Putting Wheels On ColdFusion

    August 2, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The tracking site Remote Synthesis lists 114 free and/or open source projects that relate to ColdFusion, from Ajax components to Zip function collections; one project aims to emulate the Ruby on Rails framework that has begun to attract more attention from developers.

Utilities and frameworks comprise a large selection of the projects listed for ColdFusion at Remote Synthesis. The site presently lists 26 utilities and 14 frameworks that other ColdFusion developers can use to assist with their application development.

One of the frameworks projects, ColdFusion on Wheels, proudly noted it is modeled after the Ruby on Rails framework. Web designer and developer Rob Cameron invented ColdFusion on Wheels.

Cameron listed one advantage of Wheels as “convention over configuration” on the site:

Wheels expects a basic structure in your database and uses defaults. It doesn’t expect you to define a huge XML configuration file for things to work correctly. In fact, Wheels doesn’t use XML at all. Wheels uses application.cfc the way it was meant to be used-to store standard variables, settings and options.

Cameron also wrote that Wheels has been modeled on the venerable Model-View-Controller design pattern. “Your business logic and database code naturally go into models, processing goes in controllers and display code goes in the views,” he wrote.

Doing it this way lets the ColdFusion developer organize code by units without worrying about the things other ColdFusion frameworks do, like events and listeners. That has been an advantage of Ruby on Rails, even though ColdFusion can do much of what Ruby can do.

ColdFusion on Wheels has been touted by Cameron as a framework that allows for the creation of “amazing sites and applications.” Unlike many projects, Cameron has made an effort at documenting the project, and including a video tutorial too. More projects could benefit from that example.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.