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Chapter 4. Previewing ColdFusion > Preparing to Learn ColdFusion

Preparing to Learn ColdFusion

You're just about ready to go. But before you do, you need to know a little about the sample applications you'll be using and how to use them.

Orange Whip Studio is a low-budget movie studio waiting for its first big break. To help it get there, you need to create a series of Web applications. These include:

  • A public Web site that will allow viewers to learn about the movies

  • Intranet screens for movie management (budgets, actors, directors, and more)

  • A public e-commerce site allowing fans to purchase movie goodies and memorabilia

  • And more

Your job throughout this book is to build these applications.


Most of the applications created in this book share common resources (images and data, for example) but are actually stand-alone, meaning they don't require components or code created elsewhere. Although this is not typical of real-world application development, in this book it is deliberate and by design.

Here are a few things you must know about how to manage code and resources:

  • You'll create and store the Orange Whip Studio applications in a folder named ows beneath the Web root.

  • ows contains a folder named images, which—this should come as no surprise—contains images used in many of the applications.

  • A folder named data in the ows folder contains the database used by the applications.

  • Web applications are usually organized into a directory structure that maps to application features or sections. However, you won't do that here. To simplify the learning process, you'll create a folder beneath ows for each chapter in the book: 4 for Chapter 4, 5 for Chapter 5, and so on. The files you create in each chapter should go in the appropriate folders.


The files and directories on the accompanying CD follow the same organization and naming conventions as described here.

Assuming you are running ColdFusion locally (this is advised), and assuming you installed the files in the default locations, the URL to access the ows folder will be http://localhost:8500/ows/ if you're using the integrated HTTP server, or http://localhost/ows/ if you're using an external HTTP server. You would then access folders beneath ows, such as the folder for this chapter, as http://localhost:8500/ows/4/ or http://localhost/ows/4/ (again, depending on whether you're using ColdFusion's integrated HTTP server).


If you have problems resolving host localhost, try using IP address instead. is a special IP address that always refers to your own host, and localhost is the host name that should always resolve to


If you have yet to install the sample files, or have not yet configured the ows datasource as explained in Chapter 3, “Accessing the ColdFusion Administrator,” you should do so now, as you'll need these to complete this chapter (as well as all future chapters).

Macromedia Dreamweaver MX is a development environment for creating Web sites and applications. Built by combining the feature sets of Macromedia Dreamweaver (a tool primarily for page designers), Macromedia Dreamweaver UltraDev (used for rapid application prototyping and basic application development), and Macromedia ColdFusion Studio (a professional-strength editing and coding environment), this new integrated development environment is the one development tool designers and developers alike can use.

As a ColdFusion developer you'll be using Dreamweaver MX extensively, and so I'll dedicate an entire chapter to this product shortly (see Chapter 7, “Introducing Macromedia Dreamweaver MX”). For now, to give you a sneak peak at what ColdFusion is all about, you'll use Dreamweaver to build two applications:

  • A movie browser that displays a list of movies and contains links for moving from one page of the listing to another

  • An age calculator that asks for your date of birth and calculates your age

You'll set up both of these applications using Dreamweaver MX, but you'll create each very differently. The former will use Dreamweaver features that require no coding at all, and you'll code the latter manually.

And now you're really ready to go.

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