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New Year Brings Change

New Year Brings Change

For several months I've been promising there would be changes in CFDJ in the New Year. Change in the form of offering deep-focused issues. Change in the form of new regular and semi-regular columns. Well, the time has finally come. This month we are focusing on presenting data. A large number of our articles have to do with getting all of that raw data out of our databases and server memory, and onto the screen in a friendly format. This is as important, if not more important, than the functionality you code in your applications. I say this because if your user interface isn't pretty and/or easy to use, then your application most likely won't see much use. Clients and bosses like things that are pretty and they like interfaces that let them do what they want to do with your application as easily as possible. The good news is that you don't have to be a Picasso to create nice interfaces - hopefully our articles this month will shed new light on creating easy-to-use front ends.

This month we have an article by Steve Bryant about creating reusable and easy to maintain presentation layer code. Steve Nelson has written an article about using personas to visualize end-user interaction with the interfaces you create. Jeffry Houser, in his regular CF 101 column, examines grouping data for output in applications. The articles this month aren't just about creating simple HTML interfaces, either.

I have written an article that is a case study of a prototype SVG Gantt chart engine that allows designers and developers to create robust chart views of an application's underlying data. We also have an article from Matt Woodward that is a good introduction to creating Flash RIA front ends using Flex.

Presenting data is important, but so is making that data easy for people to find. Joe Cronin from Verity has written an article introducing you to the power of the Verity search engine and ways to extend it in order to make it more powerful.

In addition to articles focusing on presenting data, Phil Cruz has written part one of a series of articles examining using BlueDragon to create very portable CFML applications. How portable? How about installing and running them from a desktop icon or even running them off of a CD? Yes, THAT portable!

This month also introduces a new regular column, CF At Work. Each month, this column will focus on a case study of a company that is using ColdFusion to provide solutions, produce software, and/or just make life easier in general. Our first installment comes from Joe Zanter who works in a metallurgical lab. What is a metallurgical lab, and why would it need ColdFusion? Read his article to find out more!

Next month we'll focus on IDEs. I've received many e-mails asking for a regular CF Administration column - so look for that very soon. All this and more await you in the pages that follow and in the months ahead!

More Stories By Simon Horwith

Simon Horwith is the CIO at AboutWeb, LLC, a Washington, DC based company specializing in staff augmentation, consulting, and training. Simon is a Macromedia Certified Master Instructor and is a member of Team Macromedia. He has been using ColdFusion since version 1.5 and specializes in ColdFusion application architecture, including architecting applications that integrate with Java, Flash, Flex, and a myriad of other technologies. In addition to presenting at CFUGs and conferences around the world, he has also been a contributing author of several books and technical papers.

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