Damon Cooper's BLOG
Viewing By Month : March 2005 / Main
March 30, 2005
CFUNITED: The CF Team is Coming
Come on down to CFUNTIED and meet the ColdFusion engineering team, get your hands on CFMX 7, learn what it means for your organization, and go home with a formidable arsenal of hero-making knowledge and new capabilities.

One of the best parts of being on the ColdFusion team are the opportunities like this to meet face-to-face with ColdFusion customers. We know you’re the reason we exist, and as with past user conferences, I know we will most likely come away a more energized, focused and dedicated team as a result. I promise we’ll do everything we can to pour that energy, passion, feedback and re-dedication into the next major version of ColdFusion in the most innovative, productive way possible.

We’ll also no doubt be humbled by the awesome responsibility of being stewards of the technology you use to tackle the problems the world everyday, and of course we owe you all a great debt of thanks for the energy, passion, feedback and relentless dedication you’ve demonstrated over the past 10 years.

We are just getting started.

We look forward to listening, learning, and hearing your in-person feedback on how we've been doing, what challenges you're facing, and where you think we need to go next.

The official CFUNITED site.

Damon

March 28, 2005
CFMX 7 Engineering Innovation
With CFMX 7 out the door, it's time again to survey the landscape, and while simultaneously helping make sure customers are successful with CFMX 7, look up to the horizon and the next major release.

We did some great things with CFMX 7, and it'll be a tough act to follow, for sure, but we have an amazing group of people ready and rarin' to go.

I believe strongly that we need to be very customer focused in whatever we build, with about 75% of what goes into a release being based on direct customer feedback, and, say, 25% based on engineering-directed items and team-driven innovation.

The Event Gateways, dynamic FlashPaper generation, Rich Forms, CFDOCUMENT syntax and other stuff are examples of the later, and are an important part of a groundbreaking release. For example, while nobody told us, "Hey, you need to make sure you have dynamic FlashPaper in there!", these are the the types of features that capture the imagination, make you pause for minute and go..."wait a minute...you mean I can do X in two lines of code??"

Where does this stuff come from anyway? Here's my off-the-cuff answer, take it for what it's worth (maybe nothing)...

1) Skunkworks. Stuff we're not really supposed to be working on, ending up with a prototype of proof of concept. Usually fueled by beer or spirits (good or bad...you decide).

2) Fallout from other feature discussion/whiteboard session/work. While working on Big Feature A, we realized in a moment of enlightenment, that not only could we end up with a very sweet architecture, but it would allow us to do Big Feature B, C, D and E later on. (Hey, doesn't someone have a skunkworks project going on around "D" now? Could we pull it in?), etc. The last part is usually fueled by beer.

3) Common problems and issues we see at the uber-level (as a product team, one of the benefits is to be able to see the actual curvature of the customer world and see these uber-trends, problems, etc). Typically a "Whoa" moment happens and multiple team members see it at the same time. The team is such a cohesive unit, we are all aware subconsciously of many of these items, and they can pop up at the right second from multiple people on the team. Spooky to see. Usually fueled by beer.

4) Informal conversations. Can happen in the hallway, and lunch time, over beers (see a trend here?), on the way to the bathroom (these are usually to-the-point), while on a chairlift while skiing, whatever. Get smart people who are tuned into customers and who get-things-done together with a whiteboard nearby, and watch what happens.

5) Someone's "Super-Sweet-If-We-Could-Do-It-One-Day" wish-list items. Everyone's got 'em. Some logical, some edging towards the fringes, but everyone's got ‘em, and when there's a vision for it, a passion for it, customer validation on it, etc, it can get done.

6) Other places/ways I'm sure I'm forgetting.

The innovation itself is an amazing process to be a part of, as most you know from your own incredible innovations with CF, and we're ready to roll once again.

Damon

March 24, 2005
Patent Pending Goodness!
Hopefully by now you've downloaded, installed and have started taking ColdFusion MX 7 out for a serious test drive or have deployed apps with some sweet new functionality. The ride should be very smooth and you should find the product extremely solid, with the creaks and bumps now ironed out on our 4-year old CF Java platform.

Besides all the amazing new features, if you haven't noticed in the CFMX7 Administrator: a small chunk text at the bottom of the page that cites the usual copyright notice, PLUS (for the first time ever) something new in the history of ColdFusion: "Patents Pending".

Unfortunately it's not possible to discuss what's covered (or not), as I believe they're filed undisclosed and I think remain sealed for 18 months, but they do cover great innovation by the ColdFusion engineering team, and speaks to just how truly innovative and different the CFMX7 release really is, compared to anything that's gone before.

The ColdFusion team is obviously very proud of ColdFusion MX 7, and we very much hope you are being treated even more like heroes with this new, powerful, unique and innovative set of new capabilities and tools at your disposal to solve new classes of problems and give your customers a really great user experience through your own innovation!

Damon


ColdFusion MX 7 Japanese is Available
ColdFusion MX 7 is available for Japanese and we have a really super sweet banner ad for ColdFusion MX 7 on the Macromedia Japanese home page...

Check it out!

(NOTE: You may need to refresh the page a few times to see it rotate through): Macromedia Japanese Main Site

Damon


SMS Taxis, Tickets and the Coming End of On-Hold Muzak
Still surprising to many in North America, but in the world of mobile, true innovation really is happening elsewhere (sometimes elswhere first).

I think we should all pay attention, as mobile devices, mobile apps (of all kinds) and SMS usage is on a sharp up-ramp in the US (we've only been able to send text messages across all the major carriers for about 1.5 years in the US!)

If you're looking for interesting uses of SMS coming to the US in the next 2-3 years, look overseas today. SMS Banking and other everyday uses like credit card fraud notification/verifications, etc, etc are coming, and ColdFusion will be right there as the easiest way to build and deploy these apps.

Without a doubt, these apps aren't necessarily sexy, and they're certainly not Rich Internet Apps, and they DO have some severe limitations (160 char message lengths, etc), but you CAN interact realtime with masses of people securely today, regardless of carrier, platform, device or location, and all you need is one phone number (theirs or your short code) for one side or the other to initiate an interactive conversation (push or pull).

You also have the mobile users' phone number when they send a text message, and you can use that to verify identity, call them to verify or clarify info, or respond with a confirmation text message when they initiate the text conversation).

One simple and innovative use of SMS in China: SMS Taxi Service ...(SMS pizza, movie tickets and restaurant reservations anyone??)

How about getting a train ticket with your phone? How about an airline ticket or other tickets?

Never mind the possibilities available when un-manned mobile SMS devices can be used and easily call home office for help (vandalized billboard or bank machine, a soda vending machine that needs to be refilled, an automobile that needs service), or remote status of remote devices can be autonomously obtained (head office polls all status gas pumps for their current readings and optimizes delivery routes without station intervention)...

Everywhere you look, you can see where this technology can be pout to use to streamline processes, improve customer service and make life better for millions.

The fact that you can mobile SMS-enable your business or organization today with just a few minutes/hours/days of effort with Macromedia ColdFusion MX 7 and the included SMS Event Gateway is a key breakthrough, since until now, these apps have been very hard to build and deploy in a robust, reliable, tested fashion that met carrier-level requirements for behavior, reliability and scalability.

I'm particularly hopeful this will all lead to the eventual marginalizing of "On Hold" Muzak, "Your call is important to us..." messages and endless transfers among customer service & support reps where I can easily get things done in seconds myself using just my mobile phone.

Damon

March 23, 2005
Compile, Package, Deploy and Cluster Your CFMX7 App As EAR/WAR, With Your Mouse
Great CFMX 7 Article that details how to do clustering, packaging of your apps as plain self-contained J2EE EAR/WAR files, and sourceless CFML application deployment...all from the comfort of your local Administrator using one hand and nothing but your mouse!

Managing Clusters with Enterprise Manager and Packaging Applications in ColdFusion MX 7

Damon