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Chapter 34. Using ColdFusion > What Is ColdFusion?

What Is ColdFusion?

With the soaring popularity of dynamically generated pages created from server-side databases, it should come as no surprise that many software tools have emerged to assist Web developers with the programming required to produce such pages. Software of this kind is often called middleware because it acts as an intermediary between the Web server software and the target database.

One middleware product that has proved to be immensely popular with developers is Allaire's ColdFusion. References to chemistry aside, ColdFusion is an application that runs on the same machine as your Web server. Figure 34.1 shows an overview of how ColdFusion works with your Web server. The major steps in the delivery of a ColdFusion based page are

Figure 34.1. This diagram illustrates how ColdFusion works with a Web server and other services on your server.

A user requests a file containing ColdFusion code (called a ColdFusion template) or submits a form that has a ColdFusion template as its ACTION attribute.

The Web server hands the template over to the ColdFusion Application Server for processing.

The ColdFusion Application Server parses out the programmatic instructions, makes all necessary calls to server-side databases via Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) drivers, performs any required data manipulation, and then prepares an HTML document as its response to the server.

The HTML document is returned to the Web server which, in turn, sends it to the user's browser.



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