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This is an excerpt from the CFUN-2K CF Advisor article.
More than 700 ColdFusion developers attend
By Tom McKeon
Tom McKeon Tom McKeon and 700 other ColdFusion developers battled inclement weather and horrendous traffic to attend CFUN-2K in Washington DC. Once there, the ColdFusionists were treated to a plethora of information, company and entertainment. Organizer Michael Smith is going to find it difficult to top this event next year because this year's was so much FUN!

Battling Inclement Weather
In the last weekend of July, I had the pleasure of attending the CFUN-2K conference at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The conference was organized by Michael Smith and the folks at TeraTech and co-sponsored by Maryland ColdFusion User Group, Allaire, Capital PC User Group, Ektron, Virtualscape, MacMillan/Forta Books, Conquest Systems, ByteBack, evolutionB, Fusion Authority, Professional WAP, CF Advisor, Fusebox, CoreActive, and Granularity. It was free to attend!

Despite some inclement weather and travel nightmares, over 700 developers from across the country came together for the weekend to listen to some of the most well known leaders in the ColdFusion community. There was barely an empty seat in the house as Michael Smith welcomed everyone to the second annual CFUN conference.

Saturday morning started with a presentation by Adam Churvis of Productivity Enhancement, Inc. on Using CF, Stored Procedures, and Triggers. Adam stressed the critical need for good database design in any CF application. He previewed the next release of the CommerceBlocks line of CF development tools. Adam also noted two upcoming seminars; Ecommerce Development with CF (8/29-8/31) and Database Design for CF Developers (9/16). Further information can be found at
Packed conference at CFUN-2k

Next up was Christine Pascarella of Virtualscape who spoke on CF Hosting Tips. Christine had some great advice on what to look for when selecting a host for your CF apps. She stressed the need to decide whether security is more important to you than other features and that should factor into the decision.

After a short break, Charlie Arehart of SysteManage spoke about Developing Wireless (WML) Applications with CF. Wireless applications are said to be the next big wave and Charlie shared his experiences to date. He even gave away several copies of the new Professional WAP book from Wrox Press. Charlie wrote a chapter on WML and CF.

The morning concluded with Howie Hamlin of IMS speaking on Dynamic e-mail using ColdFusion and InFusion Mail Server. Howie demonstrated how CF and the inFusion Mail Server can be used together to create a single robust application.

Who Wants To Be A CF Millionaire?
After lunch, we were treated to a game of "Who Wants to be a CF Millionaire?" organized by Amy Brooks, Allaire's User Group Marketing Manager.

Contestants were pulled from the audience and competed for great prizes from Allaire including books, software and Allaire monogrammed clothing. No, Regis wasn't there but Adam Churvis performed well as our emcee.

The speakers started again with Steve Nelson of and chairman of the Fusebox Organization speaking on Fusebox Foundations. Sitting in for the ailing Hal Helms, Steve described the Fusebox methodology to create open standards when developing CF application architectures. Steve also announced the first ever Fusebox conference. The conference will be September 16 and all attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the soon to be published Fusebox book. For more details go to the Fusebox conference website.

John Paul Ashenfelter of TransitionPoint was next giving An Intro to Arrays, Structures, and WDDX. John Paul went through the basics of complex data types and how they are a natural fit for use with WDDX. An example of a tip that he gave was using ListtoArray and ArraytoList in order to speed up your app.

The next speaker was Robi Sen of Granularity, Inc. speaking on Electronic Commerce: Emerging Trends and Technologies. Robi discussed the directions we can expect to see e-commerce take in the near and long term.

Bill Rogers of Ektron, Inc.gave the next talk. His topic wasCoding Content Management in CF. Bill detailed how we can allow users with no HTML skills to author and post their own content and demoedEktron'seWebEditProandeMPower. Before leaving the stage, Bill gave away a free copy of both to lucky members of the audience.

Steve Nelson returned for the final talk of the day. This time around Steve discussedAdvanced Fusebox concepts using site security as an example.

Prizes, Prizes, Prizes...
Before just about every presentation, Michael Smith gave away some of the endless supply of free prizes — ColdFusion books, tons of Allaire software, software from the sponsors, and t-shirts. The front hall was also buzzing with people visiting the booths from Fusion Authority, AbleCommerce, Allaire User Groups, IMS, Ektron, and the ever-popular CF Doctor sponsored by TeraTech.

Saturday evening gave everyone a chance to relax, renew old acquaintances and make new friends at the CF Beer Bash held at the Shark Club, a popular Bethesda hangout. There were over 100 partyers at this event sponsored by Granularity, CoreActive, and TeraTech.

Sunday started, with some folks not looking quite as spry after the carousing, with Charlie Arehart returning as a pinch-speaker for Leon Chalnich. Charlie talked about Turbo-Charging Your CF Applications with Custom Tags and led us through some of the finer details of custom tags.

Next up was April Fleming, founder of the Orlando ColdFusion User Group, speaking on WDDX Case Study: Building a Cross-CFUG Search, a perfect complement to John Paul's talk on Saturday afternoon. April demonstrated and took us deep into the code of a dynamic application that passed data between different CF user groups using WDDX.

After a short break, an all-star panel of CF experts answered questions from the audience and even some stumpers from the CF Doctor. Robi Sen, Adam Churvis and many others were there to answer the audience's questions.

The morning concluded with an energetic presentation on Integration with Flash by Shlomy Gantz of CoreActive. Shlomy showed how easy it is to combine CF and Flash together and his lively demos had the audience asking for more.

Feuding CF Families
CF Family FeudThe afternoon began with a game of "CF Family Feud" organized and hosted by Chris Mosier of the Nashville ColdFusion User Group. In a close match, the "Open Tags" family defeated the "Close Tags" family. In the bonus round, the "Open Tags" were led to victory by Steve Drucker of FigLeaf Software and Mike Dickinson of the Austin, TX ColdFusion User Group.

The afternoon presentations began with Steve Drucker, CEO of FigLeaf Software presenting CF, Flash, Java and COM. Steve demonstrated combining multiple technologies together in a single application drawing oohs and ahs from the audience.

Next up was Michael Dinowitz of House of Fusion speaking on CF Programming Philosophy. Michael reminded us of how great the CF community is, but challenged us to make it even better. He cited the alarming statistic that although there are over 450,000 CFprogrammers, only 1,800 are on CF-Talk.
Michael Smith, President of TeraTech

Dave Watts, also from FigLeaf, spoke about eXtreme Debugging. Dave showed us many tools outside the realm of CF that can be beneficial for debugging CF apps.

The next presenter was Michael Imhoff of Omnicypher who spoke on Access and CF Tricks. Michael started by discussing when you should and should not use Microsoft Access. He then presented a series of tips on using Access, including stored procedures.

The final presentation of the day came from Dave Aden of Webworld Studios, Inc. Dave's presentation Spectra Tips and Tricks was well worth it for those who stayed to the end. You can find out much more about Spectra in the recently published Allaire Spectra E-Business Construction Kit,of which Dave is a co-author.

A good time was had by all. Special congratulations and thanks to conference organizer Michael Smith. Presentations and photos from the conference are available online at the conference website

Tom McKeon is the Director of Consulting Services for eBusiness Solutions at CGI, an Allaire Certified Instructor, and the founder/president of the Albany, NY ColdFusion User Group.

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