Last week one of our big projects went online with a release of CF 8.01 final. I had personally started using CF 8 for this project in development when CF 8 was still in alfa, and while we started building EAR files against CF 8 almost a year ago, we kept using CF 7 in test / QA / production until about 5 months ago when we got the green light to move to CF 8. This move went ahead in two phases: first make the code work with CF 8 while maintaining compatibility with CF 7 and second start reaping the benefits of CF 8.

Phase one: making it work

Since I had been developing using CF 8 already we didn’t expect we needed any changes at all. So it was a bit of a disappointment when we started getting bugreports from the testing in QA. As it turned out, there were several changes in cfdocument and the client kept finding issues with alignment and the overflow of text being just a few pixels off in PDF files.  Issues that had been present in my development environemnt for well over a year, but that I had never noticed. I guess I really am more of a content person then a layout person :)

We had to go through several iterations to make things work, but the big break came when we got to build against CF 8.01 instead of CF 8. Our PDF alignment problems just disappeared. And we had a release that we could deploy on both CF7 and CF 8.

Phase two: reaping the benefits

When we had a converted all the infrastructure we could start to reap the benefits. My biggest priority was getting rid of the asynccfml gateway and replacing it with cfthread. Partially because it made the code simpler and more maintaineble, but increasingly because we experienced unexplained hung requests. I am still not sure what concurrency phenomenon exactly caused them and I am sure there were many other factors (ranging from database deadlocks to the dreadfull CreateUUID() performance), but I just wanted to get rid of them and for some reson cfthread did that.

The second one was replacing all occurences of CreateUUID() with something faster. ColdFusion uses UUIDs based on MAC addresses with very strong uniqueness guarantees, but atrocious performance. We had something that suited out needs better, but we needed at least Java 5 for it. And while CF 7.02 appeared to work with Java 5 in a test environment (or at least the parts we needed to work), we had to wait until it was supported before we could put it in production.

The third thing on my list is something I just realized when I was thinking about this post. It was not a deliberate priority but just evolved when writing code and it comes as somewhat of a surprise to me. What it is you may ask? The combination of creating structures inline in one line and using an attributecollection:

	<cfset variables.atts = {
		server = application.settings["SMTPserver"]
		, port=application.settings["SMTPport"]
		, username=application.settings["SMTPusername"]
		, password=application.settings["SMTPpassword"]
		} />
	<cffunction name="getSendCandidateEmail" access="private" returntype="void">
		<cfargument name="to" required="true" type="string" />
		<cfargument name="subject" required="true" type="string" />
		<cfargument name="body" required="true" type="string" />
		<cfargument name="BCC" required="false" type="boolean" default="false" />
		<cfset var localAtts = Duplicate(variables.atts) />
		<cfset = />
		<cfset localAtts.subject = variables.subject />
		<cfif areguments.bcc />
			<cfset localAtts.bcc = variables.bccAddress />
		<cfmail attributeCollection="#localAtts#" />#arguments.body#</cfmail>

If you had asked me a year ago, neither inline structures nor the attributeCollection would have made my top 10 of favourite new features in CF 8.


  1. Martijn van der Woud says:

    Hi Jochem,

    I am curious about your alternative for createUUID(). Can you tell me what you replaced it with?

  2. Jochem says:

    I got a copy of the source of java.util.uuid, changed the package name and removed a hyphen in the toString() function. (This changes the generated UUID from a MAC based UUID to a random UUID.)
    Pay attention to where you obtain the source for java.util.uuid, while most versions you can download are functionally the same the licenses differ and you may not want to open source the rest of your code if you obtained a copyleft version.