October 21 - 24, 2001
Macromedia DevCon 2001

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin
Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Home Page Photos CF Conf Central

Macromedia Devcon 2001 - Keynote Addresses
NYCFUG - Tobe Goldfinger

Monday 10/22 - Keynote Address

Moderated by Adam Berrey - VP "CF Business"
  • thanked Allaire/MM User Group mgrs, Listserv owners, Community site owners, etc
Kevin Lynch - President MM - "Future of Internet Applications" re: user experience/usability
  • Expect to see Flash for front-ending a db application; getting past "skip intro" flash stuff
  • Need more loosely coupled ways (i.e. not difficult COM+, EJB ways) to integrate web sites - getting there finally w/ XML and Web Services
  • These are the focus/strategies now at MM to get us to the next world of web apps:
    - Working closely w/ .NET, Websphere, Java-SunOne (i.e. the Web Services world)
    - Using multiple devices to access the web - palmtops, cell phones, TV's
    - Need better interfaces and ability to work online and offline
Adam re: CF5 - mini-movie
  • Reviews/blurbs from Infoworld, CNet, Network World, etc
  • Mini-interviews from Crayola, half.com, East Carolina Univ, APC, FAO Schwartz
  • 3 core themes of CF5 were (and they have achieved on all 3 fronts)
    - increased productivity
    - increased performance
    - increased manageability (admin)
Tim Buntel - Product Mgr - CF5 demo and CF Studio 5
  • 2 filetree tabs to keep your place in 2 places at the same time (eg webroot and custom tags folders)
  • Help opens in a new window (not the Browse page of whatever you're working on)
  • New autobackup features
  • Backup after global search/replace
  • Can right-click on a CFINCLUDE and you have option to easily open that file (similarly right-click an image and you can open it in Fireworks)
  • Discussed query of query to combine pop email and db of customers to route inbound email to the appropriate department/individual
  • Showed CFFlush progress meter in Flash<
  • Announced MM Flash & CF Resources Center and Flash Jumpstart Toolkit (find URL's for these on the MM site)
  • Demo - broadmoor.com - combine multistep form page reservation process to one Flash GUI
  • Showed UDF's and CFDump
Jeremy Allaire, CTO MM
  • R&D team now is the largest ever
  • CF is the focus of MM server strategy
  • Investment in visual tools is also big development
  • Many more CF books out there
  • NEO Takeaways:
    - Continue tradition that CF is still the easiest way to build powerful web apps
    - Make it easy to deploy J2EE compliant apps
    - And backed by the industry
  • Answers to Common Questions about Neo
    - Will it be backward compatible - YES
    - Will it be able to run standalone - YES (embedded JRun)
    - Have to learn Java - NO
    - Have new features - YES (expect exciting new stuff but not really showing much of it yet)
    - JRun continue to be available separately - YES
    - When will it be available - (sometime in) 2002
  • Neo - Benefits of new Java architecture
    • Performance improvements - take advantage of all the research that the industry has been doing to optimize the JVM's
    • Deployment options broader (broader platform support--ie will run anywhere J2EE servers run, right now CF limited to NT and a few Unix environments)
    • Compiled code can be distributed - improved security and portability
    • Increased interoperability w/ Java/Java API's so extending an app will be easier, more flexibility for the development team (can combine a CF app with JSP's, Servlets, EJB's as needed) Improved support for global apps (Unicode support)
    • ANNOUNCEMENT- will support IBM Websphere, BEA Weblogic recognizing that companies are making standards decisions on app server infrastructure so CF doesn't just co-exist w/ these standards-it actually enhances them
    • ANNOUNCEMENT- strong support/interoperability w/ .NET platform. SOAP/Web Services built in .NET can be used in CF programs or expose your own CF services to .NET code; support for Passport and .Net MyServices suite (formerly known as Hailstorm)
Ben Forta - senior evangelist, CF
Sneak peak at NEO
  • Java does the heavy lifting (messaging, queueing, transactions, directory services); CF excels at programming the user interface (URL/form handling, integration w/ Flash)
  • The best environment is not Java or CF - but using both together
  • IMPORTANT - don't confuse Java the language w/ Java the platform. Neo will be in Java the platform but you won't have to code in Java the language if you don't want to!
  • Demo - button creator - CF code simply calls JSP stuff - tons of stuff out there - free & commercial you'll be able to take advantage of
  • Demo - page that changes to different languages
  • Demo - snap in alternate debugging templates (selected in CFAdmin) to get progressively more detail info if you need it. (debugger is not built into the app server - it's more at a code level - that's why you can customize it)
  • Demo- if have multiple apps on the server, they're protected from each other - have 2 copies of Neo running - put one into an endless loop--- and see the other one is running just fine. Another benefit of java architecture--- more deployment/configuration options
Getting Ready for Neo
  • should be running CF5!!!! (Don't wait for SP1. There won't be any.)
  • Start integrating w/ back-end Java if you want to
  • (basically made it sound like there's nothing to do to get ready except migrate apps to CF5)
Jeremy - wrapup
Helping industry leaders understand the opportunity Neo represents - even for their platforms…. IBM, BEA, Sun, Intel ALL endorse Neo! (mini-movie). (Of course this support most noticeable because of the presence/participation of these vendors at the conference….. something we never saw in the past!)

Tuesday 10/23 - Keynote Address

No new features to be announced, but plenty of sneak peaks!
(Details may change by the time Neo is released) Better sense of how the diff MM products are coming together to enable diverse staff to work together
XYZ Development- fictional project - constantly changing customer requirements
  • connect to backend java system; get news via .Net; activity scheduler needs friendlier interface
  • later added requirement for PDA mini-app and 3-D flyover vacation island (used MM Designer)
  • demo'd Sitespring
  • sneak peak at IDE (looks a lot more like ultradev than studio)
  • data bindings and server behaviors, and debugging popup window while browsing the test rendered page; combining the best of visual development w/ the best of coding environment and additional layer of tools to work w/ Neo
  • new: imported jsp tag library to easily call EJB from Neo cfm page
  • new: CFINVOKE tag (to invoke web services; that's how they're going to integrate w/ .Net)
  • new: CFXMLTransform tag
  • Note: Neo allows you to work w/ Web Services without dealing w/ XML underneath if you don't need to, or work w/ XML directly, if that's what you need
"Java guy" working in JBuilder to build the EJB's - new Enterprise Deployment Wizard for JBuilder (and other similar products) to package beans to a jar and deploy to a JRun server, seamless integration, part of "Open Tools Strategy"
.CFC file: ColdFusion Component
  • wrap up pieces of code that have something in common
  • easy to describe, deploy, share
  • (Note: clearly based on what a java class looks like (methods and properties))
  • some form of OO structure for your CF code! (if you want it); allow you to build reusable frameworks to make team development easier (but the point is not to re-invent full-blown Java here….if that's what you want to do, code those pieces in Java)
  • by calling the CFC directly in the browser, you see all the Hints (comments) that describe the component's methods, etc (very similar to JavaDocs), so can give the cfc to other team members and they can use the component's ability to describe itself to know how to use it the right way
  • can code in regular CF-style or CFSCRIPT syntax
  • CFC is the basis for exposing CF processing as a Web Service (for other server-side technologies and for Flash!). Neo does all the hard work….. as usual, CF tags encapsulate the mess.
The UI - Flash
  • For lots of text and document-centric layout, HTML is fine, but HTML breaks down for complex, interactive tasks (e.g. appointment book style scheduler)
  • Future-style interfaces are being done today but in the future it'll be a lot easier
  • Drag and drop reusable code components, connect to CF on server
  • Flash coding environment will look for friendly to those comfortable w/ coding tools
  • Develop for desktop and PDA - make form factor a little smaller but functionality the same; Flash5 player available for PocketPC and many other CE devices (don't forget, MS TabletPC is coming!)
  • It'll be simple to build components for web pages, rich client (Flash), and other services to use
  • It'll be simple to use other people's components
  • Seen some of the best of visual development and visual interfaces that can be built, and cutting edge 3D
  • This is the vision for what development can be like - and CF5
  • Flash5 are already awesome today!

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