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Finding resources on ColdFusion's mobile development features

Note: This blog post is from 2015. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
Have you wondered where you can find more about ColdFusion's mobile development features? (Did you know that CF11 had added such features?) There are several resources provided by Adobe and others. In this post I highlight those various resources, with a focus on the many (and many kinds of) Adobe-provided ones.

How I came to gather this info, and how some have missed it

I had a client recently ask about where he might learn more about ColdFusion's "new mobile development features". He thought it was new to CF2016 (in prerelease as I write) but I explained that it was actually introduced in ColdFusion 11. (I have come back and revised this post a bit to ensure links are working in 2018.)

He's not the first person who was not aware of that change in CF11. A lot of people just don't pay close attention to what's in each new CF release, especially when it first comes out. I find that many wait a year or more before they consider a move to a new release. Of course, some are waiting for a first update or point release, but there can be other reasons.

Anyway, as for the mobile features in CF (11 and 2016), note that some aspects are in CFML, while others are provided via functionality in ColdFusion Builder 3 (and 2016). (I'm not interested here to discuss the pros/cons or debates about the feature set or CF Builder. I'm just wanting to point out resources for those who want to consider it.)

To find more about how to use it, including docs, articles, videos, and more, read on.

Adobe documentation about CF mobile Development

The first place most would and should go to learn about the CF mobile features is the CF documentation itself. As always, I point out to folks that they should look beyond the CFML Reference to the ColdFusion Developer's Guide (both of which have existed in the CF docs for several years). In the case of mobile development, see the Developing Mobile Applications chapter of the Developer's Guide, which has several sections on thing like building, debugging, and packaging mobile apps, as well as the new CFclient tag, device detection, and more.

And of course there are references as well to other mobile-related tags and functions in the CFML reference, including a whole section on ColdFusion Mobile Functions. And the Dev Guide discussions listed above do also point to those where appropriate.

(There was a time in the CF11 docs when the discussion of mobile development was in its own separate manual, at https://helpx.adobe.com/coldfusion/mobile-application-development.html, but that link no longer works. It seems all its contents are now folded into the Developer Guide, but here is a link to it as it existed in late 2016 via archive.org.)

Other Adobe resources on CF mobile development

Beyond the docs, Adobe created several more resources related to mobile (including when CF11 was known during prerelease by its code name, Splendor):

There were several Adobe articles on mobile:

There were also some Adobe team videos on CF Mobile:

And then there are other kinds of Adobe resources on mobile, such as:

There are of course more still resources on the CF mobile capability from others folks around the web, as you may find via some Google searching. I just wanted to help him (and now you) get started with the feature, from the perspective of Adobe's own references.

In conclusion

Hope those resources are helpful for those looking into the feature.

I'll say that I really don't care to see a discussion here of people's opinions of the mobile feature. I'm well aware that some think it's not something Adobe ought to have bothered with, or they don't care for it being in the server, preferring it was only in Builder, and so on.

And there's no question that mobile development is fast-paced, and some would argue strongly against building any UI feature based on a feature set that Adobe provides, when you could just do your own (including mobile development) separately.

I will point out that if you may be interested in mobile development against CF apps and you know or find that you do NOT want to use this CF-provided feature, a popular alternative among some current and former CFers is NativeScript. See the comment I added below in Feb 2017.

Finally, please do not ask here questions about the mobile development feature. Again, take those to the Adobe-provided CF mobile forum above. Thanks.

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I wanted to share an update to this post of mine (written as it was in Sep 2015). While I still point folks to it when they're interested to know more about CF's built-in mobile development feature, they do sometimes ask about "other options" they might consider as well. Of course there are many such platforms.

But I'll give a special shout out here to NativeScript (http://www.nativescr...), a popular open source mobile dev platform, whose evangelist is Dan Wilson--a long-time CFer and community builder, who is now working for Telerik, the company sponsoring the open source project.

He and a colleague presented on it early last year at one of my online CF Meetups (coldfusionmeetup.com), and it looked quite compelling (so it's good AND free AND well-supported). You can view the recording of about an hour (along with other recent online CF meetups) here:


And of course you can find out more about NativeScript via the NS site and on the web via many still-more recent resources from throughout its community since then. (And FWIW, there is a major new version (3) about to come out, as I write.)

Hope that’s helpful.

PS In case anyone may ask, I don’t do mobile development myself (I don’t do any development as a consultant, only for myself, and I just have not felt compelled to create any mobile apps for myself.) That said, I am working on implementing my site in a new platform which will provide responsive design out of the box for better appearance on mobile apps throughout my site. I guess some may call that poor-man's mobile development. :-) For now I have some responsive design on *some* parts of the site but not others (the blog, the CF911 wiki, etc.). The new implementation will unify everything under one interface, adding still more benefits. More news on that as it happens.
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