• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL



The latest round of improvements in the Macromedia web development technologies has made a great set of tools even more accessible and powerful. In particular, the integration between ColdFusion MX and Dreamweaver MX now makes it even easier for you to produce sophisticated, database-driven applications. The leap forward that this integration represents is what inspired me to write this book. We have the tools; now with the education provided by this book, you can be off and running, developing the site that you always wanted to create.

Who Should Read This Book?

If you want to learn how to use Dreamweaver MX with ColdFusion, this is your book. The ideal reader would be an individual familiar with the design elements of Dreamweaver with little or no experience in building dynamic web sites with ColdFusion. At the same time, experienced ColdFusion developers who have been using ColdFusion Studio can also learn how to leverage Dreamweaver’s visual development capabilities. Also, developers experienced in other web development technologies, such as ASP, PHP, or JSP, can use this book to understand ColdFusion development with Dreamweaver.

This book tries to be as applicable to the daily life of a ColdFusion developer as possible. You won’t find in-depth discussions of passing arrays to JavaBeans or instructions about how to create a COM object from CFScript. This book serves as an introduction to visual ColdFusion development, not a blueprint for best design practices and methodologies or ColdFusion administration. In short, this book is designed to get you up and running quickly with the full power of Dreamweaver and ColdFusion.

How to Use This Book

If you want to skip around in this book, you might want to take a moment to decide on a course through the chapters. This book is broken up into segments. Read the following sections to decide which chapter is appropriate to your personal situation.

Part I: The Fundamentals of ColdFusion Development

Chapter 1, “ Introducing Dreamweaver MX and ColdFusion MX,” provides just that—it introduces you to the two products by giving you a little historical perspective on web development in general and Dreamweaver and ColdFusion specifically.

In Chapter 2, “Introducing ColdFusion MX,” you learn about how ColdFusion works and the notion of a ColdFusion application. In addition, you will be introduced to the ColdFusion Administrator, the web-based control console for ColdFusion.

Chapter 3, “Introducing Dreamweaver MX,” covers the Dreamweaver development environment. You also set up your site, which will be used throughout the rest of the book.

Chapter 4, “Working with Databases,” provides a general overview of databases. You will learn how they work, how ColdFusion interacts with them, and guidelines for choosing the correct database for your application.

Part II: Creating ColdFusion Forms

Chapter 5, “Creating Form and Action Pages,” introduces you to creating ColdFusion form and action pages. You will learn the basics of sending information from one page to another and displaying the results.

Chapter 6, “Creating Pages with Dynamic Elements,” shows you how to dynamically bind database records to page elements, such as list-box menus or text boxes, using Dreamweaver’s Bindings panel.

Chapter 7, “Validating Data and Handling Errors,” demonstrates various methods of validating user-entered data in your ColdFusion pages. Data validation is critical to maintaining an accurate database and avoiding errors.

Part III: Displaying Results with ColdFusion

Chapter 8, “Displaying Records in a Dynamic Table,” shows you how to build dynamic tables to display the results of database queries. Dynamic tables are an important component of building recordset navigation.

Chapter 9, “Creating Recordset Navigation,” demonstrates how to leverage Dreamweaver’s server behaviors to build navigation aids for recordset results.

Chapter 10, “Charting Dynamic Data,” shows you how to use ColdFusion’s built-in charting and graphing engine to create dynamic charts and graphs in your ColdFusion pages.

Part IV: Processing ColdFusion Forms

Chapter 11, “Inserting a Record into the Database,” contains directions about inserting records into a database using ColdFusion. The capability to save information over the web is critical to web site interactivity.

Chapter 12, “Updating a Record in the Database,” teaches you how to update existing database records. Updating database records lets users maintain records themselves, letting you focus on other matters.

Chapter 13, “Deleting a Record in the Database,” offers instructions on deleting database records using ColdFusion.

Part V: Common ColdFusion Programming Techniques

Chapter 14, “Conditional Logic Problems and Solutions,” covers ColdFusion logic constructs, including looping and if conditional logic.

Chapter 15, “Debugging and Error Handling,” describes how to uncover problems in your ColdFusion applications and fix them. Also, you learn how to build your ColdFusion applications so that, when errors happen, a descriptive message is displayed to the user.

Chapter 16, “Sessions and the Application Variable Scope,” teaches you more about ColdFusion session handling, which lets you assign a session to a user and persist information associated with the user across multiple page requests.

Chapter 17, “Building User Authentication,” introduces you to ColdFusion security and user authentication. By authenticating users, you provide a measure of security to your ColdFusion application, a necessity when you allow users to make changes to the database.

Chapter 18, “Building a Search Interface,” describes how to build a search interface that lets users search the pages of your web site for a certain word or phrase.

Part VI: Advanced ColdFusion Development

Chapter 19, “Using ColdFusion Components,” introduces ColdFusion components. ColdFusion components represent a step forward in ColdFusion development by providing a construct to create reusable, self-describing components that support web services, Flash Remoting, and XML.

Chapter 20, “Building Flash Remoting Services,” describes building ColdFusion pages and components for Flash movies. Flash offers a number of advantages over HTML, such as vector-based animations and enabling dynamic data and graphics without requiring a new page to load.

Chapter 21, “Using and Creating Web Services,” introduces you to using and building web services, an emerging technology that enables you to call functionality on remote servers and use it in your ColdFusion application. In addition, ColdFusion components let you build web services for other developers to use.

Part VII: Customizing Dreamweaver

Chapter 22, “Customizing Dreamweaver for ColdFusion Development,” provides information on using Dreamweaver’s numerous customization features to tailor the development environment to your liking.

Chapter 23, “Building Custom Server Behaviors,” describes how to use Dreamweaver’s Server Behavior Builder to create custom server behaviors. Among other things, custom server behaviors can cut development time by automating repetitive tasks.

Chapter 24, “Building Dreamweaver Extensions,” introduces you to the Dreamweaver Extension architecture that gives you the tools and application programming interfaces (APIs) to build sophisticated extensions to the Dreamweaver environment.

Part VIII: Appendixes

Appendix A, “Installing ColdFusion MX and Dreamweaver MX,” offers instructions on installing ColdFusion and Dreamweaver, as well as configuration options and system requirements.

Appendix B, “ColdFusion MX CFML Tag Reference,” contains a comprehensive listing of CFML tags and the corresponding Dreamweaver dialogs.

Appendix C, “Dreamweaver MX Keyboard Shortcuts,” contains a listing of keyboard shortcuts in Dreamweaver.


This book follows a few typographical conventions:

  • A new term is set in italic the first time it is introduced.

  • Program text, functions, variables, and other “computer language” are set in a fixed-width font—for example, <cfoutput>. Placeholders in syntax are set in a fixed-width italic font—for example, name="argument name ".

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint