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Learning Lab

ColdFusion MX on Mac OS X, Part 4

by Dick Applebaum

Well, since we last got together, events have overtaken us. In Part 3, we had just gotten our port of ColdFusion MX (CFMX) Linux to run on the Mac.

On Jan 7, 2003 Macromedia announced that the combination of JRun and CFMXJ2EE are available for the Mac.

This changes everything!

JRun is a J2EE-Certified application server. It can be used to deploy enterprise-level applications on the Mac.

CFMX for J2EE (CFMXJ2EE) is our old friend, in a new package, that can be used to develop ColdFusion enterprise-level applications.

CFMX for J2EE applications, developed on the Mac, can be deployed on several platforms that support CFMX for J2EE in a production environment.

As of this writing, Macromedia has not announced a CFMX for J2EE production product for the Mac (more on that later).

Related Reading

Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual
By David Pogue

We still don't have a complete solution for the Mac, but we are a lot closer than we were on January 6, 2003.

In this article, we will transition from the unsupported port to the fully-supported development environment using CFMX for J2EE and JRun.

With a wink, a nod, and a tip of the hat, we will bid the ugly port a fond good day!

Our new system is superior in every way. Just to whet your appetite a little:

  • These are legitimate products -- we can report bugs and expect fixes.
  • Things like Web Services, which never worked in the port, work now.
  • We can deploy CFMXJ2EE on Tomcat or JRun on the Mac.
  • Both CFMXJ2EE and JRun Developer are free (and supported).
  • You can install multiple instances of CFMXJ2EE on JRun and run them concurrently, isolated from one another.
  • You can install duplicate instances of CFMXJ2EE on JRun and cluster them with automatic load balancing.
  • You can integrate your CFMJXJ2EE applications with JSPs, tag libraries, servlets, EJBs, and other components of a J2EE enterprise system.
  • You can connect to the built-in Apache Web server so your URLs no longer need to include a port number, and your CFMXJ2EE programs can coexist with Web applications in other languages.

There are many more advantages, and we will cover them in future articles.

Another thing we will do is structure the articles so that they focus on a single topic (as much as is practical). We are attempting to make the articles smaller, independent, and more concise. This should reduce the lead time between articles, and make them more responsive to the interests of our readers.

Lofty goals? Yeah, but let's give it a try. To assure that we are all starting at the same place, I will assume that:

  1. You are running Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) or better.
  2. You have installed JRun for Mac OS X.
  3. You have deployed CFMX for J2EE on JRun on a server named cfmx1 (that's the name I used -- you can substitute your server name for cfmx1 wherever it appears in this article).

Something that every good CF developer needs is a way to interactively manipulate databases. The sole technical topic of this article is to install ViennaSQL and interface it to the PointBase database shipped with CFMKJ2EE.

Install ViennaSQL GUI SQL Client

One of the most powerful features of ColdFusion MX is its ability to easily interface many SQL database systems. One thing that is not provided is a general-purpose GUI SQL client -- a program that we can use interactively to create and maintain SQL databases and tables, and to develop and test our SQL queries.

As we will see, some database systems come with their own custom GUI SQL clients -- this is fine if these are the only database systems you use. What do you do, however, if you need to use a database system that has no interactive GUI SQL client?

We are fortunate that several general-purpose GUI SQL clients exist, and are available as open source. The one we are going to use is ViennaSQL. It is totally written in Java, so it will run without change on Mac OS X. It can interface any database that has a JDBC driver. All of the databases we will use with CFMX have JDBC drivers -- we will be setting up these in due course.

Author's Note: JDBC stands for Java Data Base Connectivity. It is an open standard to define a consistent means for Java programs to interface databases. By furnishing a JDBC driver, database providers allow their databases to be used by any Java program; in our case, CFMX (through <cfquery> tags), and ViennaSQL.

Let's get started!

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