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AJAX on ColdFusion 5 Server

Posted on 2006-06-06
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-24
Hey Hey everyone,

Can CF5 run AJax?  I've looked into JSMX and CFAJAX but they all use the "cffunction" tag heavily in their code...and CF5 will not run that tag.  

The solution that I am trying to do is at and is 90% JavaScript right now...and it's not working correctly.  Before I began this project...everyone said to look to AJAX to accomplish this task...and it looked like it would, but since my CF5 server will not run the examples of Ajax that I have seen I turned to straight JavaScript to do it.

Not being a JavaScript Guru is my fault...but that's just how it is and I need AJAX to make up for my lacking JavaScript skills.

Thanks a lot,

Question by:inverted_2000
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

ID: 16844301
You can use AJAX.  AJAX is just a method of calling back using javascript and xml.  It has nothing to do with what server languge you are using.

Now you most likely won't be able to use a pre-built tag, but simply write it yourself.

>>I need AJAX to make up for my lacking JavaScript skills
The J in AJAX stands for Javascript.  You can't expect AJAX to "make up" for lacking skills.  If the tags people have offered to share - more likely written using newer technologies like CF MX - don't work for you then you need to write it yourself, but it requires extensive javascript to do so.

Author Comment

ID: 16844644
The how might I run something like CFAJax on CF5?

Here's the JSMX .cfc file that I would need to be recoded for CF5...can you do that?

<CFCOMPONENT output="No">
<cfsetting enablecfoutputonly="Yes" showdebugoutput="No">

      <CFFUNCTION name="getList" access="remote" returntype="void">
            <cfquery name="qList" datasource="northwind">
                  SELECT employeeId, LastName+', '+firstName AS name
                  FROM employees
                  ORDER BY lastname,firstname
            <cfset LIs = ''>
            <cfloop query="qList">
                  <cfset LIs = LIs&"<li><a href='javascript:details_request(#employeeId#);'>#name#</a></li>">
      <!--- return object --->
      <cfwddx action="cfml2js" input="#LIs#" toplevelvariable="r">

      <CFFUNCTION name="getDetails" access="remote" returntype="void">
            <CFARGUMENT name="eid" type="numeric" reqDetailsired="Yes" default="0">      
                  <cfquery name="qDetails" datasource="northwind">
                        SELECT EmployeeId,Title,FirstName,LastName,HireDate,city,region,postalcode,Notes
                        FROM employees
                        WHERE employeeId = <cfqueryparam cfsqltype="CF_SQL_INTEGER" value="#val(arguments.eid)#">
                        <!--- security statement to ensure only correct user accesses --->
                  <cfset xObj = structNew()>
                  <cfset xObj.EID = qDetails.EmployeeId>
                  <cfset xObj.title = qDetails.title>
                  <cfset xObj.firstName = qDetails.firstname>
                  <cfset xObj.lastName = qDetails.lastname>
                  <cfset xObj.hireDate = qDetails.hireDate>
                  <cfset xObj.city = qDetails.city>
                  <cfset xObj.state = qDetails.region>
                  <cfset xObj.zip = qDetails.postalcode>
                  <cfset xObj.notes = qDetails.notes>
      <!--- return object --->
      <cfwddx action="cfml2js" input="#xObj#" toplevelvariable="r">

      <CFFUNCTION name="putDetails" access="remote" returntype="void">
                  <cfquery datasource="northwind">
                        UPDATE employees
                        SET       title = <cfqueryparam cfsqltype="CF_SQL_VARCHAR" value="#arguments.title#">,
                                    firstName = <cfqueryparam cfsqltype="CF_SQL_VARCHAR" value="#arguments.firstname#">,
                                    lastName= <cfqueryparam cfsqltype="CF_SQL_VARCHAR" value="#arguments.lastname#">,
                                    hireDate = <cfqueryparam cfsqltype="CF_SQL_DATE" value="#createODBCdate(arguments.hiredate)#">,
                                    notes = <cfqueryparam cfsqltype="CF_SQL_LONGVARCHAR" value="#arguments.notes#">
                        WHERE employeeId = <cfqueryparam cfsqltype="CF_SQL_INTEGER" value="#val(arguments.eid)#">
                        <!--- security statement to ensure only correct user accesses --->
                  <cfset result = val(arguments.eid)>
                  <cfset result = 0>
      <!--- return object --->
      <cfwddx action="cfml2js" input="#result#" toplevelvariable="r">

      <!--- Read the NOTES of the readme.txt file included with this sample app before adding this functionality to your LIVE Web Applications. --->
      <CFFUNCTION name="getCityStateFromZip" access="remote" returntype="void">
            <cfargument name="zip" type="string" required="Yes" default="00000">
            <cfset result = structNew()>
            <cfset result.city = "">
            <cfset result.state = "">
            <cfhttp method="GET" url="http://www.webservicex.net//uszip.asmx/GetInfoByZIP?USZip=#arguments.zip#"/>
                  <cfset addyObj = xmlParse(cfhttp.filecontent)>
                  <cfset result.city = trim(addyObj.newDataset.table.city.xmlText)>
                  <cfset result.state = trim(addyObj.newDataset.table.state.xmlText)>
      <cfwddx action="cfml2js" input="#result#" toplevelvariable="r">


Assisted Solution

73Spyder earned 800 total points
ID: 16844661
We have found that there is not one flavor of AJX that works best.  We use a hodge podge of things.

Here are some of the sites:


Mix of AJAX & DHTML : http://www.dhtmlgoodies.com/

But as mrichmon stated none of these avoid javascript.
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Author Comment

ID: 16844702
I understand that Javascript is a key here...and I work with JS well...just not good enough to write Ajax engines...

AJax isn't the problem nor is the JavaScript engines that run it...my problem is the use of the CFFUNCTION tag in every example that I can't run on CF5.

Expert Comment

ID: 16844743

Get the Dragon!  We use and love BLueDragon!  Of course this is an outlay of $, but to use the newer technologies, it is a move that must be made at some point.


Author Comment

ID: 16844820
That looks a little overboard but thanks (o:

Maybe I should just host the pages that I need the AJax to run on a different server with CF7 on it and push it back to the main server once it is completed?

I do have another webserver crossed over (p2p networked) to the main application server.  How does that sound?

Expert Comment

ID: 16844837
For your situation, that would probably work best.


Author Comment

ID: 16844959
What cha think mrichmon?

LVL 35

Accepted Solution

mrichmon earned 1200 total points
ID: 16845119
Just got the emails.

Personally I never have used the pre-built AJAX tags.  Nor have I used cffunction.

Of course it is not a nice neat package either.

I have notbeen programming in CF lately, so most of my AJAX experience is in .NET
But again not using the pre-built tags.

So, how would you do this?

Well there are many ways.

One example:

function DoCallback(pageUrl)
      var xmlRequest;
      // branch for native XMLHttpRequest object
      if (window.XMLHttpRequest) {
        xmlRequest = new XMLHttpRequest();
      } else if (window.ActiveXObject) {
        xmlRequest = new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");
      xmlRequest.open("POST", pageUrl, false);

      return xmlRequest;

Then the function that initiates the callback such as an onblur or onchange or onclick:

function lookupPerson()
      // Send lookup in Database
      var xmlRequest = DoCallback("Lookup.cfm?CallBack=true&PersonID=" + personID);
      // Get results
      var results = xmlRequest.responseText;

      // Process results any way you want

As simple as that for the page.

Then the Lookup.cfm page is where you have the code to do the lookup.

It doesn't need cffunction - all it needs to do is the lookup you require using a cfquery and return the results in your desired format.  You could return a string.  You could return an XML file.  Whatever you return will end up in the results variable in the above javascript and you process knwing what the format is of what you sent.


Author Comment

ID: 16852203
Thanks guys...you've been a big help (o:

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