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Foreword

Foreword

During the past three years the software industry has moved at an astounding pace. From the moment the first Web page was viewed with Mosaic until the present, change at an unprecedented rate has swept up everything and everyone in its path. Behind all of this turbulence is the relatively simple set of technologies that composes the World Wide Web.

The Web has evolved from its early years as a publishing medium into its adolescence as a simple, two-way information exchange platform. We are now entering the next phase of growth, and it promises to be the most exciting one yet—the emergence of the Web as a platform for distributed applications. The effect of this next stage of growth will be no less than revolutionary.

What has made (and will continue to make) this revolution tick is the many thousands of pioneers and visionaries who recognized the potential of the Web and acted on that recognition. They are the people who saw that the Web provided remarkably simple solutions to extremely complex problems—and who made these solutions happen.

These visionaries provided Allaire with the inspiration and ideas to create ColdFusion, a complete platform for Web application development. We began work on ColdFusion over three years ago and are now shipping our fifth major release of the product. Our original vision for ColdFusion remains intact: to provide a simple and powerful toolset that empowers developers to go from inspiration to implementation as rapidly as possible. Our mission was to create a platform that was accessible to the novice developer, powerful enough to satisfy expert developers, and scalable enough to deliver the most demanding sites and applications.

With this book, Ben Forta has once again created the definitive learning and reference guide for ColdFusion. Every great development platform I have encountered has a defining book that serves as an ongoing road map for developers seeking to exploit the platform to its fullest. For the ColdFusion development platform, this is that book.

As a learning tool for beginners, the book contains the key information needed to get started, including the basics of ColdFusion, an explanation of databases and application design, and in-depth information on using SQL.

For experienced ColdFusion developers, the depth of information about CFML—including tips and tricks that I didn't even know of myself—will make it a phenomenal reference. And for those of you who want to be on the cutting edge of Web applications, advanced materials on creating CFX extensions, full-text indexing and searching with Verity, and accessing directories with LDAP (among many others) will enable you to push the limits of the Web platform.

With this book we welcome you to a rapidly growing worldwide community of developers powering their applications with ColdFusion.

J.J. Allaire

Executive VP of Products

Allaire Corp.

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