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Hidden Gem: Importing CF Admin settings in ANY release via 'import wizard', even AFTER installation

Note: This blog post is from 2014. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily.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 ever faced the challenge of needing to migrate the CF Admin settings (datasources, mappings, scheduled tasks, etc.) from one machine to another, and from one CF version to a newer one? Did you know that there is an "import wizard" that you can (with proper configuration) run at any time to import settings from one release to another?

Before I discuss that, you may know of a couple of other solutions for this challenge: the CF admin ColdFusion Archive/CAR mechanism, available in some but not all editions (more below), and this same "import wizard" which runs at the end of CF installation, importing settings from an older CF version if found on the same box.

But what if either of those solutions don't work for you, and you have dozens of dsn's, scheduled tasks, mappings, or other settings you want to get from one machine/version to another?

You are NOT stuck having to manually copy settings from one screen to another! (And you should be very careful about the common hack solution of copying neo*.xml files from one instance to another, which may not always work and may break things.)

In this entry I'll discuss how you CAN indeed import the CF admin settings from nearly ANY release of CF into nearly ANY OTHER release of CF, in a fully supported way, and which CAN be done even after installation of a new CF release. (I say "nearly", because I worked with someone wanting to do this import of CF7 settings into CF10, and that large a jump was was not supported.)

I'll also mention an important potential gotcha to beware, as well as how to to get around that.

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Hidden Gem in ColdFusion 11: ColdFusion Archive (CAR) support now in Standard

Note: This blog post is from 2014. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily.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.
Here's a nice surprise for some about a change in CF11: you can now create and read CAR files (ColdFusion archive files, a CF Admin feature) in the STANDARD edition of ColdFusion 11. In prior releases, it was available only in ColdFusion Enterprise.

Read on for more, including a gotcha regarding importing from previous release Standard editions, but for many this news will be a delight and all they need to know.

For more on what the CAR mechanism is, finding more on it, the gotcha (and what NOT to do if you hit that gotcha), and info on still more hidden gems in CF, read on.

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Get a headstart on checking out Update 3 for ColdFusion 11

Note: This blog post is from 2014. 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 didn't catch it, Adobe has come out with a prerelease version of the pending Update 3 for ColdFusion 11, which (like update 14 for CF10) adds many things:
  • bug fixes (over 160)
  • support for new OS's, databases, application servers, and web servers
  • support for Java 8
  • as well as updates to underlying technologies like Tomcat (now 7.0.54)

Update: Adobe released yet another version of this Update 3 prerelease, on Nov 19. See the blog entry for more about that, but the info below still stands and you will want to keep reading here if applying update 3 for the first time (indeed, even after the update comes in "final" form). That said, do see the updated blog entry (or more specifically the link to PDFs offered there) for more on what is in that newer version of the update.

For more on this update, read on here.

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