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Digging into a new project – what do I have?

June 11, 2012

I am inheriting an old flex – Coldfusion application that I need to learn so I can support and enhance it.  I no longer have Coldfusion installed on my laptop or tower, so will be trying to get Railo installed, which is an open source CFML engine.  I read about Railo and BlueDragon years ago while working in Coldfusion, but never played with either.

These are my high level tasks for this project

1 – install Railo – so I can edit CFM files (mainly for speaking to the DB.)

2 – get Railo to speak to MSSQL 2005 server DB already setup.

3 – get a Flex based tool, for editing MXML and ActionScript, that works in Eclipse

4 – get the flex based IDE to remote into Railo via actionscript.

Some of this is new, alot of this is new, but some is familiar.

More details:

First, I will connect the cfcs to the db instance.  That means installing Railo and setting up a datasource that points to my conferenceAppDB.  This would like creating a DSN setting in coldfusion.  I can test this connection by creating a new test .cfm page and having it call one of the methods in the exisiting CFC’s and see it update the DB persisting in the table.

Once the CFS’s are speaking to the DB, then worry about the GUI that is speaking to the CFCs.

The GUI portion is written in MXML and actionscript.  Most of the visual elements are the MXML components, while the actions performed by interacting with the components are handled by ActionScript.

An unknown to me at this point is will Railo handle all the MXML stuff, hopefully that is not proprietary to Coldfusion.  Lets face it, Flex, AS and Coldfusion are all now owned by Adobe, Railo is open source.

Right, Im reminded that a flex GUI is a flash movie, right click on it to be reminded – see flashplayer info. OR try to print preview something….blank browser (at least using FF 11)

I looked in the DB to get account information, so i could log into the application to walk around a bit.  One of the first things I am doing is removing old users who have retired.  I don’t think anyone has done any account maintenance since 2008, when this app was deployed.

looking in the DB at the moment, sorting conferences submitted by createdDate to see how active the application is.  Useful to see who has used it most recently.  I am also making a drawing of the GUI, like a flowchart, helps me to get a better understanding of what the application feels like, what other GUI considerations exist.

First date of submission is Oct. 2009.  system has been in use for less than 3 years.  204 total submissions to the application.  A moderate amount of use.  There is a table called supervisors, which contains the account credentials for the people who use the application.  The attendees who go on conferences are stored in the conference table.


From → Railo - CFML

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