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Lesson 1. Understanding ColdFusion

Lesson 1. Understanding ColdFusion

ColdFusion is a Web-application server that can be used to complete tasks as simple as creating a guest book for your Web site or as complex as creating a full-featured online store. No matter what you want to accomplish with your Web site, chances are ColdFusion can help you reach your goals.

ColdFusion is a server-side application that takes templates—pages that are a meld of HTML and ColdFusion code—and processes them. The templates contain layouts; ColdFusion fills in the contents by performing calculations, displaying variables, querying databases, and outputting information returned from queries, just to mention a few of its capabilities.

In the following lessons, we'll work on tasks related to the design, use, and maintenance of a Web site for a fictitious company called The Wireless Agent. All of them will, of course, involve ColdFusion, though some of the activities will be related to the user experience, and some to the behind-the-scenes administration.

All of its features aside, ColdFusion's real power lies in how easy it is to learn. It is a tag-based scripting language, so if you are familiar with hypertext markup language (HTML), ColdFusion syntax will look familiar to you, and you'll find the concepts behind the software easy to understand. ColdFusion's other strength is that applications that use it can be developed very rapidly. Developers can put together applications in ColdFusion in a fraction of the time they might take using other languages. However, ColdFusion's ease of use doesn't detract from its abilities as an application server: it can be used to make your Web site do just about anything you can imagine.

In this lesson, you'll learn the limitations of HTML and how ColdFusion helps overcome them. You will examine a ColdFusion page in a browser and view the source code. Finally, you'll install ColdFusion Server and Microsoft's Personal Web Server on your computer, in preparation for later lessons.


In this lesson, you will:

  • Learn what ColdFusion is and isn't, and how it works

  • Examine the source code of a ColdFusion page

  • Install Personal Web Server

  • Install ColdFusion Server

  • Log in to the ColdFusion Administrator


This lesson takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.


Starting Files:


Completed Files:




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