June 8, 2006
New Release: Michael Damon Cooper

...and the CF team keeps growing... :)

Michael Damon Cooper arrived 3:36AM EST Monday, May 29, 2006, weighing in at 8lbs, 12oz and measured 20.5 inches. Mom & Michael and doing great but are very tired and are getting some much-needed rest.

A few pics of the new CF team member HERE.

Next release...Mystic :)

Damon

June 2, 2006
CF7/Flex 2 Users: CSC Opens Registration of 6-Digit Mobile Codes

The Common Short Code Administration has just announced that in conjunction with US mobile carriers, they're making available new 6-digit short codes for use in SMS applications.

Get 'em while they're hot :) Up to now, only 5-digit short codes have been available (ie Google’s "46645", etc).

The introduction of cross-carrier 6-digit codes is an indicator of the sharp increase in demand created very recently as organizations finally recognize and move to claim the massive ROI mobile-enabled applications can provide.

Coincidentally, we've seen a major surge in the deployment of 2-way session-aware SMS Text-enabled applications using ColdFusion MX 7's built-in SMS Gateway, and some of the applications are very, very cool. Everything from online Premium SMS (pay-per-message) services, mobile gambling, web user identity verification to mobile-enabling existing Web and business applications.

Event Gateways image

Mobile-enabling existing Web and business applications and workflows especially makes for great ROI when you're talking about enabling an application to "reach out" in a workflow scenario to be able to ask a question or extract a decision from a decision maker, regardless of where they are on the planet. Getting a real-time decision or approval made can reduce hours or days of lost "wait" time in critical business processes, and that means real-measurable ROI for many, many organizations.

Many customers are researching their options to build or enable these mobile SMS apps and when they discover that ColdFusion MX 7 ships with all the tools you need to build interactive, 2-way, session and client-aware applications in CFML, it uses the same point-to-point industrial-strength protocol used by the wireless carriers to communicate and transfer SMS traffic among themselves, and is actually wireless-carrier certified by carriers such as AT&T Wireless, etc, and works great with SMS Aggregators like m-Qube and Click-A-Tel, PLUS the fact that these apps can be built and tested and ready for live deployment in a matter of DAYS with CF7, and can deploy their apps on their standard J2EE servers as standard EAR/WAR compiled Java J2EE apps with CF7, it’s a pretty straight-forward decision.

More on ColdFusion MX 7's SMS Gateway here: http://www.adobe.com/products/coldfusion/event_gateways

And building an SMS app (or mobile-enabling an existing application) really is amazingly simple with CF7. You can create a basic "echo: [whatever-you-typed-on-your-phone]" app in about 5 minutes or so, and test it out with the built-in SMS Test Server (ie phone company server), Phone Emulator (visual UI of a phone interface that talks to the SMS Test Server) and an SMS Gateway in CF7.

Check out the 2-way, interactive menu-driven sample apps in the CF7 {cfusion}\gateway directory using the built-in SMS Test Server, Phone Emulator UI and Sample SMS Gateway for a quick taste.

Of course, mobile-enabling your Flex 2 applications will also be super-easy and extends the possibilities of applications you can create if you're using ColdFusion 7 on the back end. Imagine having a 2-way interactive conversation (with Flex 2 and ColdFusion 7.0.2 push-to-client capability) or real-time workflow dashboard updated with input from a senior manager's cell phone. The ROI (and coolness factor!) of RIA's just went waaay up :)

Some places we’re seeing organizations make use of mobile-enablement of existing apps or workflows include PO approvals, critical notifications, help-desk services, phone directory lookup, CEO dashboard & alerts, meeting reminders & cancellations, SMS-email bridging, new user signup security verification (code sent to phone must be entered into the web app for verification), and any place workflows of any kind have time-critical steps that involve people.

Event Gateways image

Another type of application that is ripe to take off for organizations with geographically-dispersed remote devices that periodically require human intervention, is the SMS-enablement of those devices. The devices can be queried as to their status, location, content levels, readings, etc, and can "call home" to a central office when they need help, maintenance, refilling, have been tampered with, etc.

Examples include devices that transmit GPS and vehicle telemetry, remote device monitoring, vending machines, gas pumps, natural gas or water meters, tanks, ships, fleet trucks, cars, even GPS Coke cans! (ie CocaCola's US Summer 2004 contest)...basically any time it’s cheaper to send a text message than it is to send a human (or just isn't possible to send one), SMS makes great sense.

And with CF7, building these industrial-strength, 2-way session and client-aware apps is possible in just minutes.

See my previous posts on the following topics for more info and next steps to make sure your app and organization can leverage the ubiquity of mobile phones to streamline workflows, add security and maximize your applications' ROI:

Some additional CF7 mobile SMS-enabled application ideas

CF7 SMS Applications Made Easy PPT Presentation

Finding an SMS Services Provider for your app

Native SMPP vs Web Services for SMS apps

Have fun, and I look forward to hearing how you were able to streamline your organizations processes and maximize ROI!

Damon

May 24, 2006
Please welcome Jason Delmore, CF Sr Product Manager!
Jason Delmore started this past Monday as CF's new Sr Product Manager and he's quickly ramping up.

AND...I also just got confirmation we've filled the CF Sr Product Marketing Manager spot as well, and rumor is it's someone most of you will DEFINITELY know. ;-)

Stay tuned, and welcome Jason!

Damon

May 15, 2006
How To: CF/FlexBuilder 2 App Gen Wizard Demo (11 minutes)

Dean Harmon (CF / FB App Wizard guru and Adobe CF Team Sr Dev Engineer) has produced a demo of using the CF / FlexBuilder 2 Application Wizard.

Check it out!

https://dcooper.org/gallery/ColdFusionFlexApplicationWizard.htm

Enjoy! (And thanks Dean!)

Damon


CF/FlexBuilder 2 App Gen Wizard Available

How'd you like to be able to generate complete custom Flex 2 / CF DB-oriented apps (all code, all tiers) in less than 15 minutes? Now THAT would jump-start your Flex 2 /CF RIA app development, wouldn't it?

Well, today is your lucky day: tonight (aprox 6:30PM EST), the newest CF Extensions for Flex Builder (dated 5/15/06) will be available on the Adobe Labs site, and as promised they include:

- The New CF / Flex Builder 2 App Gen Wizard
- Full CF7 documentation under Eclipse Help
- New CF / FB Extension documentation under Eclipse Help
- New Eclipse "feature" formatted zip structure

Here's few sample screen shots of some simple Flex 2/CF RIA apps generated by the Wizard These took only a few minutes to create and were entirely auto-generated (no hand coding or tweaking required whatsoever):

Generated Flex 2 / ColdFusion Application: Art Gallery   Generated Flex 2 / ColdFusion Application: Northwind

Of course, the Wizard can be re-run as many times as you like while retaining all the work you've done previously, so you can easily iterate over your application, adding and tweaking it using the Wizard until you're happy with it (and then you can of course, show your boss and take the rest of the month off :)

Ruby-on-Rails, move on over...you were interesting with your OO, MVC, hyper-RAD, Asynchronous Call, N-Tier, Rich Client, interative development and code generation productivity...but now customers have all that and much, nuch more with CF, Flex 2 and Flash. Sweet!

Download the newest CF Extensions for Flex Builder (dated 5/15/06) here (6:30PM EST or later) http://labs.adobe.com

NOTE: If you've installed the previous Beta 3 CF Extensions /plugins for FB, you'll need to first remove those plugins before installing the updated set of CF Extensions:

1) To uninstall the Beta 2 or Beta 3 ColdFusion Extension plugins for Flex Builder:
1. Stop Flex Builder Beta 3.
2. Under your installed FlexBuilder 2 Beta 3 "plugins" directory, find and delete all files and directories of name "com.adobe.coldfusion.*.*"
3. Restart Flex Builder Beta 3.

2) To install the ColdFusion Extensions for Flex Builder:
1. Download and save the "CF_FBExtensions_B3_0515.zip" file (11,643KB)
2. Select Help > Software Updates > Find and Install.
3. Select the Search For New Features To Install option, and then click Next.
4. Click New Archive Site.
5. Select the "CF_FBExtensions_B3_0515.zip" file, and then click Open. The file is located in the Extras folder if you installed ColdFusion MX 7.0.2 using the default values.
6. When the Edit Local Site dialog box appears, click OK.
7. Ensure that the ColdFusion Flex Builder feature is selected, and then click Finish.
8. Select the check box next to "CF_FBExtensions_B3_0515.zip", and then click Next.
9. Select the I Accept The Terms In This License Agreement option, and then click Next.
10. Click Finish.
11. Click Install All.
12. When the installation is complete, click Yes to restart Flex Builder

3) To invoke the Wizard for the first time:
- Select File->New->Other->ColdFusion Wizards->ColdFusion/Flex Application Wizard.


Note that you require a properly configured ColdFusion RDS connection to use the Application Wizard. We're working on some Captivate (screencast) demos for you to hopefully give you a bit of a "test drive" tutorial in using the Wizard. It's a very powerful piece of technology, but some of it's nuances in getting your app to do the right thing may not be immediately obvious, but make total sense when you see them in action.

Stay tuned for more...there's never been a better time to be a ColdFusion developer!

Damon