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Product Review - ColdFusion MX 6.1 Developer Edition

ColdFusionR MX 6.1 Developer Edition from MacromediaR is a tag-based scripting language and a development server packaged together into the convenient and easy to use Studio MX 2004 software. There are numerous features that make ColdFusion great for the beginning programmer creating dynamic websites. I will touch on a few of the most popular features that make ColdFusion a favorite.

When you install the ColdFusion software, the process includes the automatic installation of the ColdFusion development server. With this automated installation, you are saved the frustration of installing the server manually on to your computer. This is great for those just beginning to learn programming because manual installation can be very confusing. Also, like other programming languages such as ASP or PHP, you can use ColdFusion to access a database to store and retrieve data. ColdFusion works with many popular types of databases including MySQLR and OracleR.

ColdFusion makes collecting and storing data from your web clients via webpage forms easy and efficient. You can use ColdFusion to create complex, multi-level Flash and XML webpage forms and because you can add Flash based controls to your forms, they are more user intuitive and user friendly than the plain HTML based webpage forms.

The ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML) works much like the familiar HTML tag-based language. But where HTML can only create static webpages via the client-side web browser, CFML creates dynamic webpages via the server. And because CFML is a tag-based language, you can accomplish complicated tasks such as collecting and storing user data or creating charts, graphs and business reports with just a few tags instead of many lines of programming code.

Once you collect your data and store it in a database, you can use ColdFusion's CFCHART Engine and Report Builder Tool to process the data into web based reports, graphs and charts that can be integrated within the regular HTML code on webpages. ColdFusion has over 200 built-in chart styles that you can further customize as needed. You then can use ColdFusion's CFDOCUMENT output feature to convert your web based content to printable FlashPaper and PDF formats. You can also output the web content to disk or email.

ColdFusion MX 6.1 Developer Edition is included in Studio MX 2004 along with Macromedia's popular web design software DreamweaverR. This Developer Edition of ColdFusion is designed to work hand in hand with Dreamweaver so you can work within Dreamweaver's easy to use workspace to build and test your web applications.
Studio MX 2004 System Requirements

Windows
600 MHz Intel Pentium III processor or equivalent
Windows 98 SE (4.10.2222 A), Windows 2000, or Windows XP
256 MB RAM (512 MB recommended)
800 MB available disk space

Macintosh
500 MHz PowerPC G3 processor
Mac OS X 10.2.6 and later, 10.3
256 MB RAM (512 MB recommended)
500 MB available disk space




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