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New updates for Coldfusion 11, 10, and 9 (security update for 9, 11; still more for 10)

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 Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily.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'd not heard the news, there were several updates released today, for CF 11, 10, and 9.

As for CF11 and CF9, it's mainly a security update. For CF10, it's got quite a bit more. (And there is another update for CF11 to come in the future which Adobe mentioned when it came out with its first update last month.)

For more on each, see below.

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CF911: Solving problem in ColdFusion Admin getting "error accessing this page" on certain actions

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 Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily.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 real CF911 challenge (and solution): You may find that when using the CF Admin, especially in CF10 but it can happen in CF 9 or 8 depending on security hotfixes applied, when performing certain Admin operations (like making a change, or verifying datasources, or checking for server updates) you get an error:

"There was an error accessing this page. Check logs for more details."

And your operation fails. You're then prompted to "Click here to login", but even if you back up or client another link, you'll be prompted with the CF Admin login.

What gives? Why is it happening? And how can you fix things? Is CF broken? No, not in the sense that you need to reinstall or anything. The good news is that there is a quite simple solution. Well, there are several, depending on your goals.

The simple solution: delete the duplicate cfid/cftoken or jsessionid cookies that you will find your browser is sending to CF. But there is much more to this, as well as other solutions, which would be worth most readers taking a few minutes to read on here.

BTW, the same root problem can be the cause of your own application's users finding that they can't stay logged in. More on that in a moment.

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Applying hotfixes to ColdFusion 9 and earlier? A guide to getting it right

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.
I realize that title may seem anachronistic. Why talk about hotfixes in CF9 and earlier, in 2014, indeed as CF11/Splendor is in beta? But I'll tell you that I still help people daily who are still on those older releases, and often they have problems that may have long since been solved by a hotfix or a cumulative hotfix they never applied--or may be caused by misapplication of such hotfixes.

Of course, in CF10 it's easier now because of the built-in "server updates" feature of the CF Admin. But in earlier releases, it was all on you to both keep up on the updates and to apply them manually. And a lot of people either never bothered, or may have tried and failed, or did it but got it wrong.

What you need to know

So in this blog entry, I some key info that will help you, if you may be in need of applying one or more of those updates to CF9 and earlier. Indeed, I'll point to some past entries I've done where I shared a lot more detail that I find is vital and rarely mentioned when some people try to share just the bare minimum of info (often leaving people hanging).

For instance, I'll help you answer such questions as what hotfixes do you already have applied? How do you find out? And you need to know exactly what version of CF you have, whether 9.0/9.0.1/9.0.2, 8.0/8.0.1, 7.0/7.0.1/7.0.2, and so on. I'll explain how to tell and why that's important, and especially when it comes to finding and applying hotfixes. And if you have applied hotfixes, are you sure you have done it right? It's easy to get things wrong and botch things. I'll help you avoid several very common mistakes.

(That's why it's so great that CF10 finally handles things for us. But this entry, focused on 9 and earlier, is not the place to discuss concerns with the CF10 hotfix mechanism. If you have questions or concerns about that, see the substantial CF10 Hotfix Installation Guide from Adobe, a 50-question FAQ on all things related to that feature.)

I'll also point you to where to find hotfixes and installers for CF9 and earlier (not as easy as it may seem), and still more.

If any of that's of interest, and I hope it is if you're on CF9 or earlier, then read on.

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An interesting solution to problems with ColdFusion 10 and IIS 404 handlers

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.
There was an interesting solution proposed today on the Adobe forums, to address a problem some folks are having with CF10, where they find problems using an IIS 404 error handlers set to pass to a CF page. I found it helped with one of my consulting clients, so I wanted to share the news with others readers here who may benefit.

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Note that ColdFusion 10 Update 13 is "needed" for OS X-only...and some confusion

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.
Some of you may have seen that Adobe released a new hotfix for ColdFusion 10 last night, called Update 13. If you only read the text in the update (shown in the "Server Update" page of the CF admin), you might proceed to apply that update (which is ok).

But guess what: it technically only has changes related to Mac OS X (specifically adding support for its Mavericks version).

This is addressed if you read the technote that the update text points to, or the Adobe blog entry from last night which announced the update (more on these in a moment.) Those DO indicate that if you are not running that OS, you need not apply the update. (And the day after I wrote this entry, this indication was added to the update text itself.)

But what if you are on Windows (or another *nix variant besides OS X)? Should you apply it? What if you do? (there's NO PROBLEM!) What if you don't? And given that the update text says you need to reconfigure the web server connector, do you really need to bother on Windows?

And what if you are installing CF10 for the first time, since you DO need to apply updates upon installation? (you can either apply update 13 or 12, but you must apply at least one of them to be fully updated.)

As important, how might Adobe have better clarified this, and how might they make a simple change now related to that (they since did)?

I address in this entry these questions and a few other concerns I have, about confusion that may ensue.

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Two videos I've done for the Adobe YouTube ColdFusion Channel

Note: This blog post is from 2013. 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.
Hey folks, I've done a couple of videos over the past several months on the Adobe YouTube ColdFusion channel, both focused on some important challenges related to ColdFusion 10. If you've got about 10 minutes to spare, I suspect you may learn things to surprise you.

First video, on single-login problems in CF10 Admin

The first video was done at cf.Objective() in May 2013, and was posted to YouTube by Adobe shortly thereafter:

Video 1: Solving the problem of single-login in ColdFusion10 (07m:32s)

If you've had the problem in CF10 of finding that you login to the Admin, only to be logged off soon thereafter, I explain in the video both why it happens and how to solve it. (I also wrote about it previously here.)

Second video, on important security hotfix notes document

The second video was done back in June, but sadly was not posted until last week. While the timeframe references I make are dated, the information shared is not and really may still be a surprise to as many now as back then:

Video 2: Security Hotfix Notes Document (5m46s)

This is such an important document. I also had written about it previously here.

See other CF videos there

Be sure to check out all the videos in the Adobe CF YouTube channel, about 20 of them currently, from different speakers and on many topics.

Still more reasons to make sure you have updated your ColdFusion 10 web server connector

Note: This blog post is from 2013. 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.
Several weeks ago, I did an entry, CF911: Why/when you MUST update the web server connector for #ColdFusion 10, and may have missed it.

In this entry, I want to throw in another reason why it's important to make sure you properly update (reconfigure/rebuild/upgrade) your web server connector after applying certain CF10 updates, or if applying only the latest update for the first time to a newly installed CF10 instance.

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CF911: Why/when you MUST update the web server connector for ColdFusion 10/11 and may have missed it

Note: This blog post is from 2013. 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 installed or updated CF10 (or 11) and found that you still have problems with it running right, even when you have "fully updated" CF10? In this blog entry, I explain how it may NOT be that "CF 10 is broken" but rather that you may have missed an important step when updating it.

In brief, a VERY common problem is that while they MAY WELL have applied the provided "updates" for CF, folks often do NOT notice that they may have to (and generally must) "update" the web server "connector" (if they are using an external web server, like IIS or Apache) as a separate manual step, after applying the update.

I explain here what that means, how do to it, and why you may miss that you need to.

Update in 2019:

Since writing this entry, I did one in 2019 on When and how to upgrade CF web server connector, easier since CF2016, which at least makes it EASIER to upgrade, though much of what I write here still applies. I also updated this post since originally writing it, in ways discussed below.

(Or if you'd rather just have me help you quickly help you analyze and rectify your situation, whether with regard to the connectors or any other CF server troubleshooting, I can do that in a brief consulting session, likely less than an hour, remotely and securely. I provide all the detail here for those who prefer to "go it on their own". For more on my consulting services, including rates, approach, satisfaction guarantee, and more, see the consulting page at carehart.org.)

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Understanding the 9.0.2 release of ColdFusion, a FAQ for those who missed the news last year

Note: This blog post is from 2013. 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.
So perhaps you're currently running CF 9.0 or CF 9.0.1, and you may have noticed that there is a CF 9.0.2. Have you wondered what it's about? And have you noticed that it's not something you can just update to from 9.0 or 9.0.1? It's a complete installer, meaning you need to uninstall CF 9.0 or 9.0.1 before you can move up to it.

Should you? What do you gain? what do you lose? what are some gotchas? That's what this blog entry is about, answering the following questions:

  • First, what is ColdFusion 9.0.2? Why did Adobe create it?
  • What about the 9.0.1 updater? Can we still get that? Yes.
  • So what all does 9.0.2 add and remove?
  • If I download CF 9 today, what do I get?
  • "But if I download 9.0.2 today, I get the latest version of it available, right? I don't need to add hotfixes, do I?" Wrong.
  • Warning: DO NOT install 9.0.1 atop 9.0.2 (nothing will stop you)
  • If I am on 9.0 or 9.0.1, how can I get to 9.0.2?
  • Why might I want to get to 9.0.2 from 9.0 or 9.0.1?
  • How did i miss this? Was 9.0.2 discussed? Yes it was.

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ColdFusion 10 WACK book contributors (myself included) now listed at Amazon

Note: This blog post is from 2013. 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.
By now most should know that a new CF10 version of the classic Web Application Construction Kit (or WACK) series was released some months ago:

Adobe ColdFusion Web Application Construction Kit: ColdFusion 10 Enhancements and Improvements

But some may not have known who the contributors were, because since its release the Amazon site for the book had listed only Ben (Forta). Doh! :-)

Ben is indeed the series editor and a fellow contributor--and truly the glue that has held the project together since the first edition for CF3 in 1997.

But as with each edition since the first, there are indeed multiple contributors.

Amazon book page now lists all the contributors

And now the Amazon page does list all the co-authors:

Charlie Arehart, Rob Brooks-Bilson, Raymond Camden, Ken Fricklas, Hemanth Khandelwal, and Chandan Kumar.

Of course, we were indeed properly listed on the front cover, for those who may have looked--and in that same alphabetical order, whereas the Amazon site order is a bit random. Anyway, it's just nice to see this issue fixed.

Problems like that just happen sometimes, and I'd only I noticed it this week and raised it to Amazon. To their credit they were quick to update it.

And I thought some of my co-authors and perhaps others in the community might want to know about it.

Glad to mention the book

Indeed, I've been meaning simply to announce the book and my involvement here myself but got behind on many such news items, as I've just been busy (with my ColdFusion troubleshooting consulting services). Busy is good, of course!

So this was a good chance both to share the above news of the correction for any who'd noticed the issue, and to mention my involvement with the book, in case that and news of the book itself may interest some of my readers. (FWIW, I was a contributor to all 3 vols for CF 8 and 9 also, and I do thank Ben for including me in these works.)

A bit about the book

For those who hadn't noticed the book yet, it's unique in the series in that we decided to go with just a single book, just about the updates. In the past, we instead updated all 3 books throughout. There are pros and cons to either choice, of course, but I do agree that the single book was the way to go.

FWIW, I did chapters 8, 10, and 19.

I was especially delighted to get in a chapter at the end on "hidden gems", as I have loved doing (as article or talks) for each release starting with my first CFDJ article on CF 4.0. The editors chose for Chapter 19 the more sedate name of "Miscellaneous Enhancements", but I'm just thrilled we got to add the chapter at all. :-)

You can learn more about (and buy, and review) the book here:

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