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Chapter 14. Interacting with Other Web Servers Using HTTP

Chapter 14. Interacting with Other Web Servers Using HTTP

One of ColdFusion's most powerful features is its ability to interact with other web servers via the CFHTTP tag. CFHTTP allows a ColdFusion application to perform standard HTTP GET and POST operations on remote servers. Using CFHTTP, you can perform a wide range of functions, such as retrieving text and binary files, reading the contents of delimited text files into query objects, and posting information to forms and applications on remote servers. Some of the more common uses include generating static HTML pages from dynamic data, gathering content such as news articles and press releases from remote sites, automatic form submissions, and intelligent agents capable of interacting with remote services such as stock quote and news feeds. For example, you can use CFHTTP to write an agent that can gather information related to a particular company from various services including news sources, search engines, and financial service providers. The information gathered by the agent can be presented to users in any number of ways such as in an email, on a personalized web page, or even in an alphanumeric message sent to a pager. The uses for the CFHTTP tag are limited only by your imagination.

Because CFHTTP has the ability to "grab" content from remote sites, questions of copyright, trademark, and intellectual property infringement can come up. It is important to remember that much of what is out on the Internet is protected by copyright. When using CFHTTP to gather information from remote sites, you should have a clear understanding of what is protected and what is considered to be under public domain. When in doubt, consider contacting the publisher of the information for permission.


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