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Writing shell scripts to automate the build and deploy process for ColdFusion applications is not very much fun. The Jakarta Ant project is an open-source, cross-platform alternative that makes it easy to automate the build and deploy process. But My Build and Deploy Process is Fine.... Maybe your build and deploy process for your latest application is fine - you type a single command and your build process automatically retrieves your application from the source control system, configures the application appropriately for the target environment, and copies all the necessary files to the production servers while you head to the coffee shop for your morning cup of caffeine and the newspaper. But I know that the reality for the vast majority of projects I've seen (including many of my own applications!) are built and deployed using a written multistep checklist - some ... (more)

Personal Branding Checklist

This is a checklist of items you need for an all-encompassing personal branding strategy. Personal branding is the process of marketing and selling yourself as a brand in order to gain success in business. Personal branding is a continual process just as knowing yourself is a continual process. As you grow, so does your brand. The need for personal branding arises from the fact that globalization has increased competition in the workplace. As the wheat is separated from the chaff, if you are left standing, you are left standing with others of good caliber. The playing field is now that much more challenging since your competition is as good as, or better, than you. To paraphrase David Samuel, the bloke who got me into personal branding after I saw him speak a few years ago; he spoke about of why you need personal branding. His audience was a group from a large teleco... (more)

The Top 5 Worldwide PHP Conferences

Despite the rapid growth of new programming languages and platforms, PHP continues to be a stable workforce that powers much of the web. More than 82 percent of the internet is powered with server-side programming apps using PHP — more than ASP.NET, Java, and ColdFusion. For a while, it looked like other stacks might surpass PHP. However, with the release of the first major update in more than ten years, PHP 7 has silenced many critics. PHP conferences continue to offer attendees the opportunity to learn new skills, keep up on PHP developments, discover recent trends, view the latest technologies offered by exhibitors, and meet new friends and contacts in the industry. Here are five of the top PHP conferences around the world you should consider attending to broaden your horizons, update your skill set, and build relationships with key developers and decision makers.... (more)

What Is AJAX?

(October 7, 2005) - AJAX isn't a technology, or a language, and there's no recipe to implement it; it's just a combination of various components to achieve something you otherwise couldn't: asynchronous http requests. However, since early 2005, when Google and Flickr popularized the concept, its use has grown rapidly. The name AJAX is short for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. It uses the JavaScript XMLHttpRequest function to create a tunnel from the client's browser to the server and transmit information back and forth without having to refresh the page. The data travels in XML format because it transmits complex data types over clear text. AJAX uses XHTML for the data presentation of the view layer, DOM, short for Document Object Model, which dynamically manipulates the presentation, XML for data exchange, and XMLHttpRequest as the exchange engine that ties every... (more)

Adobe Flash Media Server on iPhone

Modulation Index, LLC announced  that the Tuner2 Hi-Fi Radio app for Apple iPhone is the first ever iPhone application to natively support the true RTMP protocol for streaming audio via Adobe Flash Media Server. Radio stations can now use a single standard streaming format to serve MPEG-4 HE AAC v2 audio to listeners on Windows, Mac, and Apple iPhone. In addition, Modulation Index announced that this functionality is also available immediately to all station customers taking delivery of customized versions of its iPhone radio app. The Tuner2 Hi-Fi Radio app for Apple iPhone is a custom version of the Modulation Index iPhone radio app. By supporting MPEG-4 HE AAC v2 audio delivered over Adobe Flash Media server protocol, the Tuner2 Hi-Fi Radio app enables a listening experience with more stability and higher audio quality than the more typical MP3 or HE AAC v1 over ... (more)

SYS-CON Media Readers' Choice Awards Polls Will Close on December 31, 2005

  SYS-CON Media (www.sys-con.com), the world's leading i-technology media company, announced that its 2005 Readers' Choice Awards polls will close on December 31, 2005. So far more than 16,000 readers cast their votes to select the best  software products and services of the year for Java, Linux, Web Services, XML, Microsoft .NET, ColdFusion and Macromedia MX. Best Java Products of 2005: http://java.sys-con.com/general/readerschoice.htm Best Linux Products of 2005: http://linux.sys-con.com/general/readerschoice.htm Best Web Services Products of 2005: http://webservices.sys-con.com/general/readerschoice.htm Best .NET Products of 2005: http://dotnet.sys-con.com/general/readerschoice.htm Best Macromedia MX and ColdFusion Products of 2005: http://mxdj.sys-con.com/general/readerschoice.htm SYS-CON's Readers' Choice Awards program is considered to be the most prestigious awar... (more)

Web Services Using ColdFusion and Apache CXF

Since its emergence, Web Service technology has gone a long way towards perfecting itself and finding its right application in the real world. With the maturity of the specifications, Web Service technology, with its power of interoperability, is now the major enabling technology of SOA, which is being adopted by more and more enterprises to build their application integration infrastructure. Developing Web Services involves a variety of technologies, XML processing, SOAP, and WSDL, to name a few. Luckily, there are frameworks that target handling theses kinds of middleware functions, freeing up developers to focus on the business logic. Nowadays, many Web Service frameworks exist for all kinds of programming languages. Some of them are open source, others are commercially available. Some examples of such frameworks are Apache Axis and Axis2, WS02 Web Services Fra... (more)

The Next Programming Models, RIAs and Composite Applications

I’ve been around software for 20 years now. Looking back, I have mixed feelings about the progress we’ve made. The end results have been amazing but the process of building software hasn’t fundamentally changed since the 80s. In fact, I see us make some of the same mistakes over and over again. One of the common anti-patterns is over-relying on tools and frameworks instead of inventing new programming models. Layers of abstraction are fundamental to software. Some layers are defined through programming models, e.g., machine language, assembly language, 3GLs, JSP. Others are defined through a combination of tools and frameworks, e.g., MFC and Visual Studio on top of C++. There is a limit to how high we can raise a level of abstraction through tools and frameworks alone. At some point, a new programming model is the best way forward. Here are some examples: CASE tools ... (more)

Building a Zip Code Proximity Search with ColdFusion

Recently I was tasked with improving our Web site's Reseller Locator application. This tool helps potential customers in the U.S. find a product reseller in their state. By choosing a state from a drop-down box, a listing of all resellers located in that state is displayed. Over the years, as more and more resellers have signed on to sell our products, some problems with this application have surfaced: Some states, such as California, display a very long list of resellers, and customers may never contact those listed near the bottom. The states with smaller populations such as North Dakota may not have any resellers to list. Competitors could use the tool to easily find all our resellers, and may steal these valuable partner relationships. The Solution Is Defined We needed a solution to solve these problems, and searching by zip codes appeared to be the answer. The ne... (more)

Rob Gonda's Two-Part AJAX Special: Now In One Part

It's become very popular lately, even though it's not exactly new. It's been possible to use the concept behind AJAX since browsers introduced the XMLHttpRequest function in 1999. AJAX isn't a technology, or a language, and there's no recipe to implement it; it's just a combination of various components to achieve something you otherwise couldn't: asynchronous http requests. However, since early 2005, when Google and Flickr popularized the concept, its use has grown rapidly. The name AJAX is short for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. It uses the JavaScript XMLHttpRequest function to create a tunnel from the client's browser to the server and transmit information back and forth without having to refresh the page. The data travels in XML format because it transmits complex data types over clear text. AJAX uses XHTML for the data presentation of the view layer, DOM, sho... (more)

Building a Forum with Macromedia Dreamweaver From Adobe Part 2

In Part 1 of this tutorial, we taught you how to pull information from a database in order to set up a forum front end and how to style it with CSS. In this article, you will see how easy it is to build a user authentication system for your forum. Setting Up User Authentication In the following sections of this tutorial, you will use ImpAKT to build a user authentication system for your forum. You need authentication to prevent pranksters from posting a load of garbage to your forum and getting away with it. If users want to post messages to the forum, they must register an account, activate it, and then log in. Only then will they be able to post messages to the forum. To build the user authentication system, you will do the following: Configure user login settings from the InterAKT Control Panel. Create a user registration page. Create the user login page. Create a... (more)