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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.


Hidden Gems
Hidden Gems

With all the talk and buzz surrounding Neo, it's important to keep in mind that ColdFusion 5 is still a relatively new product, one that many users have yet to take full advantage of. We're proud of ColdFusion 5, and rightfully so. It's the most reliable, most scalable, and most powerful ColdFusion yet, as well as the fastest server we've ever created. It's simply the best ColdFusion to date.

Although I've dedicated numerous columns this year to ColdFusion 5, I thought it worthwhile to do it once more, this time concentrating on some of the little features and enhancements that many have overlooked - features and enhancements that truly are hidden gems.

Inspecting Variables and Expressions
When debugging ColdFusion applications, it's almost always necessary to inspect the contents of variables. Simple variables can be dumped easily to screen using just a <CFOUTPUT>, like this:

<CFOUTPUT>#var#</CFOUTPUT>

But more complex variables can't be displayed that way. Arrays must be looped through, structures must be expanded, queries must be processed one row at a time, and so on. And it gets worse. Really complex variables (perhaps a structure containing an array of structures containing arrays or queries, or something like that) present developers with complicated coding challenges - not the kind of thing you want to tackle while trying to debug code. And then you need to worry about UI and presentation of this data.

Well, not anymore - I'd like to introduce you to your new debugging partner, the <CFDUMP> tag. Originally created for Spectra, this tag became so popular and useful that it made its way back into ColdFusion in CF5. So what does <CFDUMP> do? Simply put, <CFDUMP> dumps expressions, any expressions, to screen in a clean DHTML-based table. Consider this example:

<CFDUMP VAR="#fname#">

ColdFusion will display an HTML table with the variable name on the left and its value on the right.

The next example is just as simple to invoke, but SESSION.cart is actually a shopping cart structure containing an array of selections. <CFDUMP> displays all the contents in a table that can be collapsed and expanded as needed:

<CFDUMP VAR="#SESSION.cart#">

Any data can be dumped with <CFDUMP>. The next example displays all SESSION variables for the active SESSION (SESSION is a structure internally). And if one of those SESSION variables were SESSION.cart, then all of the nested data within that variable would be displayed as well:

"CFDUMP VAR="#SESSION#">

<CFDUMP> is a powerful tool, and easy to use, one that you'll wonder how you lived without.

Client-Side Regular Expression Validation
Next is one of my favorite ColdFusion 5 features. It's also one of the least known (I don't think Macromedia has even mentioned it on feature lists; the only place you'll find it is in the CFML tag docs).

You're probably familiar with <CFINPUT>, the form tag that can be used to perform client-side form validation using automatically generated JavaScript code. <CFINPUT> is very useful, but it has one serious limitation - it can't be extended easily. Let me explain: if you need to flag a field as required, if you need to validate a U.S. phone number, if you need to validate a date, then <CFINPUT> works well. But if you need to validate anything that isn't one of the supported validation types - e-mail addresses, non-U.S. phone numbers, required minimum value lengths, for example - then <CFINPUT> falls flat on its face.

Or rather, it used to. In ColdFusion 5 <CFINPUT> has been extended to let you validate just about anything you can imagine. How? By adding one new validation type, Regular Ex-pressions. In CF5 you may use a Regular Expression pattern as the validation rule for your field. ColdFusion will generate the needed JavaScript so the browser won't validate the form field unless the value matches the specified Regular Expression.

Let's look at an example. I recently created a form that had to prompt for RGB values (colors specified in amounts of red, green, and blue). RGB values are six characters long - three sets of two hexadecimal values (00 to FF). My form had three text fields, one for each of the three values. Here's the <CFINPUT> used for the first one:

<CFINPUT TYPE="text"
NAME="color_r"
VALIDATE="regular_expression"
PATTERN="[A-Fa-f0-9]{2,}"
MESSAGE="RGB value must be 00-FF"
SIZE="2"
MAXLENGTH="2">
As you can see, I used VALIDATE="regular_expression" and then provided the Regular Expression to use in the new PATTERN attribute. [A-Fa-f0-9] matches a single character of A through F (upper or lower case) or 0 through 9. The {2,} instructs the browser to accept a minimum of two instances of the previous expression. That, coupled with MAXLENGTH="2", and I have a perfect validation rule.

Here's another one - one we probably all wish were a built-in rule. It validates that an e-mail address is formed correctly:

<CFINPUT TYPE="text"
NAME="email"
VALIDATE="regular_expression"
PATTERN="[A-Za-z0-9_]+@[A-Za-z0-9_]+\.[A-Za-z]+"
MESSAGE="Please enter a valid E-Mail address">
Here the Regular Expression matches one of more alphanumeric characters (or an underscore) followed by an @ sign, followed by one or more alphanumeric characters (again allowing underscores), followed by a period, then followed by one or more alphanumeric characters. This won't actually check that a specified e-mail address is a valid working address, but it will at least prevent completely invalid addresses from being entered.

As you can see, with minimal work you can write Regular Expressions to validate all sorts of things. <CFINPUT> is limited no longer.

Note: The Regular Expressions used here aren't the same as those used in the CFML RE functions. The Regular Expressions passed to <CFINPUT> are those supported by JavaScript.

Better Log File Use
ColdFusion creates log files. Lots of them. With lots of entries in each. Log files are an invaluable debugging and troubleshooting tool - if you're able to find just the entries you need, and if you can work out what the user was doing before the log entry was generated.

That's where the new <CFLOG> tag comes in. <CFLOG> lets you write your own entries to log files (either the standard log files or your own). Look at this example:

<CFLOG APPLICATION="yes"
TEXT="User name is #user.name#">
This code writes the log text to the Application.log file. If a particular line of code were generating an error, you could insert a <CFLOG> call like this above it so that when browsing the log file you'd have enough information to properly diagnose the problem. When used in conjunction with CF5's new log viewer (in the ColdFusion Administrator), <CFLOG> makes those large log files far more manageable and accessible.

Accessing HTTP Data
ColdFusion provides access to all sorts of server, client, and environmental data via CGI and other variables. But have you ever wanted access to data not explicitly made available? If so, you must have discovered that there really is no way to get to it.

Until now. New to ColdFusion 5 is the GetHTTPRequestData() function, which exposes any and all HTTP data. Here's the function call:

<CFSET data=GetHTTPRequestData()>
GetHTTPRequestData() returns a structure containing headers, raw content, server information, and more. To display the raw content you could simply do this:

<CFOUTPUT>
#data.content#
</CFOUTPUT>
The structure also contains a second structure, names headers. You can loop through or search this structure to access every header and value. In other words, using GetHTTPRequestData(), you now have access to any and all relevant data.

Summary
ColdFusion 5 has lots of great new features that I've covered in previous columns - things like user-defined functions, graphing, querying queries, server probes, and so on. But just as compelling as these marquee features are all the little enhancements, many of which just slipped into the product with no fanfare at all.

As I stated at the start of this column, ColdFusion 5 is simply the best ColdFusion to date. If you haven't upgraded yet, do so quickly. And if you're already running CF5, look for the little features and enhancements that can make your development easier and more productive. I listed just four here. If you find others you think are significant, let me know.

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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