Note: This blog post is from 2007. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily.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.This may not be news to some, but it was to me. I just noticed that the CF7 tag, CFDOCUMENT (as well as the new form of CFREPORT), has an available NAME attribute. This allows you to save the resulting PDF or FlashPaper (or Excel, in the case of CFREPORT) output (in binary form) to a variable.
Some may know the available FileName attribute, which allows you to save the output to a file. This NAME attribute is simply an interesting alternative.
Here's a quick example:
This creates a variable named test. How would you output it? CFCONTENT, of course, with the appropriate content type. If your page has created any other output, don't forget the Reset attribute as well:
To output a Flashpaper format report, use a CFCONTENT type of "application/x-shockwave-flash", and for a CFREPORT Excel spreadsheet, use a CFCONTENT type of "application/vnd.ms-excel".
Why might you do this?
Of course, if you just did that above, you might as well not have bothered, right? The point is that you may do something between when you create the variable and when you output it. For one thing, you may create it in one CFC, custom tag, or CFFUNCTION-based UDF and then output it later in the request.
More likely, you may choose this approach to facilitate caching and later reusing the generated output. Just as with creating a variable with any tag, you could have instead provided a prefix scope like session, application, or server. Then you could manage that cached result any of the many ways that have long existed for caching other tag results in shared scope variables.
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