Challenges Faced By A ColdFusion Developer

As a commercial web application development framework, Adobe ColdFusion comes with features to simplify and speed up web application development and maintenance. It allows programmers to write websites in a tag-based web scripting language – ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML), and accomplish common web development tasks with simple HTML style tags. The users can further curtail development time significantly by using the integrated development environment (IDE) and debugging, testing and troubleshooting tools provided by ColdFusion.

Each new version of ColdFusion also comes with several new language features and enhancements to meet the emerging trend in web application development. For instance, ColdFusion (2016 release) enables programmers to develop, publish, monitor, and manage APIs more efficiently through an API Manager. It further provides a command line interface, and comes with features to enhance PDF generation and security. But the ColdFusion developers still have to address a number of issues to accelerate web application development and testing.

Understanding 5 Common Challenges in ColdFusion Development

1) Accomplishing Tasks with CFScript

While developing web applications with ColdFusion, programmers often write code in an extended version of CFML – CFScript. But CFScript lacks some of the advanced features provided by CFML. Hence, the scripting version of CFML requires developers to accomplish common programming tasks by writing additional code. Also, many programmers consider CFScript to be less efficient than JavaScript. They even find it easier to accomplish common tasks by using JavaScript instead of CFScript. Hence, ColdFusion developers have to explore ways to enhance the performance of CFScript.

2) Avoid Writing Lengthy and Complex Code

The open source web application development frameworks and tools are supported by large and active communities. The members of the community release new tools and share code snippets to make it easier for others to use the web framework. The smart web developers always take advantage of the code snippets and prewritten scripts shared by other members of the community to avoid writing longer lines of code. But ColdFusion lacks the support of a large community as it is an open source web application development frameworks. Hence, the developers have to write lengthy and complex code while building custom web applications with ColdFusion. They even have to explore ways to reduce coding time on a regular basis.

3) Choosing the Right Debugging Tool

Nowadays, the user experience delivered by a web application impacts its popularity and profitability directly. Hence, the web developers need to debug their code consistently and repair the bugs or defects in the code immediately. Most web frameworks come with built-in debugging tools to help programmers debug their code efficiently and consistently. But ColdFusion is not designed with any built-in debugging tools. It requires developers to debug their programs by using ColdFusion debugging tools like Quackit and Fusion Debug. But the developers have to incur additional expenses to avail these debugging tools. The even find it challenging to pick the right ColdFusion debugging tool for each project.

4) Keeping Code Base Clean and Organized

Nowadays, most enterprises require web developers to keep the source code of the web application clean and organized. The clean and structured code base makes it easier for programmers to maintain and update the website without putting extra time and effort. Many developers opt for web frameworks that support model-view-controller (MVC) architecture to keep the application code maintainable and structured by keeping the business logic and user interface layers separated. At present, ColdFusion does not support MVC architecture. The developers have to use specific MVC frameworks – FuseBox, ColdBox, Mach-II and Model-Glue – for ColdFusion to keep the application code base clean and organized. Often ColdFusion developers find it challenging to pick the right MVC framework according to specific needs of the project.

5) Simplifying Code Installation Process

The ColdFusion developers use a variety of third-party APIs and tools to make the ColdFusion application deliver richer user experience. Hence, the developers explore ways to install, update, configure and remove the application and all its dependencies smoothly. The package manager tools provided by other web frameworks make it easier for programmers to automate the code installation process. Unlike other modern web frameworks, ColdFusion does not come with a built-in package manager. Hence, the users have to put additional time and effort to install the code base perfectly. They also need to fix a number of issues and errors associated with manual code installation. Many developers even use third-party command line tools and package managers to deploy the web application quickly and smoothly.

The developers have option to choose from three distinct editions of ColdFusion – standard, developer and enterprises. The features included in various editions of ColdFusion differ. The users have to incur additional expenses to avail all new features and enhancements provided by the latest version of ColdFusion. Hence, many web developers find it challenging to curtail project overheads while developing web applications with ColdFusion.

Web Site Development – The Roles of Web Designers and Web Programmers

A web site is a software package. By definition, a package is a ready-made program that is available to users for use to perform some tasks. These users include non-IT professionals. Thus, a web site qualifies to be a package like Microsoft Office, Peachtree Accounting packages.

Before the revolution of The Web (WWW), development of software package was the exclusive preserve of skillful programmers. Programmers or software developers develop the logic of programs which a package will eventually use to function. This logic building aspect of software development requires high level of intellect. This together with the intricacies of mastering programming languages made the development of packages uninteresting and unattractive to a large spectrum of people.

Following the revolution of The Web, it became possible for non-programmers to develop packages right from the inception. These are web-based packages and of course, web sites, requiring no programming skills. The result was the creation of a new type of profession called Web Design. A web designer is someone who organizes a web page by arranging texts, pictures, animations, forms etc on a page and formats them to produce good presentation. All he needs do is to make use of any of the appropriate web development tools like Macromedia Visual Studio and Microsoft FrontPage. Through the Design section of Macromedia Dreamweaver, for example, you can design a whole web page without using HTML codes. What you have is a web site. A web site is one or more web pages. These web development tools are the equivalent of what the popular package Adobe PageMaker does which is to organize and format pages of books, magazines, newspapers etc. No programming is required.

The limitation of web designing is the creation of static web sites which may be suitable for some applications but not all. They produce non-interactive and non-dynamic web sites that are unsuitable for certain applications and needs. For example, online registration. The role of a web designer stops at this point and that of a web programmer begins. As a result of the limitation of static web sites, the need to move further arose. People wanted sites where they could post forms for tasks like creating accounts online and authentication of passwords. This led to the development of web programming languages otherwise known as scripts. Examples are JavaScript, ASP, ASP.NET, JSP, PHP, ColdFusion etc. The result was the creation of the profession of web programming. A web programmer is someone who develops programs for the purpose of performing automated tasks on a web site. Some prefer to call them software developers. Example of such tasks are:

  1. Data validation.
  2. Form submission.
  3. Sign Up.
  4. Database search.

Thus, it became possible to develop dynamic and interactive web sites capable of doing what conventional software could do on stand-alone computer and network using non-internet technologies. Online banking, stock broking are examples. These functions can now be carried out entirely on internet. To develop functional scripts for such automated tasks, logic building and mastery of the programming language to use in terms of syntax are required. Most of the programs are written from scratch.

Can you be a web designer and a web programmer? Yes, you can. There are people who double as web designer and web programmer but specialists are noted for doing better in their respective fields of specialization than non-specialists. Some sites do not require more than web designing but many sites nowadays require both web designing and web programming like the multi-tier applications that have presentation layer, the logic layer that interfaces the presentation layer with the database, and the data layer that contains the database. There are even database specialists who design database and write what is called stored procedures and triggers right inside the database. The use of stored procedures increases the overall efficiency of site execution as it minimizes the number of times SQL statements are parsed, compiled, and optimized during execution. You can see that site development is quite deep.

The roles of web designers and web programmers are complementary in the development of web site. You need to identify where your ability lies and allow that to inform your choice of area of specialization. If you know you have the ability to write programs, you can go beyond web designing and become a web programmer but if it is otherwise, stick to web designing and continue to grow and sharpen your skills. The truth of the matter is that programming is not for everybody.

If you are a conventional graphic artist, you will find it easy to crossover to web designing and if you are a conventional programmer, you can readily crossover to web programming. What I mean by conventional graphic artists are those who have the expertise in the use of tools like CorelDraw, Photoshop, and PageMaker to perform Desktop Publishing tasks. By conventional programmers, I mean the experts in programming languages like C++, FoxPro, COBOL, and Dbase.

As long as you can determine where your ability lies, you will surely overcome frustrations in your tasks of developing web sites and you will continue to enjoy what you are doing. If you are a web designer and you have a job that involves programming which you cannot handle, look for assistance from a web programmer. If you are a web programmer and you are having issues with web designing in your task, seek the assistance of a web designer. If you can handle both areas to a very large extent, well and good.

7 Best Tips To Find the Best Outsourcing Partner

Selecting the right outsourcing partner is one of the many problems that technology-driven companies face nowadays. Marketers need to choose the best web developers, SEO specialists and other individuals to assist the growth of their online business.

However, determining the company’s expectation would be the best thing to do to establish and sustain a good online market. Before you are going to choose an outsourcing partner, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

Does the outsourcing firm you’ve selected have enough experience, particularly on the services that you’ll outsource?

Does it provide above average services compared to other companies?

Does it own the best and the most modern equipment for outsourcing use?

Does it have trained, professional and expert workers who can handle all your projects or tasks?

Asking these questions would be a great help not just for you, but also for your business. Below are the following tips on picking the right outsourcing provider for your company. These guidelines can help you find the best online business partner.

1. Have a background check. It’s like hiring a new employee for your company. You also need to check everything about the past or the recent activities that your potential online partner has accomplished.

Check out their customer feedback, the services they provide and the tasks that they have completed. Through this, you can easily decide if it will fit to your outsourcing needs.

2. Talk to their customers. This is the best technique to know more about your possible business partner. Basically, clients can give the first hand information about the services of a company.

Business owners are afraid to commit mistakes to their customers; thus, they do all they can to sustain their client’s needs for a good feedback.

3. Know their business goals. One of the important factors to consider in choosing an Internet business buddy is to know its business objectives and purposes. Through this, you can decide whether it can help your outsourcing business or not.

4. Search for good reputation and financial stability. Make sure to choose a business partner that is financially stable. This is because money is the most critical component in every outsourcing business. Also, you need to assess if the firm provides outstanding services.

5. Make sure that you’re compatible with each other. In choosing an outsourcing partner, make certain that both of you are agreeing to any concerns regarding your business. Also, you and your outsourcing partner need to make sure that your employees will be comfortable with each other.

6. Ask for samples. If you are not contented with your potential business partner’s credentials, experiences and customer feedback, you can ask them for samples of their work. This is to give you an idea on how they create projects. This lets you rate the quality of their service, technical competence and work capacity.

7. Good communication is important. In outsourcing, you can have a partner anywhere around the world, but you need to ensure that both of you are using the same language. It’s important that you can understand each other well.

You can search for BPO or business process outsourcing companies list in different search engines to help you in choosing the top outsourcing services. However, you still need to follow the tips mentioned above to guarantee a good outsourcing partner. Experience is also very important for any business because this is one characteristic of a good service provider.