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  Think Big – Now Think Even Bigger
  Join Us at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo, November 11-13,
at the Javits Center!


The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.

All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend Internet of Things at Cloud Expo in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be!

Delegates to Internet of Things at Cloud Expo will be able to attend eight separate, information-packed tracks:

  • Enterprise Cloud
  • Digital Transformation
  • The API Enterprise | Mobility & Security
  • DevOps | Containers & Microservices
  • Cognitive Computing | AI, ML, DL
  • Big Data | Analytics
  • IoT | IIoT | Smart Cities
  • Hot Topics | FinTech | WebRTC

There are 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content.


We'll see you in New York!



Day 3 Keynote at @ThingsExpo | Chris Matthieu, CTO of Octoblu
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu's platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
  Themes & Topics to Be Discussed

Consumer IoT
• Wearables
• Smart Appliances
• Smart Cars
• Smartphones 2.0
• Automation
• Smart Travel
• Personal Fitness
• Health Care
• Personalized Marketing
• Customized Shopping
• Personal Finance
• The Digital Divide
• Mobile Cash & Markets
• Games & The IoT
• The Future of Education
• Virtual Reality

Enterprise IoT
• The Business Case for
x IoT
• Smart Grids
• Smart Cities
• Smart Transportation
• The Smart Home
• M2M
• Authentication/Security
• Wiring the IoT
• The Internet of
x Everything
• Digital Transformation
x of Enterprise IT
• Agriculture
• Transportation
• Manufacturing
• Local & State
x Government
• Federal Government

IoT Developers | WebRTC Summit
• Eclipse Foundation
• Cloud Foundry
• Linux Containers
• Node-Red
• Open Source Hardware
• Ajax and the IoT
• Leveraging SOA
• Multi-Cloud IoT
• Evolving Standards
• WebSockets
• Security & Privacy
x Protocols
• GPS & Proximity
x Services
• Bluetooth/RFID/etc
• XMPP
• Nest Labs



The Top Keynotes, the Best Sessions, a Rock Star Faculty and the Most Qualified Delegates of ANY Internet of Things Event!


The future of computing lies in these things. As computing takes a much more active role in our lives it will at the same time become much more invisible. Internet of Things Expo will address the challenges in getting from where we are today to this future.
 
The high-energy event is a must-attend for senior technologists from CEOs on down – including CIOs, CTOs, directors of infrastructure, VPs of technology, IT directors and managers, network and storage managers, network engineers, enterprise architects, and communications and networking specialists.




@ThingsExpo Power Panel | The World's Many IoTs: Which Are the Most Important?
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Benefits of Attending the Three-Day Technical Program
  LEARNexactly why Internet of Things is relevant today from an economic, business and technology standpoint.
  HEAR first-hand from industry experts the common issues and requirements for creating a platform for the Internet of Things.
  SEE what new tools and approaches the Internet of Things requires.
  DISCOVER how to drive a distributed approach to the Internet of Things, where applications move to the data.
  FIND OUThow the vast volumes of new data produced by the Internet of Things provides a valuable new source of business insight through advanced analytical techniques.
  MASTER how the ongoing development of smart cities, cars, and houses will enhance connectivity infrastructure.
Lunch Power Panel | Microservices & IoT- Moderated by Jason Bloomberg
In this Power Panel at @DevOpsSummit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, president of Intellyx, panelists Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at Akana; Lori MacVittie, Evangelist for F5 Networks; and Troy Topnik, ActiveState's Technical Product Manager; and Otis Gospodnetic, founder of Sematext; peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem filling in your buzzword bingo cards.


Managing Stale Updates
Managing Stale Updates

I receive lots of e-mail from lots of ColdFusion developers, and make every effort to respond to each and every one of them. Knowing the problems that ColdFusion developers are attempting to solve helps me know what topics to write and speak about. Indeed, the inspiration for most of my CFDJ columns comes from questions and comments from readers. So when I received two e-mails in one week asking about how to handle database locks when locks can't be used, well, the result is the column you are reading.

The Problem
Let's start with the problem. You write an application that allows users to update database rows. Simple, right? You allow the user to select the row to be updated, you provide an edit form, and then you create an UPDATE statement to save the changes. Simple.

Or is it? Consider this scenario:

  • User A selects a row to edit and is presented with an update form.
  • User B selects the same row to edit and is thus presented with the same update form.
  • User B submits the form and saves the changes.
  • User A then submits the form and saves the changes, overwriting user B's changes.

    Not so simple after all.

    This is a classic database problem, a situation that every database front end needs to address. The solution usually involves database locks. A database lock is just that, a lock implemented at the database level; locking a row prevents any other requests from making updates or even placing a lock, so using database locks, the prior scenario would play out like this:

  • User A selects a row to edit, the row is locked, and user A is presented with an update form.
  • User B tries to select the same row and is notified that the desired row is in use.
  • User A submits the form, the changes are saved, and the row is unlocked.
  • User B is then free to lock and edit the row.

    This type of locking occurs within the database (not in the client), and most databases provide mechanisms with which to lock and unlock rows as needed.

    But this is where things start to get messy - database locks are generally only of use within a database session, as long as clients are connected to the database. Database locks are rather useless when the client is a Web browser accessing the database via an application server. The page and script development model used in browser-based applications makes database locking very tricky - there is typically no clean way to lock a row in one page and then unlock it in another page. And even if there was, because Web browsers are not connected clients (connections are made and broken as needed), you'd run the risk of having locks that never get unlocked, page refreshes unable to access data as the same client already has a lock, and more.

    This is not a ColdFusion problem, this is a fundamental limitation of Web clients - the statelessness of the Web makes traditional database locking not very useful. Database locks can work on a single page but not across pages. As for ColdFusion developers, <CFLOCK> can't help you here. For starters <CFLOCK> only locks within ColdFusion and would be useless if other clients were used too. But more important, <CFLOCK> can only lock within a request and cannot span requests (just like database locks). <CFTRANSACTION> has the same limitations.

    So, are there any options? Actually, there are several, all usable and all imperfect. I am going to present three of these to you and explain the pros and cons of each.

    Solution 1: Database Flags
    One obvious solution is to implement your own database-locking scheme to be used in lieu of actual locking. This usually involves adding a flag field to each database table, maybe called "locked." You could set this field value to true (1) to place a lock and to false (0) to release a lock. You (and all developers) would need to check this field before any update (or delete) operations are attempted, and would be responsible to set the value yourself.

    This is actually a very workable solution, one that can even work when multiple clients are used (not just your ColdFusion code).

    It is also a very risky solution. Why? First of all, you and your developers will need to be sure to always check and set the flags, and it is dangerous to rely on developers remembering to do this. You could enforce the process by not allowing direct access to the tables and forcing the use of stored procedures, but that is a lot of work and the wrapper code is not trivial. But the biggest problem with this solution is that you'd need to implement a way to deal with orphan locks. What would happen if a user requested a row (locking it) and then closed the browser or went to another page? What would happen if the user tried to refresh the page and was told that the row was locked even though it was that user who placed the lock? The risk of orphan locks is very high, so you would need to implement a timeout mechanism of your own.

    Solution 2: The 'Lock List'
    Another option is to maintain your own lock list. In ColdFusion this could be an array in the APPLICATION scope that stores the primary keys of rows that are "locked." When a user wants to lock a row, your code would scan the array to see if that row's primary key was already listed as locked. If yes, you'd not allow the lock, and if not, you'd lock it by adding it to the array.

    As a ColdFusion array the code would be easy to implement, and timing out entries would not be difficult either (you'd store the lock time with the primary key and would check for timeouts regularly, maybe prior to each scan).

    But this is also a very dangerous solution. Why? Again, you and your developers would need to be careful to always scan the array, but you'd not really be able to enforce this process. But the biggest problem is that the lock list is ColdFusion specific - there is nothing to prevent another client from updating (or even deleting) the row while you have it "locked." This would make the solution useless unless you were absolutely certain that only your ColdFusion code made table changes.

    Solution 3: Just Don't Do It
    If database locks aren't usable, and manual locking schemes are too risky, then maybe the best option is to not even bother locking.

    Database locking is based on the premise that users should never be able to reach an edit screen if that edit cannot be completed. But what if you did allow them to proceed with an edit even though it might cause a conflict? What if instead of worrying about locking so as to avoid dueling edits, you allowed the edit and instead notified the user upon form submission if the edit could not be completed? How could you do this? It's quite simple.

    All you need to do is keep a copy of the pre-edit data (perhaps in SESSION variables), and then when the user submits the edit form, SELECT the row to be edited and check that it is still the same as it was when the edit form was first created (you could also check that it still exists and was not deleted). If the row contents match the saved values you would save the edits, and if not you would notify the user (perhaps showing the various changes and prompting as you see fit). Of course, the data could change even within the time between checking the record and proceeding with the update. <CFTRANSACTION> and its ISOLATION attributes can help with that, depending on the database.

    This is a very workable solution. The beauty of it is that there are no locks to clean up or time out, and the solution works even if edits are made using other clients.

    Is there a downside? Yes, first of all you and your developers need to remember to do this for each update; the process cannot be enforced. In addition, this solution would be highly inappropriate for applications where there is a frequent risk of concurrent edits (fortunately this is usually not the case). And finally, the ColdFusion code is not trivial (although a well-written Custom Tag or CFC could make the job easier).

    Summary
    The inability to use standard database locks is a real problem, and one too often overlooked by application developers. This is not a ColdFusion limitation; it is a byproduct of the very nature of the Web. Talented developers have created all sorts of solutions to this problem, and I've presented three popular ones above. Try them, experiment, and if you come up with creative solutions of your own I'd love to hear about them.

    About Ben Forta
    Ben Forta is Adobe's Senior Technical Evangelist. In that capacity he spends a considerable amount of time talking and writing about Adobe products (with an emphasis on ColdFusion and Flex), and providing feedback to help shape the future direction of the products. By the way, if you are not yet a ColdFusion user, you should be. It is an incredible product, and is truly deserving of all the praise it has been receiving. In a prior life he was a ColdFusion customer (he wrote one of the first large high visibility web sites using the product) and was so impressed he ended up working for the company that created it (Allaire). Ben is also the author of books on ColdFusion, SQL, Windows 2000, JSP, WAP, Regular Expressions, and more. Before joining Adobe (well, Allaire actually, and then Macromedia and Allaire merged, and then Adobe bought Macromedia) he helped found a company called Car.com which provides automotive services (buy a car, sell a car, etc) over the Web. Car.com (including Stoneage) is one of the largest automotive web sites out there, was written entirely in ColdFusion, and is now owned by Auto-By-Tel.

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    Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 1

    Our company is looking to hire a strategic partner to build a eCRM systems for a client.
    One company that we are looking at uses Cold Fusion. One of our employees said that we shouldn't use a company that uses Cold Fusion because it is an "outdated" language. Not being a technology person, I
    don't know if this is accurate or not. Could you give me your opinion, please.

    Our shop has adopted a very conservative approach to this issue. All tables have a last_changed field which is placed in a hidden field on all update forms. When the row is re-written this date is used in the where clause to verify that the data has not been modified since the read for the current transaction. The SQL logic for the Oracle code was a bit complicated but it works great. We just include a standard set of logic which is inserted in every update SQL statement which builds the required logic.


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    Testimonials
    This week I had the pleasure of delivering the opening keynote at Cloud Expo New York. It was amazing to be back in the great city of New York with thousands of cloud enthusiasts eager to learn about the next step on their journey to embracing a cloud-first worldl."
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    @SOASoftwareInc
     
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    @Cnnct2me
     
    One of the best conferences we have attended in a while. Great job, Cloud Expo team! Keep it going."

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