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My latest Adobe Devnet article on CF8 monitoring: Part 3 and 4 now posted

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 Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily.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.
Parts 3 and 4 of my 4-part series on the CF8 Server Monitor are now posted on the Adobe DevNet site. Part 3 was posted several weeks ago, but with the holidays, etc. I just failed to get word out. Part 4 was posted yesterday.

If you've not taken a look at these, you may be missing out. There are some misconceptions about the monitor, and also I think most don't realize that it can do much more than they may suspect. There's precious little documentation (and discussion) about it, so you may find things here you won't find anywhere else.

The third and fourth parts, specifically, have the following sections:

Part 3

  • Automated monitoring and request management with Alerts
  • Substantial diagnostic details with Snapshots

Part 4

  • An enterprise dashboard with the Multiserver Monitor
  • Programmatic Monitoring with the Admin API
  • Tweaking the Monitor in the Settings section
  • Miscellaneous aspects of the Monitor

Sure, I've just written about FusionReactor yesterday, and will write still more about the new release. I don't see it incompatible to help people make the most of whatever tool they may use. I've written previously also about SeeFusion. Indeed, I've written previously that that each has their place, even in the face of CF8's server monitor.

I'd like to hear from readers

The DevCenter articles offer a feedback link, but so far I've not gotten any (and they say they will forward any they get). I'd really appreciate hearing from anyone who has read the articles. I really feel that they go way beyond what's available in the docs and help, to bring together information and concepts you might otherwise miss. Has it helped you at all?

Finally, do you ever wonder why some call this area of the Adobe site "DevNet", "DevCenter", and/or some the "Developer Connection"? Well, the URL has devnet in it, but the breadcrumb bar at the top of my articles shows "Home > Developer Connection > ColdFusion Developer Center". Go figure. :-)

CF8 WACK Volume 2 Ship Date Announced at Amazon

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 Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily.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.
I announced a few weeks ago that Volume 1 of Ben's CF8 Web App Construction Kit, which Ray and I co-authored, had finally arrived in physical form. Still, many kept asking, "so when's Volume 2 going to be available?" That day is now clear.

I got notice from Amazon today that it will be available November 21. Find out more about the book's contents, the several co-authors, or pre-order it, at:

CF8 WACK Volume 2

My latest Adobe Devnet article on CF8 monitoring: Part 2, "Using the Server Monitor in production"

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.
Some may be interested to learn that I've had another article published on the Adobe Devnet site yesterday: "ColdFusion 8 server monitoring - part 2: Using the Server Monitor in production".

This follows up the part 1, which focused on uses of the monitor in development. There will be 4 parts ultimately, all listed in the Developer Center, with the 3rd part discussing the alerts and snapshots features, and part 4 discussing the Multiserver Monitor, Admin API monitoring features, and various miscellaneous observations.

The CF8 monitor offers a lot more than many would think, and insight into certain inner workings of CF that we've just never had before. I try to highlight things that you may have missed if you've only glanced at it or attended brief overviews at conferences or user groups. I will likely to my own presentation on it in the future..

No one should read from this that I'm any less supportive of 3rd party tools like FusionReactor and SeeFusion. As I've stated before, there's clearly a place for those tools for shops not yet on CF8, and even once on CF8 I believe there are differences among all the tools that could warrant having more than one at once.

On the cover of the rolling stone...gonna buy 5 copies for my mother

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.
Well, today I got to experience something I hadn't in 5 years: holding in my hands a book with my name on it. I've not talked about it much, but I'm privileged and honored to be one of the contributors to Ben's 3-part CF8 books (contributing to all 3).

Author copies of the first one arrived today, just as Ray announced also.

The first book is formally called, the Adobe ColdFusion 8 Web Application Construction Kit, Volume 1: Getting Started.

Look for the others (Volume 2: Application Development and Volume 3: Advanced Application Development) to come out in the future. Don't ask me when. I really have no idea.

Still other books in my past

What book did I do 5 years ago that I mention above? The ColdFusion MX Bible, which I did with Adam & David Churvis and Hal Helms. It came out in early 2003, just after the launch of CFMX 6. It got a lot of high praise and good ratings, due mostly to the efforts of "the Churvii" (the father and son Churvis team), who did most of the book.

Here's some trivia: in what other CF book was I a co-author? It's tricky, because if you follow the link for my name on the books above, it shows them only. But search for Charles Arehart instead. You'll see that I contributed to the original CF 4 for Dummies, with John Paul Ashenfelter and Alexis Gutzman. I did just one chapter (on CFMAIL), and as John will tell you, we both decried much of its content but the publisher and lead author were hard-pressed to get it out at the time (2000) and it went as is. The reviews suffered accordingly. I've never blogged my association with that book until now. Hopefully time has cast it to an abyss so there's no harm. :-)

That same year, I also contributed to Professional WAP, doing the chapter there on Wireless programming with CF. (With those multi-author Wrox books, I was listed first so many think I was the lead author, which was not the case.)

Like most, these books are a team effort

And so it was these CF8 books: I'm just one of many hands that make up each of the CF8 books.

But I do want to thank Ben for including me in the books this round. It's a great team of folks spread out over all the books, and I really am grateful for the opportunity to contribute.

My new Adobe DevNet articles on the CF8 Monitor

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.
If you'd not seen it, there are a slew of new CF8 articles on the Adobe CF Developer Center, including one I've done that's the first of a 4-part series on the CF8 monitor. The first both introduces the monitor and focuses on its uses first in development:

ColdFusion 8 server monitoring - Part 1: Using the Server Monitor in development

It's 8 pages printed, so lots of info there. I hope you'll get value from it. Since there's no feedback mechanism there, I'd appreciate if you'd share comments here of what you think of it. We writers get precious little feedback on our work, most times.

For now, it's even listed as a front-page article on the CF8 Dev Center. (FWIW, note that the URLs say "devnet" while the site itself uses the phrase "Developer Center".)

Future articles in my CF8 Monitor series will focus on using the monitor in production, then using the multi-server monitor, alerts, and snapshots, and finally several miscellaneous features and tips in part 4.

I should say finally, since many know I've talked a lot about FusionReactor and SeeFusion in the past, that, no, I don't think the CF8 monitor is a death knell for those tools (nor do I think the CF8 debugger will kill off FusionDebug). There's a place for both (especially if you're not yet on 8, and even afterwards possibly), and since the monitor is only in CF8 Enterprise, that especially keeps the other monitors in the running. I've written a more complete discussion of my perspective on these things:

Scorpio Debugger and Monitor: What's it mean for FusionDebug, FusionReactor, and SeeFusion?

Now, about it being in Enterprise, that's something I couldn't say in either my past entries or even in the current article on the DevCenter, as those were all written before the final release of CF8. I'm sorry if they read as if everyone using CF8 could use them. I really had no way to say otherwise.

That said, with the CF8 monitor being free in CF8, and especially with it giving us access to some awesome new info (which even the other monitors could now provide access to), it's worth learning what's possible. There's a lot more to it than you may think.

See the other entries I've done on the monitor. Some of them have info I couldn't fit into the DevCenter articles, or that may not be published for a few weeks.

Corrected version of my Sept CFDJ article available online

Note: This blog post is from 2006. 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.
While it may seem old news, I want to point out that if you've received the print version of the September edition of the CFDJ (which came out in October), you may have seen my article on "FusionDebug Tips, Tricks, and Traps". Due to some glitches, the version printed was not the final, edited version I had offered.

I was able to arrange to get the corrected article posted in the electronic version of the article, free for you to read, on the CFDJ site. If you're interested in the topic and/or the article, please do check it out online.

My latest 2 CFDJ articles

Note: This blog post is from 2006. 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.
Check out the 2 latest articles I've done in the CFDJ (you can read them online for free): one is on FusionDebug Tips and tricks, and the latest is on using the nifty (free) LogParser tool with CF.

Sys-con has been working hard to catch up on late delivery of the magazine, as well as to bolster the content with topics that will appeal to a wider CFML audience. I'm glad to be a part of that effort after being quite absent myself for must of the past 3 years. (See the more than 50 other CFDJ articles I've done in the past 7 years.)

My Latest CFDJ article is now posted: Errors in Your Code: Handling, debugging, and testing for them

Note: This blog post is from 2006. 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 see that my latest CFDJ article has now been posted on the CFDJ site: "Errors in Your Code: Handling, debugging, and testing for them".

Here's a brief synopsis:

Errors and bugs: they happen in all code, mostly in development but in production too and perhaps more easily in CFML than in compiled languages. There are several features to help better handle, debug, and test for them, and this article will focus on those.

Though the article has just been posted, it's in the "August" issue. Due to some snafus in recent months, the CFDJ folks are just getting caught up. I have no information myself on when the print version of the issue will be coming out, if indeed it may already have.

I will say you can also look for me to have articles in future issues, including Sept and Oct which are already turned in. I'll post those as soon as I see they are available online.

Read the article online now

My Upcoming column in the October FusionAuthority Quarterly Update: It's TipicalCharlie

Note: This blog post is from 2006. 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.
Folks going to Max will get the new October issue of the FusionAuthority Quarterly Update, and you'll find that I have two articles (well, I also am quoted in a 3rd).

One will be a feature on using FusionDebug, and the other is another of my "tips" column. In the first issue (July), it was on the back page as something like "tips from a coldfusion developer". That wasn't too clever.

In this next issue, we've chosen to call it "Tipical Charlie". That's not a typo. (I've already had one person ask if it was, when they saw another site listing the upcoming issue articles.)

Where did I come up with the name? Well, some know that besides this blog, I have an older one, called tipicalcharlie.com. That one focuses on non-CF tips. Still, I thought it also a suitable title for the FAQU column. ]

On the tipicalcharlie site, I do explain where I got the idea for the name. HGTV fans may already recognize it.

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