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Run Coldfusion Locally

Posted on 2011-03-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Question...

We have a guy coming into the office claiming that he can take our coldfusion apps and put them on to flash drives to be run on our sales people's computers.

This defies common sense to me.  As a PHP guy - I'm accustomed to setting up WAMP environments - which of course always include MySQL, Apache as the server, etc.  You simply can't run the webapps without some degree of customization on the client computer - or some WAMP service like EasyPHP.  Same thing with .NET.

Is there something I'm missing about Coldfusion?  As a server side technology - I'd figure it's the same process.  How would you envision he's planning on getting Coldfusion apps (tied to MySQL databases) running on flash drives - portable to anyone's computer/laptop?
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Question by:erzoolander
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13 Comments
 
LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:gdemaria
ID: 35099003

It sounds odd to me, files are stored in the O/S and you need a web server, even if just using the CF server.
Is there a database on the flash drive as well?

Perhaps he's suggesting to boot off the flash drive?    That could work..
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:sajayc
ID: 35099112
Hi,
This is possible if a linux OS is installed on the flash drive and the computer boots to the flash drive.
If this is the case, the users desktop and files may not necessarily be available while using the application.  However, they could have a desktop profile and other apps running off the OS on flash drive.

Ask the person about this and what impact it will have on other applications on the computer.

Hope this helps.

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LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:_agx_
ID: 35099123
I'd agree. You can run portable apps but it still includes the server stuff, db, etc...

http://groups.google.com/group/railo/browse_thread/thread/f1135bf839a186f0/3334c546328ea83c?#3334c546328ea83c
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:erzoolander
ID: 35099652
Well, he's bidding for a job...and I think to a degree he's blowing smoke up the owners' (ya know).  

The impression the owner has (and in fairness it might just be miscommunication) is that once the site is developed - he can just copy it to a flash drive that our sales people can just take out with them and run on their various Windows based laptops.

Yeah, you could definitely boot off the flash drive to get the server going locally, but I don't think that's what the owner is envisioning.

...and I certainly don't want to start training sales people to do that...to be honest!
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LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:_agx_
ID: 35100258
If it's not a misunderstanding, I'm not sure what they have in mind.  Run it how? My experience is the same as yours. A server side language needs a server. Otherwise, you're just running it as a client through a browser.

But I'm curious - why run separate copies off a flash drive? That would be like running a disconnected desktop app. Is that the intent?
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:erzoolander
ID: 35100362
The owner is interested in pursuing mobile apps - or having (at the least) some sort of portable version of the website to be taken along to client meetings.  However - he wants it able to run in the event that a network connection is not present.

That's what the guy is selling him on - although - the site is driven off of dynamic content drawn from a database.  So - unless he's:

Intending to generate a million static HTML pages to contend with every possible query combination
or
Intending to utilize some sort of local webserver

I just don't see how he's going to accomplish what he's selling...at least in the form that the owner *thinks* he's getting.
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LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:_agx_
ID: 35100398
Maybe he's thinking of integrating something like Adobe AIR.  I don't know much about it but from what I've read it does have that online/offline capability.  I didn't consider it because it's not just a simple packaging of CF code.  But maybe that's what he's talking about?

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/coldfusion/articles/offline_air_orm.html
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LVL 39

Accepted Solution

by:
gdemaria earned 167 total points
ID: 35100444

For this to happen, you would need a database on your server and then REPLICATE that database down to each of the flash drives, later, you would have to merge the data back up to the server so it's all together again.

If the application has mostly read only data (such as products, options, etc) and just the ORDER is new, then it could work.  Synchronizing with the server delivers new orders up the master database and brings down and changes to the products.

However, you still have the issue of HOW.  I can't see coldfusion with a database on a flash drive doing this well.  Perhaps Flash or an iPod app could do it.

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LVL 1

Assisted Solution

by:witsCOMPUTING
witsCOMPUTING earned 166 total points
ID: 35105994
CFML needs ColdFusion application Server to execute. It is simply not possible to make portable ColdFusion Application Server and run via USB. His claim is false. BUT their is a possibility that he use Flash as Client End and put ColdFusion processing stuff on ColdFusion Server. This will work but he will have to recode the whole website.
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LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:_agx_
ID: 35111000
It is simply not possible to make portable ColdFusion Application Server and run via USB.

Technically - you can run a "a server" off a flash drive.  But that's obviously not what they're asking.

Seems like everyone agrees the goal doesn't seem possible without significant recoding.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:witsCOMPUTING
ID: 35111067
Technically - you can run a "a server" off a flash drive.  But that's obviously not what they're asking.

I would love to see that technical possibility..  Running a webserver is different thing. CF Application server runs side by side with webserver. CF App Server alone can not handle CF templates.
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LVL 52

Assisted Solution

by:_agx_
_agx_ earned 167 total points
ID: 35111314
Of course.  As I understand it, it's possible to run portable versions of the necessary server components (see link above). But I think we're all in agreement,  that's not really the goal here.  
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Author Closing Comment

by:erzoolander
ID: 35112984
That was my thought as well.  Thanks all!
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