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A CFML-based product that really gets how to win customers, and what we can learn from it

Note: This blog post is from 2008. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily.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.
Do you offer a product or service, or find yourself considering them? Here's a CFML-based product that really gets how to win customers. The other day, Ben Forta blogged about the new CFML-based Sava CMS. (Update: since this entry was written in May 2008, the product has been renamed to Mura.)

While looking into the Mura web site, I came away so impressed that I wanted to write about it: not the tool, but the site! (Update: Again, I have updated all references and links below for the new site, but otherwise everything--my text and the resources I highlight--are the same as when I wrote this in May 2008.)

This is an example of an organization that really gets things right, not only about making their tool seem appealing but making it easy to evaluate it without having to first install it. So often, I look at various other products/projects that bury or hide key info to help me decide whether I want to bother considering it at all, let alone downloading or even installing it first. (So often, we're forced to download the product and either install it or at least read a readme. Some people just won't be bothered, so the site really can be key to winning customers.)

The Mura site does thing so well. I felt it was a real breath of fresh air, and I really hope others will consider adopting some of their approaches, which I'll talk about here.

First, I'll note that I have indeed added it to my list of CF-based CMS's. I think some would be surprised that this now makes 24 of them, at least per my listing (some free, some commercial).

What they get so right

Here are just some of the stellar features they employ on the site:

  • an attractive site interface, with a real fresh look and feel (bright, colorful, easy on the eyes, lots of pictures of real, happy-looking people)
  • a "quick tour" set of edited screenshots showing highlighted key features, in an easy to use slideshow interface
  • a set of "" pages tied separately to marketing, IT, and design folks (see the left nav bar)
  • high-level features page and separate list of all features
  • Quick start tutorials
  • their download page explains that they offer the tool in 2 forms. The "standard" flavor is simply the source code (like you'd expect for any project, though they note that it runs on either CF7+ or Railo 2.0+). The "express" flavor is a complete bundled edition that is easy to install onto a machine not running CF (or that is but you don't want to tinker with it). It runs on Railo Express which offers a totally self-contained environment to run a CFML app like Mura, with the Railo CFML Engine, Jetty Application Server and WebServer, and H2 Database. See the download page for links to those parts.
  • Of course, they have all the other expected things: FAQs, forums (as well as paid support), and nice docs in the form of a user guide, developers guide, and component API.
  • I mentioned the paid support page, and I'd say that and the services page are just another example of refreshing transparency: lots of other projects/companies kind of hide their services, as if they don't want to offend people that they're willing to take money to help users make the most of their tools. It seems a missed opportunity.
  • They also offer a list of clients, to help you feel more comfortable knowing others have gone before you, and they have a blog, which is of course a great way to keep people updated on things.

Great first impression, and a model

It's clear that these folks have put a lot of effort into the site and wanting to make the tool appealing. (If it reflects the level of care they put into the tool itself, that certainly bodes well too, and I'm sure the site could lead some to feel that way, at least on the surface, so great way to make a good first impression.)

All this is just such a rarity in my experience, and I just find it so very refreshing. I wish them well, and hope these thoughts may help some others.

I'm not knocking any others in particular

Indeed, let me add that I don't say all this to embarass anyone in particular about their site. If you think I'm talking to you, that's just your conscience, not me. :-) I have no one in mind. And I'm not limiting my thoughts to only open source projects: there are just as many commercial product sites that drop this ball, too, which just blows my mind. I do realize that open source projects (especially if they have no paid support model) often feel constrained to "afford" the time to make such a nice site. Still, this is one open source project that just gets things so right.

Who else do you think "gets it right?"

I realize, too, that there are others that do things well. I mean no slight by not mentioning them, nor highlighting them earlier. In fact, feel free to list here in the comments any other sites you think get things right. I suspect one that some would think of immediately is ColdBox, and its site, both of which Luis Majano has clearly put a lot of effort into.

Tools and Resources for CFers, Part 10: CFML Frameworks/Methodologies

Note: This blog post is from 2008. 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.
Today's category from my Tools and Resources to Consider for CF developers is from the Tools section, and it's "CFML Frameworks/Methodologies". I think many may be surprised to find how many there are. Of course, there are many different kinds, and sometimes the line between framework and methodology gets crossed. Finally, I do realize that there are other sites that focus just on tracking CF frameworks. I point to those as well.

Following is the text of this category as it stands on the tools/resources list, as I write this blog entry. As always, check the list to see the latest version. I'll use people's comments below to update that list (not this entry).

CFML Frameworks/Methodologies

There are far more CFML frameworks or methodologies than many may realize, and of course some will debate whether something should be called a framework or a methodology. I don't want to get into that debate, so I've just listed them here all together.

I provide whatever brief description may be found on the respective web site (so if you don't like the description, talk to the site owner and let me know if it changes...and framework owners, you'd do well to have a nice succinct description to help visitors get a quick understanding of the frameworks purpose, goals, intended use, etc.)

Similarly, if there's a name associated with the project on the site, or if a name is commonly known as being responsible for the framework, I list that. As always, I'm open to updates. Finally, I also don't for now order them by "type" of framework, since again some may debate what kind each is. For now, I'm just looking to help people realize the wide range of alternatives available. Check each out for yourself.

Note as well that some of these may be defunct. As long as there was a working site (or some relatively recent site talking about it, even if a third party), I list it. At the end I list some frameworks whose sites seem defunct. Again, updates are welcomed.

  • Blackbox "ColdFusion Development Methodology", from Dan Chick
  • CFObjects, "object-oriented ColdFusion development framework", from Steve Brownlee and Orbwave
  • COOP, "a framework that separates mark-up from processing logic", from John Farrar
  • cfrails, (couldn't find any brief description), from Sammy Larbi
  • COAL (Coldfusion Open Application Library), from Ryan Guill
  • ColdBox "event-driven CFC based ColdFusion Framework", from Luis Majano
  • ColdSpring "framework for CFCs", from Chris Scott
  • FarCry, "a cutting edge ColdFusion MX application framework for web based content management", from Geoff Bowers and Daemon Consulting
  • Fusebox, "the most popular framework for building ColdFusion and PHP web applications", from Team Fusebox
  • HomePortals, "especially tailored for building portals and other highly modular sites", from Oscar Arevalo
  • iiFramework, "manages many aspects of e-business development so that the programmer doesn't have to", from Infranet
  • Lightwire, "a very lightweight Direct Injection/IoC engine for directly injecting dependencies into singletons AND transient business object", from Peter Bell
  • Mach-ii, "a powerful, object-oriented, open source MVC framework for ColdFusion that focuses on easing software development and maintenance", from Team Mach-II
  • Model-Glue, "a family of frameworks [that] support Web application developers by making the construction of Object-Oriented Web and Rich Internet Applications a straightforward process", from the Model-Glue Team
  • onAir, "a 'Smart Connection Framework': Connect backend business logic written in CFCs with different clients (e.g. AJAX, Laszlo) via XML, XML-RPC, JSON, etc.", from Jan Jannek
  • OnTap, "shares some similarities with Ruby on Rails", from Isaac Dealey
  • Plum, "stands for Practical Lightweight Universal Methodology, and it incorporates a rich code generator, a development methodology, a comprehensive application framework that does just about everything you'll ever need to do with a ColdFusion application, a unit test generator, and stored procedure generator, a component generator, and much more.", from Productivity Enhancement
  • PureMVC, a CF port of PureMVC, "a lightweight framework for creating applications based upon the classic Model, View and Controller concept", from Cliff Hall (other ports include Flex [AS2, 3], PHP, Java, and .NET [c#])
  • Reactor, "an Object-Relational Modeling tool which generates database abstractions on the fly, as needed. Reactor is sometimes called an "Inline Dynamic Database Abstraction" API", from Alagad
  • SOS, "stands for Servant Oriented Software...uses the technology in a way that matches your developing style and needs", from John Farrar
  • Switchbox, "a programming technique and coding style used to develop flexible and scalable applications", from Joseph Flanigan
  • Tardis, "Model-View-Controller Framework for ColdFusion", from Shawn Gorrell
  • Tartan, "a command-driven service framework for ColdFusion", from Paul Kenney
  • TheHUB, "homegrown application development framework", from Neil Ross
  • Transfer, "ColdFusion Object Relational Mapping Library...to automate the repetitive tasks of creating the SQL and custom CFCs that are often required when developing a ColdFusion application", from Mark Mandel
  • ColdFusion on Wheels, "provides fast application development, a great organization system for your code, and is just plain fun to use", from the CFWheels Team
  • Some that seem defunct include cfoo.org, cfoop.com, fusionscript.com, MXF, MVCF, objectbreeze.com, underscoreframework.com
  • Some folks also see CMSs as frameworks, so see my list of them.
  • See also
  • I welcome additions/corrections/feedback.

About this series

This entry is part of an ongoing series, sharing each of the 100+ categories and the tools and resources I (and others) have identified. They're designed to answer the questions we hear, like , "does anyone know of tools or resources to help with ...?"

I've decided to start offering each category here as a blog entry, to give the list more exposure and to make sure I'm not missing anything. For now I'm offering each day one list from the resources and then another from the tools categories. To see the list of all categories, see Part 1 of this series. I may in the future offer an RSS feed of any updates made to the list.

I hope people will get great value out of the lists, here or on the tools and resources page. Please try to remember to point the list out to people you see asking for these kind of tools and resources. Thanks.

Additions/Corrections

The tools/resources list is a perpetual work in progress. I definitely welcome additions or corrections to it. If you have any to offer, you can leave them here as a comment on this blog entry and I'll move them to the list on my site.

BTW, before you offer an update here, please do check the category on the real list. I won't be coming back here to update these blog entries to sync them if I add new items to the real list.

Next up will be a category from the Resources section, CFML Hosting Alternatives. BTW, I had previously listed the "CFML Frameworks/Methodologies" category under "Resources", but have decided just now to move it to "Tools". Having done that, there are tool categories before it which I will indeed soon blog, as I go back and forth between blogging categories in each list.

Tools and Resources for CFers, Part 9: CFML Caching Tools

Note: This blog post is from 2008. 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.
Today's category from my Tools and Resources to Consider for CF developers is from the Tools section, and it's "CFML Caching Tools".

CFML Caching Tools

About this series

This entry is part of an ongoing series, sharing each of the 100+ categories and the tools and resources I (and others) have identified. They're designed to answer the questions we hear, like , "does anyone know of tools or resources to help with ...?"

I've decided to start offering each category here as a blog entry, to give the list more exposure and to make sure I'm not missing anything. For now I'm offering each day one list from the resources and then another from the tools categories. To see the list of all categories, see Part 1 of this series. I may in the future offer an RSS feed of any updates made to the list.

I hope people will get great value out of the lists, here or on the tools and resources page. Please try to remember to point the list out to people you see asking for these kind of tools and resources. Thanks.

Additions/Corrections

The tools/resources list is a perpetual work in progress. I definitely welcome additions or corrections to it. If you have any to offer, you can leave them here as a comment on this blog entry and I'll move them to the list on my site.

BTW, before you offer an update here, please do check the category on the real list. I won't be coming back here to update these blog entries to sync them if I add new items to the real list.

Next up will be a category from the Resources section, CFML Frameworks/Methodologies. There are a lot more than you may think.

Tools and Resources for CFers, Part 8: CFML Documentation/Help Tools and Resources

Note: This blog post is from 2008. 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.
Today's first category from my Tools and Resources to Consider for CF developers is from the Resources section, and it's "CFML Documentation/Help Tools and Resources".

CFML Documentation/Help Tools and Resources

While the Adobe docs are the best source for CFML documentation, there are online versions of that both from Adobe and others, providing access to the docs in various ways. Please note, though, that while most of the other resources show only the CFML reference, the actual Adobe docs contain more than just the CFML Reference, including a Developer's Guide, Installation Guide, Administration Guide, and more. See the Livedocs for more on those.

About this series

This entry is part of an ongoing series, sharing each of the 100+ categories and the tools and resources I (and others) have identified. They're designed to answer the questions we hear, like , "does anyone know of tools or resources to help with ...?"

I've decided to start offering each category here as a blog entry, to give the list more exposure and to make sure I'm not missing anything. For now I'm offering each day one list from the resources and then another from the tools categories. To see the list of all categories, see Part 1 of this series. I may in the future offer an RSS feed of any updates made to the list.

I hope people will get great value out of the lists, here or on the tools and resources page. Please try to remember to point the list out to people you see asking for these kind of tools and resources. Thanks.

Additions/Corrections

The tools/resources list is a perpetual work in progress. I definitely welcome additions or corrections to it. If you have any to offer, you can leave them here as a comment on this blog entry and I'll move them to the list on my site.

BTW, before you offer an update here, please do check the category on the real list. I won't be coming back here to update these blog entries to sync them if I add new items to the real list.

Next up later today will be CFML Caching Tools.

Tools and Resources for CFers, Part 7: CFMAIL Replacements/Enhancements

Note: This blog post is from 2008. 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.
Today's second category from my Tools and Resources to Consider for CF developers is from the Tools section, and it's "CFMAIL Replacements/Enhancements".

CFMAIL Replacements/Enhancements

  • ActivMail, once commercial, now to be open source, from Zrinity (formerly from CFDev)
  • InFusion Mail Server (IMS) and FusionMail, commercial (with free Developer edition), from CoolFusion
  • Spoolmail, open source, from Ray Camden
  • See also the Adobe Developer's exchange on tags/functions/apps related to CFMAIL, though it may contain very old variants that no longer work or are supported
  • See also Brian Rinaldi's Open Source CF list of Email tools
  • Note, as well, that the CFMAIL tag itself has evolved significantly over the years, so some of the various alternatives may not always be needed. 6.1 added replyto/failto/username/password/wraptext attributes, support for multiple mail servers in the server attribute, and several configuration options to the ColdFusion Administrator Mail Settings page. 6.1 also added support for HTML email via CFMAILPARAM and multipart email with CFMAILPART. You can even optionally not use the spooling process via an optional SpoolEnable as of 6. Finally CF 8 added priority, useSSL, and useTLS attributes.
  • I welcome additions/corrections/feedback.

About this series

This entry is part of an ongoing series, sharing each of the 100+ categories and the tools and resources I (and others) have identified. They're designed to answer the questions we hear, like , "does anyone know of tools or resources to help with ...?"

I've decided to start offering each category here as a blog entry, to give the list more exposure and to make sure I'm not missing anything. For now I'm offering each day one list from the resources and then another from the tools categories. To see the list of all categories, see Part 1 of this series. I may in the future offer an RSS feed of any updates made to the list.

I hope people will get great value out of the lists, here or on the tools and resources page. Please try to remember to point the list out to people you see asking for these kind of tools and resources. Thanks.

Additions/Corrections

The tools/resources list is a perpetual work in progress. I definitely welcome additions or corrections to it. If you have any to offer, you can leave them here as a comment on this blog entry and I'll move them to the list on my site.

BTW, before you offer an update here, please do check the category on the real list. I won't be coming back here to update these blog entries to sync them if I add new items to the real list.

Next up tomorrow will be CFML Documentation/Help Tools and Resources and CFML Caching Tools.

Tools and Resources for CFers, Part 6: CFML Conferences

Note: This blog post is from 2008. 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.
The following conferences have some, if not an entire, focus on ColdFusion and CFML.
  • Adobe Max, organized by Adobe (location varies)
  • cf.objective(), organized by Jared Rypka-Hauer, et al (Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, USA)
  • CFDevCon, organized by Russ Michaels (London, England)
  • CFUnited, organized by Michael Smith et al (Washington, DC, USA)
  • Scotch on the Rocks, organized by Andy Allan, et al (Edinburgh, Scotland)
  • Spring
    , organized by Dave Hannum, et al (Athens, OH, USA)
  • WebDU, organized by Geoff Bowers, et al (Sydney, Australia)
  • WebManiacs, organized by Steve Drucker et al (Washington, DC, USA)
  • See also Teratech's list of Upcoming CFML conferences

About this series

This entry is part of an ongoing series, sharing each of the 100+ categories and the tools and resources I (and others) have identified. They're designed to answer the questions we hear, like , "does anyone know of tools or resources to help with ...?"

I've decided to start offering each category here as a blog entry, to give the list more exposure and to make sure I'm not missing anything. For now I'm offering each day one list from the resources and then another from the tools categories. To see the list of all categories, see Part 1 of this series. I may in the future offer an RSS feed of any updates made to the list.

I hope people will get great value out of the lists, here or on the tools and resources page.

Additions/Corrections

The tools/resources list is a perpetual work in progress. I definitely welcome additions or corrections to it. If you have any to offer, you can leave them here as a comment on this blog entry and I'll move them to the list on my site.

BTW, before you offer an update here, please do check the category on the real list. I won't be coming back here to update these blog entries to sync them if I add new items to the real list.

Next up later today will be CFMAIL Replacements/Enhancements.

Tools and Resources for CFers, Part 5: Bug/Defect Tracking Tools

Note: This blog post is from 2008. 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.
I wanted to offer a quick second posting today of the next in my series of blogging categories from my list of over 700 tools and resources of interest to CFers, broken into more than 100 categories. To see the list of all categories, see Part 1 of this series.

Returning to the tools section, and continuing in alphabetical order, the next category is Bug/Defect Tracking Tools.

Bug/Defect Tracking Tools

I've split this list into those written in CFML, and the rest, both open source and commercial.

Written in CFML
Written in other than CFML (some downloadable, others as services; some open source, others commercial)

Additions/Corrections

This tools/resources list is a perpetual work in progress. I definitely welcome additions or corrections to it. If you have any to offer, you can leave them here as a comment on this blog entry and I'll move them to the list on my site.

BTW, before you offer an update here, please do check the category on the real list. I won't be coming back here to update these blog entries to sync them if I add new items to the real list.

About this series

This entry is part of an ongoing series, sharing each of the 100+ categories and the tools and resources I (and others) have identified. They're designed to answer the questions we hear, like , "does anyone know of tools or resources to help with ...?"

Someone may ask why I'm blogging each of these categories, when they're available online anyway. It's just that, through aggregation and feeds, blogs present a way to reach a wider (and new) audience who may not otherwise come across the list of tools and resources. This also widens the pool of eyes for possible updates to the list. I want it to be as accurate and up to date as possible. I may in the future offer an RSS feed of any updates made to the list.

Otherwise, I hope people will get great value out of the lists, here or on the tools and resources page.

Tools and Resources for CFers, Part 4: CFML Certification Preparation Resources

Note: This blog post is from 2008. 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.
As some may know, I keep a list of over 700 tools and resources of interest to CFers, broken into more than 100 categories. I've decided to start offering each category here as a blog entry. To see the list of all categories, see Part 1 of this series.

Today I'll jump from the tools section of the list back to the resources section. This entry is about CFML Certification Preparation Resources.

I'd like to ask that we don't use this blog entry as a place to reopen up the old debate about the value of certification. I'm just point out resources, not judging the value of certs (or the resources). Please fight the urge... (I'm betting someone with a short attention span will have skipped this text and will do it anyway.)

CFML Certification Preparation Resources

The tools mentioned here are still only oriented toward CF 7, so if you're looking for CF8-specific information, the best bet is the CFML documentation.

Additions/Corrections

This tools/resources list is a perpetual work in progress. I definitely welcome additions or corrections to it. If you have any to offer, you can leave them here as a comment on this blog entry and I'll move them to the list on my site.

BTW, before you offer an update here, please do check the category on the real list. I won't be coming back here to update these blog entries to sync them if I add new items to the real list.

About this series

This entry is part of an ongoing series, sharing each of the 100+ categories and the tools and resources I (and others) have identified. They're designed to answer the questions we hear, like , "does anyone know of tools or resources to help with ...?"

Someone may ask why I'm blogging each of these categories, when they're available online anyway. It's just that, through aggregation and feeds, blogs present a way to reach a wider (and new) audience who may not otherwise come across the list of tools and resources. This also widens the pool of eyes for possible updates to the list. I want it to be as accurate and up to date as possible. I may in the future offer an RSS feed of any updates made to the list.

Otherwise, I hope people will get great value out of the lists, here or on the tools and resources page.

I'm speaking on CF Meetup at noon US EDT today: on using and securing RDS in CF Editors

Note: This blog post is from 2008. 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.
Today at noon (US EDT) I'll be speaking on the CF Meetup, about using RDS in Eclipse, DW, and HSStudio, as well as security issues, including changes in CF8 that may make it more acceptable to use in more environments. I think many will be surprised by what they can do via RDS in all the editors.

I announced both of today's meetup sessions yesterday, as I do each week, but I don't bother with all the details of each talk so as not to overwhelm my readers here. I give the link to the talk's event page on the meetup site and let interested readers go view them there.

Since this is my talk, I thought my readers may benefit from a more detailed clarification of my talk today, thus this entry. Here are the details:

Leveraging RDS in Eclipse, Dreamweaver, and Homesite+/CF Studio: It's more secure and more useful than you may think

Are you using the RDS-enabled features in Eclipse, Dreamweaver, or HomeSite+/CF Studio? If not, you could be missing out on a lot of increased productivity, from the query building tools it enables, to the component browsing tools, to enabling file access across the web, and more.

Perhaps it's been disabled on your server, or people may argue that it's insecure. If you could be shown how it could be secured, might you (or your admin) reconsider it? I think it?s a tragedy how many developers suffer without leveraging RDS, certainly on their own machines, and even on shared servers.

Whether you think RDS evil or a blessing, or are unaware of what it enables in your favorite CFML editor, and whether you use CF 8 or earlier, there may be more to RDS than you realize. And there are solutions to security concerns, especially in CF8 but even beforehand.

In this talk, frequent CFUG speaker Charlie Arehart will show you all the ways that RDS can be used to make you more productive in Eclipse, Dreamweaver, or HomeSite+. He'll also address (and in some cases resolve) common security concerns, especially the multi-user RDS security available in CF 8 (and CF 4 and 5), as well as how to enable it if it's been disabled (assuming you have the right to make configuration changes, of course).

Join us online at noon. Anyone's welcome. No preregistration required (though you may want to consider it: see below.)

About the CF Meetup

In case you've missed it, the CF Meetup is an online CF user group I run. I try to have weekly meetings, with speakers all over the world. FWIW, this is only the 2nd talk I've done of the 40 talks done so far, and the first this year. Anyone's welcome to attend.

While the descriptions of meetings are held on the meetup.com site (a commercial service to help groups meet up with each other), the actual meeting is held online at http://experts.acrobat.com/cfmeetup/. Anyone may join in on the meetings. Just log in as guest (everyone should, even registered members of the group.)

If you'd like to receive email notification of the meetings, as well as have access to other resources (to give ratings, take part in polls, participate in the mailing list/forums), you can join the group at no cost, again at coldfusionmeetup.com (which redirects to our group's site on the meetup site, http://coldfusion.meetup.com/17/.)

Finally, all meetings are recorded, and the recording URL will be posted after the meeting at http://recordings.coldfusionmeetup.com.

Copyright ©2020 Charlie Arehart
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