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45 Page User Guide for the CF 8 Server Monitor

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 Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily.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.
If you're exploring the ColdFusion 8 Server Monitor, or perhaps have been using it and wonder if you may be getting all you can out of it, I want to point out an available 45-page user guide for it.

Ok, that's a bit of a tease. I'm referring to my 4-part series of articles on the Monitor available in the Adobe Dev Center. While I did them several months ago, I still often see people ask questions that are answered there, so I wanted to take a moment to remind folks of its existence. I realize that everyone may not keep up on the articles posted in the DevCenter (but I'll note that I offered an entry recently on how to keep up on new postings there and elsewhere.)

My CF8 Server Monitor article series was divided into 4 parts, which I've listed below. I also show here each articles's sections. (Note that the "table of contents" offered on the left of the online articles doesn't always list each section heading: it's more for breaking up the articles into managable sized online pages, which is too bad if one uses them as a gauge of the article's sections.) I've also broken down the sections into subsections.

  • Part 1: Using the Server Monitor in development
    • Unlocking the "black box"
    • Starting and using the Monitor
    • What it means to "Start Monitoring" (or not)
    • Useful monitoring for development
      • Tracking shared scope memory utilization
      • Track slowest tags or function calls
      • Tracking largest variables in a request
      • Tracking JVM Memory Usage
      • Tracking cached queries
      • Tracking large, slow, and frequent queries
  • Part 2: Using the Server Monitor in production
    • Challenges in managing a production ColdFusion 8 server
    • More zero-overhead reports
      • Template Cache status tracking
      • Session tracking revisited: active sessions over time
      • Tracking ColdFusion errors
    • Reports enabled with monitoring, profiling, or memory tracking
      • Avg Response Time and Requests Per Second
      • Active Requests
      • Queued/running requests over time
      • Finding heavy hitters
      • Active Queries
    • Aborting unresponsive or troublesome requests
  • Part 3: Automated monitoring and request management with Alerts and Snapshots
    • Automated monitoring and request management with Alerts
      • Toward 24x7 operations
      • Configuring Alerts
      • Available actions (overview)
      • Types of alerts
      • Viewing Alerts data
      • Available alert actions (details)
    • Substantial diagnostic details with Snapshots
      • The Snapshots page
      • Viewing snapshots
      • Stack traces within the Snapshot
      • Accessing past snapshot data
  • Part 4: Multiserver Monitor, Admin API monitoring, and more
    • An enterprise dashboard with the Multiserver Monitor
      • Opening the Multiserver Monitor
      • Adding new monitors
      • Observing the status of a monitored server
    • Some possible challenges using the Multiserver monitor
      • Securing the monitoring of your server
      • Be careful with browser caching and the cross-domain file
      • Multiserver Monitor configuration is stored per the domain used to open it
    • Programmatic Monitoring with the Admin API
    • Tweaking the Monitor in the Settings section
      • The General settings tab
      • The Filter Settings tab
      • The Profiling Filter tab
      • The Aliasing tab
      • The Refresh, Reset All Statistics buttons
    • Miscellaneous aspects of the Monitor
      • Flash Remoting must be enabled
      • Start settings remain enabled
      • Monitoring even when the server is becoming unresponsive

I hope you'll see from the above that there could be much more to the CF monitor than you may have realized. Each of the subsections often has lots of useful tips, tricks, and traps that I've observed over a year of use in both development and production.

And though I make the point in the articles, I'll repeat that some of the features come with zero overhead. I've blogged about that before. Don't let people tell you never to use it because it will harm your server's performance. As I say in each of the above, it's only the "Start memory tracking" button (one of 3 at the top) that could be trouble (and maybe "start profiling", but to a much less worrisome extend). But you don't even need to use the 3rd (and least obtrusive button) "start monitoring" to get a lot of great value from it. I stress more about this in parts 1 and 2 of the series.

What about FusionReactor and SeeFusion?

Of course, my support for the CF Server Monitor doesn't diminish my enthusiasm for alternatives like FusionReactor and SeeFusion, nor do I see one replacing the other as I've written about before. Each does something the other may not do, and I see value in each of them (and even have recommended running more than one at a time to solve certain problems).

See my corresponding blog categories on these, at the right, to find more entries on FR and SF, as well as the CF8 Server Monitor.

I just want to help people make the most of whatever monitor they use.

Available for Consulting Help as well

I'll throw in, as well, that if you need help using any of these tools, or doing any CF server troubleshooting, I'm available for consulting help, whether online or on-site, for as little time as is needed to help solve the problem. See my consulting page for more information. I've helped many organizations, large and small, resolve nagging problems, using either (or none) of these monitoring tools.

Feel free to contact me any time to pose a problem related to performance, stability, or similar errors or problems, and I'll let you know if it's something I can help with.

Averse to reading 45 pages online? you don't need to

For those who don't fancy the prospect of reading 45 pages of content online, note that I'm referring to the page count as it would be if you printed the available "printable version" (offered on all DevCenter articles). You can use that feature yourself to obtain a single long HTML page for each article, and then if you want you could print that out. (And if you use features in your printer to print multiple pages to a side and 2-sided, as I discuss here, you can fit it all in just a few pieces of paper!) (Update: tipicalcharlie domain is no more, but page recovered using Archive.org.)

I'll add that for those who prefer watching over reading, I've also given presentations about the monitor at several conferences and user groups (some available as online recordings), which you can find at my presentations page.

Vista (and Win 2008) now offers option to delay autostart of services

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 just noticed the other day that Vista (and Windows 2008) offers a new option for starting services: Automatic (Delayed Start). This is a pretty important (and for me, long-awaited) feature, whether in development or production. If you've ever felt that too many services were contending with each other as they all tried to start immediately on a restart, this is the solution.

According to various Microsoft resources I've found, such as this, the way it works is that delayed services start after those set to automatic have finished starting. Furthermore:

...it sets the priority of their initial thread to THREAD_PRIORITY_LOWEST. This priority level causes all the disk I/O the thread performs to be Very Low I/O priority. After a service finishes initializing, the Service Control Manager sets its priority to normal. The combination of the delayed start, low CPU and memory priority, and background disk priority greatly reduce interference with a user's logon. Many Windows services, including Background Intelligent Transfer, Windows Update Client, and Windows Media® Center, use the new start type to help improve the performance of logons after a boot.

As you can see, they set various Windows services to use this by default. So, should you use it? And in development or production?

Could be great for development

I can see it being very useful in development, especially. Imagine you want to have certain services running (like CF) but you don't care if they start immediately. Setting them to delayed means your machine can start up faster, and when you do eventually need what the service offers, it should be running.

(Yes, I realize you can start CF manually from the command line instead, and some may prefer that as their means of running CF in development. That's not the point here, though. And I also realize one can even start any window service via shortcuts as well, so as to start them manually. I use that to stop and then start them (rather than open services to restart them if I do it often, as I might with CF during development). I'm still not preferring to run CF from the command line by default, so let's let that debate go. )

I'm just saying that if you do want CF or other services started as services, but you don't really need them running immediately on restart, this seems a good option.

For now, I've enabled it for my two CF services (7 and 8), and their related search and ODBC services, and SQL Server and related services (I've already set MySQL and Oracle to start as "manual" as I use them less frequently), and IIS (world wide publishing service).

Any drawbacks? Time will tell

I say above that it "seems a good option" and "could be great" (and I mention it for development primarily) because I could see a possible problem where the lower disk, cpu, and memory priority could have some unintended consequences if in fact CF requests were to start coming in immediately upon start of CF. Again, perhaps in development this isn't an issue but it's something to keep in mind--and especially for production.

I could just see some admin deeming CF perhaps to be "not as important" as some other services on the machine and so they might set CF for this delayed start. If they don't realize this throttling that happens during service startup in this mode (and its not obvious), I could see it causing problems.

I'll say this bears paying attention to for any who perform troubleshooting on a CF server, if there are any problems during startup. It will now be one of the first things I look into when someone reports problems with CF on startup.

(I won't go so far as to suggest it's had anything to do with the problems some have had with initialization of CF due to JVM 1.6. Since it seems those were indeed solved by going back to 1.5, it doesn't appear it could have been due to this instead.)

There are some other interesting new features in Vista and 2k8 regarding services, especially "Preshutdown Notification". I may write more about those in a future entry.

And if anyone would want to snipe that their OS has long had features like the above, please, save it. :-) I'm here to help those who want or have to choose to use Windows. This isn't the place to try to evangelize them away or to carp about how they are or have been missing out. Thanks.

What it means if you install Windows Search 4 and get "update does not apply"

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 saw a recommendation on a favored site of mine to consider updating Vista SP1 to use Windows Search 4. I got it from the MS site for Search 4 and tried to install it, but it failed getting "update does not apply". I dug around and could find no apparent answer, but figured it out. Turns out it was installed as part of a Windows update just the other day.

I recall now seeing it mentioned in the update (I always have Windows tell me what updates it has before installing them), but just had forgotten it. Anyway, the MakeUseof entry says that indexing should be a lot faster. That's good to hear. I had disabled the search for a while when I noticed it stealing a lot of resources (and yes, I know of Google Desktop and others, and they all can have that problem).

Anyway, just wanted to post this here in case others search for a solution to this problem. If you're getting this error, check if you already have it installed (either using "control panel>windows update>view update history" or "control panel>programs and features>view installed updates" and sort it by name to find if Windows Search 4.0 is listed and when it was installed (right-most column).

What is the FusionReactor datasource monitoring feature? Why would I use it? Powerful stuff!

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 I wrote my previous entry on FR over the weekend, I got to thinking that some readers (whether new to FusionReactor, or using it but unaware of the datasource monitoring setting I mentioned) might benefit from a little more information about the FusionReactor's datasource monitoring feature.

What is the datasource monitoring feature? Why would I use it? Powerful stuff!

The datasource monitoring feature, referred to in the docs as the "JDBC wrapper", is a low-overhead way to configure FusionReactor so that it captures information about each query (against a given datasource), for every request, in detail and in aggregate. It captures and reports:

  • the SQL statement (including CFQUERYPARAM values)
  • the execution time (time spent in the database, and time spent getting it from the database to CF)
  • the number of rows returned
  • the CFML template and line of code where it was executed
  • and more

This query information is tracked per request and also in aggregate across all requests (in the graphs in the Enterprise Dashboard and System Metrics pages, the Longest JDBC page, and other places.)

It's really powerful information to have when you're trying to understand why and how your page, application, or server it performing.

You can see more about using the information in these feature focus pages at the FR site: What are System Metrics? and Resource Graphs, among others.

As I said in the last entry, you can learn more about setting up the FR JDBC wrapper feature (including the simple steps on how to implement it--which have been updated in the FusionReactor 3 docs) in the Tutorial (pdf) and User Guide (pdf).

What's the overhead of this datasource monitoring? What's it doing?

That's a natural and reasonable question. The folks at Intergral (makers of FusionReactor) say that it's very low overhead, and they've done considerable testing (millions of requests before each release) to confirm it.

Maybe it would help to understand how it works. It's quite simple, really. When you configure a datasource to be wrapped (per the instructions pointed to above), you're basically just implementing an alternative JDBC driver (FusionReactor's) to literally "wrap" the driver that was being used originally by your datasource.

Your code continues to use the same Datasource Name, but the change of the datasource causes CF to pass the SQL first to the FusionReactor JDBC wrapper, which takes note of the starting time, the SQL statement, etc., and then passes it the query on to the real (original) database driver. That then passes it to the DB, and gets the result, and before it's passed back to CF, it goes back through the FusionReactor wrapper, which notes the execution time, recordcount, etc.

So you see, the wrapper is really quite lightweight. It's just an observer, watching what's going to and from the database. The info is then written to FusionReactor's JDBC log (if enabled) and stored in FusionReactor's small memory space for presentation in the various interfaces that show JDBC status information. Again there's more about this in the documentation.

Some other tips on the JDBC Wrapper

To see information on what queries were executed (if the datasource was wrapped), see the bottom of the request details page (for either a running request or the request history page). Further, note the available JDBC tab in that request details page. That will show each SQL statement and the details (time, count, etc.). The bottom of that page will also show counts and averages for all the queries in that request.

You'll see at the bottom of that page that you can also configure the JDBC settings page to restrict how many queries are shown in the JDBC request details, and you can limit it to only those exceeding a certain amount of time, as well as whether to show them in chronological order or executiontime order.

I'll note as well that if you do implement the JDBC wrapper feature, you'll probably want to enable JDBC logging, which is disabled by default. This writes all the detail above to a log file, for each SQL statement, which can be great for either post-mortem analysis (after a crash) or for trend analysis (perhaps across several restarts). You can choose to limit the logging to queries slower than a set number of milliseconds (separate from the control above about what queries to show in the request detail page.)See the JDBC>JDBC Settings option in the left nav bar of the FR interface.

The wrapper configuration for each DSN itself also offers still more features that many miss, so check out the docs. The Tutorial concludes with an example of using the rowlimiter feature to put the brakes on a rogue page, while the user guide details this and all the available features of the wrapper.

Learning more about FusionReactor

For more on FusionReactor in general, see their web site or my past blog entries on it.

(And yes, before anyone else would point it out in a comment, both the CF 8 Server Monitor and SeeFusion also provide this sort of JDBC query information. In the CF 8 Monitor, it's built-in (no need to configure the DSNs at all). And in SeeFusion, there's no need to manually configure each DSN, as there's a one-button configuration option. Intergral are said to be working on something similar for a future release of FR, so some of the concepts above apply across the monitors.)

FusionReactor works with ColdFusion Standard and Enterprise in version 6, 7, and 8, as well as Railo, Open BlueDragon, and BlueDragon/J2EE, and indeed any J2EE application server or Servlet engine. (BTW, technically, the term J2EE has been obsoleted by the more version-neutral Java EE or JEE. So many things in CF docs and related tools still refer to it as J2EE simply because most CFers aren't paying that close attention to such details, so there's been little motivation to make the clarification.)

PS: Why is it called the JDBC wrapper feature, instead of the datasource monitor?

That's an interesting question. It might feel a little clumsy calling it the JDBC wrapper. I wonder sometimes if CF users may miss the feature. Hopefully the explanation above about how it works helps. But you may wonder why it's not called the "datasource monitor", which might be friendlier for CFers.

But here's the thing: as I said a moment ago, FusionReactor is not JUST a CF server monitor. It can be used by any J2EE server or servlet engine. And not all J2EE app servers would use a concept of a "datasource".

Consider a Tomcat developer who might write a servlet or JSP that calls a database. They could leverage this JDBC wrapper feature (and all of FusionReactor's features) just as readily, though instead of changing the configuration of a datasource they would modify the JDBC URL in their code or a config file. That said, there are some J2EE servers that do use JNDI datasources.

So the makers of FusionReactor (Intergral) have to walk a bit of a fine line about labeling features in a way that might apply only to CF.

It's amazing, really, that one might not otherwise have any reason to notice that the product is designed to be used by either CF or J2EE shops. Most of us think it's just a CF monitor. It's much more.

And BTW, it's licensed per server, so you can install it on as many engines as you have (that it can monitor) on a single machine. In fact, you can even configure a free Tomcat engine just to be a monitor of other FusionReactor (Enterprise) instances.

This is something that Intergral is now offering (in beta) as a new packaging of the tool as "FusionReactor Enterprise Monitor - FREM". You can get it (or learn more) at their Fusion Labs site. I'll have more on that in a later entry.

Glenda's Obituary

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.
Following up on my note from Saturday, Mourning the tragic passing of Glenda Vigoreaux, trainer/speaker on CF and more, I just received a copy of the obituary her husband has written (from Ben Forta, to whom he'd sent a copy):

Dear Friends

With the greatest sorrow a heart can withstand, I regret to inform you that my beloved wife, Glenda Vigoreaux has passed into the arms of our loving God. Her courageous battle with anxiety and insomnia ended the morning of Tuesday, July 15, 2008.

Glenda is survived by her adoring husband Paul Hacker, mother Lydia Echevarria, sister Vanessa Vigoreaux, brother Luis Echevarria and a host of family and friends who also loved her dearly. At last she has the peace for which we've prayed, as she sings with a choir of angels.

Glenda has been honored in a ceremony attended only by immediate family. The final resting place for her cremated remains is yet to be determined. Memorial donations may be sent to St. John's Lutheran Church, 7205 North 51st Avenue, Glendale, Arizona 85301. Please forward this message as appropriate. My apologies to those I may have forgotten.

Each of us who met her are blessed to have encountered a loving soul, unique in the world. Her concern and respect for each individual were genuine. Glenda trusted that in giving of her many talents, she brought out the best in good people and was thereby enriched herself. She was an inspirational angel among us.

Please join my prayers celebrating her life and honoring her example as an extraordinary human being. Remember her as I will, full of life and love.

Good night sweet Angel. Te amo.

Paul A. Hacker

If you'd like to comment, please provide them instead in the previous entry. Let's regard it as a memorial roll for her from our community and others (lots of nice comments there already).

Mourning the tragic passing of Glenda Vigoreaux, trainer/speaker on CF and more

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'm sorry to break the news, but I've not seen anyone else blog about this. Some of you may have known Glenda Vigoreaux, a widely acclaimed trainer and speaker in the CF and broader Adobe world. Sadly, she was found dead in her Glendale AZ home earlier this week, of unnatural causes.

I'll have more on that in a moment, including more about her surprisingly storied past (entirely unrelated to training and speaking) that may be a surprise to some (it was for me).

But first I'd like to remember her as I knew her.

Glenda, the acclaimed trainer and speaker

Glenda was an Adobe Certified Master Instructor who had taught Adobe/Macromedia technologies starting in 1998, including ColdFusion, Dreamweaver, Captivate, Contribute, Acrobat Connect and Presenter. She was widely praised and received consistently high marks, working for Roundpeg in Arizona (since 2005) and who before that had been on her own as GVX Technology since 1996.

Glenda was an equally lauded and popular conference speaker, winning best speaker honors at Max 2004 and CFUnited 2005 (we tied that year). You can find a podcast of her 2006 talk on CF printing and Reporting as well as her CFUnited bio of that year. You can learn more of her professional history from her LinkedIn page. She was even a speaker on the ColdFusion Meetup in May 2005, when Steven Erat was hosting.

Suicide? Glenda?

The most tragic thing about the news is that her death has been ruled a suicide. I just can't fathom that. Besides the accolades above, anyone who knew her would say that she would seem one of the very last people in the world you could ever expect of being driven to that. In fact, if you look at the about page of her GVX site, you see that she had a clear passion for life, and for others.

Of course, I'd not talked to her in a couple of years, and naturally people's personal lives can often be masked by their public persona. Indeed there was much more to her background than many may have known (I didn't). I learned of her death today in an email from Steve Drucker (for which I'm so grateful). In it, he pointed to a news article (translated from Spanish).

The story reports that her husband found her with a gun at her side, with the "forensic and physical evidence...consistent with a self-inflicted shooting". I didn't know her husband, named there as Paul Hacker.

She came from a famed family, tragically notorious in Puerto Rico

But in that story (and with additional details found in sources mentioned later here), we learn that in fact Glenda came from a background of both notoriety and family tragedy. I never knew that hers was a celebrity family in Puerto Rico. Not only were her father and mother famous there as a TV producer and actress, respectively, but tragically, her father was brutally murdered and her mother convicted of it and jailed for 13 years. Apparently, all this was big news in Puerto Rico.

Indeed, the wikiepedia entry on her mother has even already been updated to reflect Glenda's death, and her death is listed as well in Wikipedia's 2008 deaths page with references to her notable family members, all this just 3 days later as I write. Again, clearly this was significant news to some people.

As further sad testament to the notoriety of all this, the news article above even says her house in Glendale and her family's in PR were both "full of paparazzi" (representing Puerto Rican press, I'd suppose).

I was almost tempted to doubt if we were talking about the same person, since these things all referred to her as Glendaly Vigoreaux Echevarría (the latter being her mother's famed last name). But then I found this memorial page which had that same "Glendaly" name but with happy pictures of her. Yep, that was the Glenda we knew.

A one-time TV star in Puerto Rico

The page goes on to offer still more about her family, their tragedy, and her life. It says that she herself had been a child TV star and later host, comedienne, and singer with her sister Vanesa on Puerto Rican TV shows.

That doesn't surprise me. She was certainly so full of life, which makes this all the more surprising.

R.I.P., Glenda

So today we remember the passing of a member of the CF community, a stellar trainer and speaker, mystified by the asserted cause of her death...while a segment of the celebrity gossip world instead regards it only as another tragedy for a notoriously troubled celebrity family. It just doesn't make sense.

She will be sorely missed.

Using FusionReactor's datasource monitoring feature? Here's a tip

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.
If you're using FusionReactor, and you set up a datasource to be monitored by it (the "JDBC wrapper" feature), did you know that you can configure it so you can see the datasource name for each query in the request details? A lot of people seem to miss it, so I wanted to point it out.

You just need to add the string:


to the end of the JDBC URL that you configure (per the instructions). For instance, for the wrapped version of my AdventureWorks SQL Server DB, I use:


That all goes on one line, of course, but I didn't want it to mess up the display in some browsers.

You can learn more about setting up the FR JDBC wrapper feature (including the simple steps on how to implement it--which have been updated in the FusionReactor 3 docs) in the Tutorial (pdf) and User Guide (pdf).

If you're not familiar with the datasource monitoring feature, I'll share more about it in a follow-up entry.

Goog411 - free 411 service from your phone, with connection, mapping, and more

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.
Tired of paying 411 fees? Next time you're on the road (home or away) and need to find something, use 800 goog-411. That's the number for free (and hands-free) local information.

All you need to do is say where you are, what business or category you want, and hear the closest options (with address). If that's all you need, you can hangup, or you can choose one to be connected to the business, and you can even have a map or text message sent to your phone, again all for free.

Here's a nifty (and fun) couple-minute video about it:


Ok, maybe you can get info like this from your in-car GPS system, or via google maps on your phone, but at least this is mostly hands free. Add it to your phonebook, and it's just a pushbutton (or voice command) away.

BTW, if you've not noticed, the same feature is offered in google maps itself. While on a map, you can enter a business name or category and it will show where on that map (or an expanded one) you can find what you're looking for.

Now over 300 recorded presentations on the UGTV site

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 UGTV site now has over 300 recordings. What a milestone. :-) John Mason just informed me, after he posted a recording to the site, that he noticed his was the 300th recording on the site. We quipped that since we're both user group managers there's really not much I can offer him as a prize that he doesn't already have. :-)

Totals so far, after 20 months

But yes, as of today there are 301 presentations from 180 presenters, totaling 290+ hours of video. The site will be 2 years old in October (I started stocking the list in late September before opening the doors to the first other contributors, and the first of which was Nick Kwiatkowski on 10/2/06.)

Anyway, so at about 20 months since then that's a rate of about 15 per month or one every other day. Not bad, and of course thanks to all who have contributed links (as well as to the speakers who let their sessions be recorded) so we could link to and view them.

Always room for more...anyone can contribute, easily

As I try to point out often, anyone can contribute a recording. No signup or registration is required. You can submit one in about 20 seconds. (And you'll note there's never been a spam entry. I've got that covered, beyond just a captcha.)

If you've not checked it out, come on down

Anyway, to learn more about the site (and its many features if you just want to find and view recordings), either visit the site or check out the other entries I've done on it, linked to below.

Here's to the next 300!

Understanding the various XML files in CF and JRun

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.
Ever wondered about the various XML files you may find in CF, such as all the neo-xxx.xml files? Or the JRun-based ones such as jrun-xml, web.xml, jrun-web.xml, default-web.xml, application.xml, and so on?

While tooling through the ColdFusion technotes, I came across this interesting one: Purpose and location of XML configuration files used in ColdFusion MX. While it's not especially new, it shows having been updated in 2008, and the info offered seems to apply to CF8 just as readily as CF 6 and 7.

It also happens to point to a document with brief descriptions of the JRun XML files as well.

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