to highlight the items that Adobe has chosen to deprecate and/or declare as "no longer supported", as of CF 2016.

(Note that for now, nothing is "obsoleted" or "removed" in CF2016, so this is just about our being made to know that certain features that DO work now in CF 2016 may NOT in future releases and won't be receiving any additions, enhancements, or modifications. )

While some of these features listed as deprecated will be things that most won't miss (and some may even wonder why they weren't deprecated sooner), some of the features listed as deprecated may really surprise some folks, as I'd not heard discussion of their deprecation myself until finding them discussed in the CF docs.

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Hurray! ColdFusion 2016 no longer uses Akamai Download Manager

Here's some news that Adobe may not herald, but many users certainly would want to know and celebrate: as of today, when you download ColdFusion 2016 (whether the trial edition, developer edition, or on buying Standard or Enterprise, or the Express edition introduced in CF11), you are no longer forced to go through the Akamai Download Manager! :-)

For many, that's all they need to know. For others, there are some more points worth discussing. Read on, if that may interest you.

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Version numbers of libraries underlying ColdFusion 2016

Are you wondering what updates (in terms of version numbers) have been made to the libraries underlying CF2016?

For instance, what's the version of Solr? (It's considerably upgraded over what was in CF11 and 10). What about Java, Tomcat, Hibernate, Hibernate, Quartz, jQuery, and so on?

In this post, I offer a rundown of what seem the most significant libraries and their versions, as deployed in the first release of ColdFusion (2016 Release). I also explain how I found these version numbers, which isn't always obvious, in case that may help others. But I also offer some commentary on why this is an important issue to some, and I offer some counterpoints to the demands some have that every library should always be the absolute latest version (and why that's just not practicable).

If you just want the version numbers without the "waffle", look for the bulleted list of them below. :-)

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Released today: CF2016, or 'ColdFusion (2016 release)'. What's new, and more

If you're not following the Adobe CF team blog, you may have missed the announcement there today of the newest version of CF, ColdFusion 2016. More on the name in a moment.

And while that Adobe blog post mentions a few of the main new features, as is nearly always the case it leaves out many other new features which may interest folks. It also doesn't point to resources to learn more. I do those things here in this post.

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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 wanted to update the JVM which CF uses to use a new version
  • so you found some resource on the web showing how to update, and it seemed simple enough
  • and then you tried restarting CF and wham, it won't start
  • and now you're stuck wondering, "what happened? and how am I supposed to fix this?"

It's a tragic position to be in, of course.

There are several reasons why your attempt to update CF's JVM can fail.

And fortunately I can offer several things you can consider/look at, some of which may quickly recover from or be able to undo (depends on what you did). And all this applies to Lucee, Railo, and BlueDragon as well, though folder locations will differ.

In brief, here are the things you may have done wrong. See below for solutions or recommendations:

  1. You may have told the Java installer to install itself WITHIN the CF directory. You should not do that.
  2. You may have gotten the wrong kind of Java installer
  3. You may have gotten the wrong bit-level of Java for your bit-level of CF
  4. You may have gotten the wrong JVM for your OS
  5. You may have tried to use a JVM not supported by the version of CF you're running
  6. You may have pointed CF to the wrong JVM location
  7. You may have updated the JVM config for the cfusion instance, but not your other instances
  8. You may have forgotten to change the path's directory separator slashes on Windows
  9. You may have to copy the msvcr100.dll from the JVM's lib to CF's when updating older CF's to Java 7+
  10. You may have to copy the tools.jar from the JVM's lib to CF's when updating older CF's to Java 8+ (and delete some files compiled for the old JVM)
  11. You may find that Solr integration (and/or PDFG in CF11+) stops working, because you didn't realize you needed to edit *its* jvm config file

While I'm at it, I also cover:

  • Why you'll find that CF can't even STOP (let alone START) if you make a mistake with the JVM configuration
  • What JVM version(s) are supported by what versions of CF
  • Dealing with SSL Certificates you may have imported into a previous JVM
  • Beware leaving the Java installer to choose the "public jre" option

So this really became quite a compendium of resources on changing the JVM CF uses, but again the focus is on why CF may not start if you make certain very common mistakes.

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