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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.


Using ColdFusion Components Part 2
Using ColdFusion Components Part 2

Last month I introduced you to ColdFusion Components - CFCs for short. Following a brief introduction to the world of objects, we looked at CFCs and their syntax, and simple calling conventions using <CFINVOKE>. This month we'll continue this topic.

Using CFCs
In the last issue we created a CFC called browser (used to perform browser identification tests) and invoked methods in it like this:

<CFINVOKE COMPONENT="browser"
METHOD="IsIE"
RETURNVARIABLE="result">
The IsIE method (which checks to see if Microsoft Internet Explorer is the browser in use) in the browser component takes an optional argument named browser and defaults to the CGI variable of the browser in use if not provided.

There are two different ways to pass arguments to component methods. The first is simply to append an attribute to the <CFINVOKE> call:

<CFINVOKE COMPONENT="browser" METHOD="IsIE"
RETURNVARIABLE="result" BROWSER="#browserid#">
Alternatively, the <CFINVOKE ARGUMENT> tag may be used, as follows:

<CFINVOKE COMPONENT="browser" METHOD="IsIE"
RETURNVARIABLE="result">
<CFINVOKEARGUMENT NAME="browser" VALUE="#browserid#">
</CFINVOKE>
The second format provides greater control over passing optional arguments (as <CFINVOKEARGUMENT> may be used conditionally or within a loop if needed). Both calling conventions do the exact same thing, so use whatever suits you best.

Alternate Invocation Options
<CFINVOKE> provides a simple way to invoke component methods, but it's by no means the only way to do so. <CFINVOKE>, as used above, actually does two things:

  1. It loads the component.
  2. It then invokes a specific method.
Multiple <CFINVOKE> calls to the same component (perhaps to different methods within the component) will each be loaded separately. As such, any processing performed within the component (initializing variables, for example) must be performed for each invocation individually, and processing is not shared between those instances.

Suppose you created a "user" component that you then invoked to obtain a user name and then invoked again to obtain a user e-mail address. Your calls might look something like this:

<CFINVOKE COMPONENT="user" METHOD="GetFullName"
USERID="#FORM.userid#" RETURNVARIABLE="name">
<CFINVOKE COMPONENT="user" METHOD="GetEMail"
USERID="#FORM.userid#" RETURNVARIABLE="email">
Notice that you'd need to pass the user ID to each invocation (as the second one would have no knowledge of the first). In addition, within the component the actual lookup would have to happen twice - once for each invocation.

A better solution would be to treat the CFC as an object, loading it using the <CFOBJECT> tag:

<CFOBJECT COMPONENT="user" NAME="objUser">
<CFINVOKE COMPONENT="#objUser#" METHOD="Init"
USERID="#FORM.userid#">
<CFINVOKE COMPONENT="#objUser#" METHOD="GetFullName"
RETURNVARIABLE="name">
<CFINVOKE COMPONENT="#objUser#" METHOD="GetEMail"
RETURNVARIABLE="email">
While <CFINVOKE> both loaded the component and executed a method, here those two steps have been separated from each other. <CFOBJECT> loads the component into an object (named using the NAME attribute). The <CFINVOKE> tags then use that existing object to invoke specific methods.

The first <CFINVOKE> call in-vokes an Init method, passing the user ID to the component. Now subsequent <CFINVOKE> calls need not pass the user ID, as the same instance of the component is being used in each call and it already knows the ID. Furthermore, within the component any user processing (perhaps reading the user from a database) would have to occur just once instead of for every method invocation.

The fact that CFCs may be used as objects creates another interesting opportunity. Although ColdFusion custom tags may not be used within <CFSCRIPT> blocks (because tags may not be used in <CFSCRIPT>), objects can be, because there is a function equivalent of <CFOBJECT> - the CreateObject() function. Since components can be loaded as objects, they can be used within <CFSCRIPT>. Here's the <CFSCRIPT> version of the previous code block:

<CFSCRIPT>
objUser=CreateObject("component", "user");
objUser.Init(FORM.userid);
name=objUser.GetFullName();
email=objUser.GetEMail();
</CFSCRIPT>
As you can see, components can be used exactly like objects, and the <CFSCRIPT> syntax is particularly useful to developers who have worked with objects in other development languages.

There are other invocation options too:

  • HTML forms may be submitted to CFC files directly (specifying the CFC file as the ACTION).
  • URLs may invoke CFCs directly, passing the method and any parameters as URL parameters in the query string.
  • Flash MX ActionScript code (using the NetServices functions) can invoke component methods (essentially a client/server application, Flash on the client invoking CFCs on the server).
  • CFCs may be consumed as Web services (more on that later).
As you can see, CFCs are very flexible and very accessible. In fact, a single well-written CFC will likely be used in all sorts of ways - and often in ways you never anticipated.

Note: As a rule, within a CFC your code should never make any assumptions about the environment it's running in and where requests are coming from. Even though CFC code has access to all scopes, you're better off never assuming that any particular scope or variable exists or that requests are being made by specific clients or specific platforms. This way your code will be far more portable.

Data Abstraction
We've now started talking about data abstraction (something I first mentioned last month). Look at the preceding code - if the user ID is passed in one invocation, how do subsequent invocations have access to it?

To explain this, take a look at the user component (file user.cfc) in Listing 1. It's by no means complete, but it is working code, and will help explain how data abstraction works.

The first thing you'll notice is that there is code that is not in any function:

<!--- Initialize variables --->
<CFSET THIS.initialized=FALSE>

Any code inside a component but not inside a particular function is constructor code, code that's automatically executed when a component is first loaded. This line of code sets a flag called initialized to FALSE. The flag is stored in the THIS scope; a special scope within a component, it persists as long as the instance of the component persists, so anything stored within it is available to all invocations. Once initialized is placed in the THIS scope, that flag is available to subsequent method calls.

The first method, Init, requires that a user ID be passed to it. It then retrieves the user record for that ID using a <CFQUERY>. If the record was retrieved (i.e., the ID was valid and usable), then Init saves a copy of it in the THIS scope and sets the initialized flag to TRUE.

The next two methods return data. GetFullName returns the user's full name (concatenating the first and last names) and GetEMail returns the e-mail address. Both methods first check to see if THIS.initialized is TRUE (if it isn't, Init was never called or the Init failed, and no user record would be present to return), and then return data from the query saved in the THIS scope. This way data needn't be reread each time it's needed.

The benefit of code like this is that, once initialized, user information is readily available throughout an application. There's no need to refer to underlying databases. If databases changed, or if additional business logic were needed or special formatting were to be applied, all that code could be localized inside the component, transparent to any invocations.

You'd need more code in the user component, of course. It would also need to know how to add, update, delete, search, and more. But you get the idea.

Persistent CFCs
It gets better. You now know that components can be loaded into objects (using the <CFOBJECT> tag or the CreateObject() function). Just as they can be loaded as standard variables (in the VARIABLES scope), they can also be loaded into persistent scopes (like SESSION or APPLICATION).

For example, if your application required users to log in, you might want to keep an instance of their user object in a SESSION variable so that it would persist for as long as the SESSION did. Look at this code:

<CFOBJECT COMPONENT="user" NAME="SESSION.objUser">
<CFINVOKE COMPONENT="#SESSION.objUser#"
METHOD="init" USERID="#FORM.userid#">
Simple as that. Now any application code could invoke methods within the object in the SESSION scope:

<CFINVOKE COMPONENT="#SESSION.objUser#"
METHOD="GetFullName" RETURNVARIABLE="name">
This will work for APPLICATION too if needed. The object will persist for as long as the scope does, and any data in the component's THIS scope will persist too.

Using Inheritance
Inheritance is a subject that really deserves a column unto itself, but here are the basics.

You've created a user object (file user.cfc) that abstracts all user processing. Now you need an administrator object that does everything the user object does plus a bit more. Rather than copy all the code into a new administrator.cfc file, you could create your component like this:

<CFCOMPONENT EXTENDS="user">
...
</CFCOMPONENT>

EXTENDS implements inheritance. As administrator.cfc extends user.cfc, everything in the user component will be accessible in the administrator component as well (even the THIS scope). Within the administrator component you could:

  • Create additional methods that will be available only in administrator.
  • Overwrite specific user methods by creating methods in administrator with the same names as methods in user.
Inheritance is an advanced concept, so I won't go into more detail just yet. But when you need it, know that it's there waiting for you.

Creating Web Services
Web services are all the rage now. Web services are simply the next generation of distributed computing, a mechanism by which to create and use parts of applications anywhere, even remotely. In Web service lingo, Web services are produced (made available for use) and then consumed (used) by other applications.

Web services aren't a ColdFusion invention. In fact, they're one of the few technologies that just about every major player in the space is backing and supporting. .NET uses them extensively, and J2EE applications support services too. This broad industry support means that Web services are going to become very important, they are going to succeed.

In addition, Web services employ several key technologies, all of which are open and standard:

  • HTTP
  • XML
  • SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol)
  • WSDL (Web Services Description File)
  • UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration)
ColdFusion MX makes consuming Web services incredibly simple - all it takes to consume a service is a single CFML tag (the same <CFINVOKE> tag you've already seen). I'll be covering Web services extensively in a future column, but for now I just want to explain how they're created in ColdFusion.

Are you ready? Hold tight - this gets really complicated. To create a Web service (that may be accessed by remote applications, not just ColdFusion), simply add the following to your <CFFUNCTION> tags:

ACCESS="remote"

That's it! By specifying that methods are accessible remotely, Cold-Fusion will make them accessible as Web services (even generating the required WSDL automatically on-the-fly).

More on this in future columns.

Securing Components
The last subject I need to mention is security. Custom tags don't need special security options. They're accessible by ColdFusion only locally so they're as secure as the rest of your ColdFusion code. But CFCs are accessible as Web services, which means they may be accessed remotely too. So how can you secure them against unauthorized access?

CFCs actually feature two security options that may be used individually or together:

1.   Each method may take an optional ACCESS attribute (as just seen). By default, ACCESS="public", which means that the method is available to all ColdFusion code on your own server (just like custom tags). To make components accessible remotely, you must explicitly state ACCESS="remote". (Additional ACCESS levels control what ColdFusion code on your server may access methods, if needed.)

2.   Methods may also have associated ROLES - groups of users that requesters must have been authenticated as in order to invoke a method. By default, no ROLES are used, but if needed this attribute provides a mechanism to grant or deny access based on login information.

So, by default, CFCs are as secure as custom tags. But if you need greater security (to manage greater accessibility), the support for that is there, ready for you to use.

Summary
As you've just seen, ColdFusion Components are incredibly powerful and flexible. They provide the power of objects while retaining the simplicity of CFML (supporting advanced object features such as inheritance and constructors), can be invoked and used in all sorts of ways, can be made to persist if needed, and can even be accessed as Web services. CFCs are the new building blocks that all ColdFusion applications should be built with. Learn them, use them, and take your code to a whole new level.

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

A site glitch -
After entering our access code for CFDJ and using the Search box users do indeed get a list of articles. By clicking on a title you can see the first page of the article - however, when you use the Next link to view subsequent pages, you are taken to sub.cfm page which provides information for subscribing to CFDJ (which we already do).

The only way to see the article is to note the Vol and Issue numbers and go to the archives and access the article through the issue content listing of articles.

This is not user-friendly!
Thanks in advance for looking at this.
Shirley


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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."
@SteveMar_Msft
 
How does Cloud Expo do it every year? Another INCREDIBLE show - our heads are spinning - so fun and informative."
@SOASoftwareInc
 
Thank you @ThingsExpo for such a great event. All of the people we met over the past three days makes us confident IoT has a bright future."
@Cnnct2me
 
One of the best conferences we have attended in a while. Great job, Cloud Expo team! Keep it going."

@Flexential


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@ThingsExpo Blogs
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There's no doubt that blockchain technology is a powerful tool for the enterprise, but bringing it mainstream has not been without challenges. As VP of Technology at 8base, Andrei is working to make developing a blockchain application accessible to anyone. With better tools, entrepreneurs and developers can work together to quickly and effectively launch applications that integrate smart contracts and blockchain technology. This will ultimately accelerate blockchain adoption on a global scale.
Whenever a new technology hits the high points of hype, everyone starts talking about it like it will solve all their business problems. Blockchain is one of those technologies. According to Gartner's latest report on the hype cycle of emerging technologies, blockchain has just passed the peak of their hype cycle curve. If you read the news articles about it, one would think it has taken over the technology world. No disruptive technology is without its challenges and potential impediments that frequently get lost in the hype. The panel will discuss their perspective on what they see as th...
Digital Transformation Blogs
Most of us already know that adopting new cloud applications can boost a business’s productivity by enabling organizations to be more agile and ready to change course in our fast-moving and connected digital world. But the rapid adoption of cloud apps and services also brings with it profound security threats, including visibility and control challenges that aren’t present in traditional on-premises environments. At the same time, the cloud – because of its interconnected, flexible and adaptable nature – can also provide new possibilities for addressing cloud security problems. By leveraging t...
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There's no doubt that blockchain technology is a powerful tool for the enterprise, but bringing it mainstream has not been without challenges. As VP of Technology at 8base, Andrei is working to make developing a blockchain application accessible to anyone. With better tools, entrepreneurs and developers can work together to quickly and effectively launch applications that integrate smart contracts and blockchain technology. This will ultimately accelerate blockchain adoption on a global scale.
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