Friday, May 7, 2010

Three Helpful ColdFusion Buider Tips

Here are a few quick tips to help increase your productivity using ColdFusion Builder. 

1) Use Ctrl + Click Shortcuts

When creating an object, using a cfinclude statement, or calling a function mouse over the object, template, or function call and hold down Ctrl key to activate a hyperlink for that definition.  While holding down the ctrl key left click the hyperlink to open the file in a new editor tab. This comes in really handy when tracking down a problem.  

Creating a Component:
Using a cfinclude:

Calling a function:

2) Start your development server from CFBuilder

Assuming that you've added your development server to the Servers View in Builder, always use the Server View to start your ColdFusion server instance.   This will bind the console view to your server instance and allow the server to display valuable information in the console.  Here is a quick example of the binding in action.   

Note: This will only work if you do not have the option "Use Windows Service to start/stop the server" selected in your server definition.

Lets start by throwing an error when the local ColdFusion server was running BEFORE ColdFusion Builder was started:

Now lets go back into builder and take a look at the console view:

Nothing is there but a generic server is available message.   Now I will go into my servers view and restart my ColdFusion server and rethrow the error.   Now the console view gives us some valuable information about the error that just occurred:

This gets even more helpful as your errors get more complex because the console view will show you the entire java stack trace.

3) Use the SQL Editor (This is not the same as the RDS Query Viewer)

The SQL Editor is a very different animal than the RDS Query Viewer.  The SQL Editor can be opened by clicking Ctrl + Alt + S or by right clicking in the code editor and selecting SQL Editor. The SQL Editor in CFBuilder will allow you to edit your query, preview your results, and insert the SQL code back into your template.  The biggest difference between the SQL Editor and the RDS Query View is that the SQL Editor will provide you with SQL Code insite!   

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