Archive for the ‘Railo’ Category

When accepting uploads from a browser, it can sometimes be handy to have access to the filename before using CFFILE to “upload” the file onto the file system. For example say you want to show an error message if the file is not a PDF. In that case what I’ve usually done is use CFFILE to place the file onto the file system, and then check the extension. If its not in my allowed list, then I delete the file and send an error message to the client. But using the code below I can check the file extension without having to use CFFILE first. For example you could do something like this:

<cfset theClientFilename = getClientFileName("myFormField")>
<cfif ListLast(theClientFilename,".") NEQ "pdf">
   // do your error handling here
  // else the extension is ok. Use cffile to handle the upload and proceed

Here is the getClientFileName function, both in cfscript and regular tag formats.
Continue reading ‘Getting the client filename before using cffile’ »

I ran into an issue today where users were unable to lookup a certain part in our system. The part in question had a µ character in the product code (don’t get me started!). I started adding some debug outputs and found that when the part number was passed to our back end system, the µ had been replaced with an ‘M’!

After some more troubleshooting I figured out the culprit was ucase(). We run all part numbers through ucase() before passing them in. At first I thought this was a CF bug, after verifying that the java string.toUpperCase() method did exactly the same thing I had to look into it some more.

It turns out that M actually is the uppercase version of µ, sort of. The µ character, which is ascii code 181, is often used to abbreviate ‘micro’ as in microamp (µA) or microfarad (µF). Its the 12th letter of the greek alphabet, ‘Mu‘. The lowercase version is μ, the uppercase version is M.

I tested this on Railo and got exactly the same result, which makes sense because I think both engines just call the .toUpperCase() method in the JVM.

So while this is technically correct, I’m certain is almost never what the developer actually wants to do. I have not found a good way around this issue, except to maybe look specifically for this character, replace it out, do the ucase(), then put the character back. For now I was able to remove the ucase() calls because they were not absolutely necessary. Any other ideas?

Update: This is what I came up with as a work around. I thought it would be slow but benchmarking it shows its 0ms even with a 50 character string.

<cffunction name="safeUcase" returntype="string" hint="Uppercases only letters">
	<cfargument name="inputString" />
	<cfset local.outputString = "" >
	<cfloop from="1" to="#Len(arguments.inputString)#" index="local.i">
		<cfset local.chr = Mid(arguments.inputString,local.i,1) />
		<cfset local.asciiCode = Asc(local.chr) />
		<cfif local.asciiCode LTE 122 AND local.asciiCode GTE 97>
			<cfset local.outputString &= ucase(local.chr) />
			<cfset local.outputString &= local.chr />

	<cfreturn local.outputString />

I just discovered a neat feature of CF9. Sometimes when calling a built in function or even a custom method, you get returned an array. But sometimes you only need one element in that array. In Perl and other languages its possible to directly access the element you want. I’m glad to see this has been added to ColdFusion9.

For example, lets say you need the second particular element in an XML document. You might fetch some XML with cffeed and then use XMLSearch() to get all the matching elements. Then reference the second element of the resulting array, like this:
Continue reading ‘Referencing returned value array values in CF9’ »

One of the new features I am excited to see in ColdFusion 9 is support for anonymous arrays. I’ve used these before in PHP, Perl, and other languages, and I’m glad to see them added to ColdFusion.

I blogged about this issue in 2007. I was trying to add a column to an existing array that I knew only had one row. QueryAddColumn() accepts an array of values to add to an existing query – one element for each row. So I only needed an array with one element. So I thought I could use CF8’s new inline array syntax and just pass it in like this:

<cfset QueryAddColumn(existingQuery,
                     ["single new value"])>

This would throw an error in CF8, but works just fine in CF9!

By the way this also works just fine in the current version of Railo.

If you are developing a ColdFusion application, or even just a stand alone CFC that you plan to distribute, you might want to make sure it runs on all three major CFML engines – Adobe ColdFusion, Railo, and Open BlueDragon. It can be tedious to always copy code around between your three test sites, but there is an easier way. You can have the same code base run through all three CFML engines at once.

There are a few caveats: Continue reading ‘Running your CFML code through Railo, OpenBD, and Adobe CF all at once’ »

I have been working on an project in my spare time that will eventually be deployed on Open BlueDragon. I ran into an error the other night after adding some methods to one my CFCs. I run all three CFML engines side by side (another blog post about that is coming soon), so I was easily able to see and compare the error messages in all three.

This was my error message in OpenBD:
Continue reading ‘Error messages on Railo, OpenBD and ColdFusion 8 compared’ »

I came across a web hosting company that not only offers Railo 3.1 but has a free 60 day trial. So if you wanted to give Railo a whirl on something other than your own local machine, here is a simple way to do it. The free trial account comes with 100mb of space and 1GB of transfer, and a MySQL database so it seems pretty usable. You’ll have PHP and Ruby on Rails enabled in your account, too.

If you didn’t know, Railo has a separate Server administrator and one or more Web Administrators. This means Railo is ideally suited for CFML hosting since you get your very own administrator where you can setup datasources, mappings, etc.

The site is

The Founder is Peter Amiri, here is his blog and on twitter: @peteramiri

Peter told me that you don’t need a credit card for the free trial, either.

If you’ve ran into this error when consuming a web service in Open BlueDragon, this may help you. Here is what my error looked like:
Continue reading ‘java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError error on OpenBD when consuming a webservice’ »

Railo 3.1, the much anticipated open source release of the Railo CFML engine was released yesterday. I’ve been playing with it the last two evenings. So far I’m very impressed. They have an “Express” version which you can get running almost instantly. I tried that, but then opted to get it working as I would for a real site – using Tomcat and Apache. It was much easier than I thought.

The administrator is very full featured with everything you would expect – scheduled tasks, ability to create database connections to MySQL and MSSQL (among several others), and search! Railo has Apache Lucene built right in. Creating a new Lucene index is as easy as creating Verity collection in Adobe ColdFusion. The cfsearch/cfindex tags work like you would expect them to, with a few exceptions. You can even populate and search the collection right from within the administrator.

I was happy to see that you can define multiple SMTP servers. Railo will try each of them in order if any of them are unavailable.

I also really like the way Railo has done the administrator – with one global administrator (called the server administrator) and then administrators for each site (called a web administrator). I think this is going to make it much easier for hosting companies to offer CFML support.