NY-NJ Chapter LogoNewsletter
Fall 2001

In This Issue

From the Editors

From the Chair

Join Us in New Haven Oct. 13

Kudos for Chapter Members

Web Watch

Brave New World

In the Literature

Technology Review

Hospital Library Notes

RML Update

Focus on Complementary/ Alternative Medicine

In Memory of Anita Miller

Research Grant News

HLSP Update


Online Newsletter Index

The Newsletter is published for the members of the New York-New Jersey Chapter of the Medical Library Association.

Editor of this issue:

Gail Hendler, Ehrman Medical Library, New York University Medical School, 550 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016, S-10, Phone: 212-263-8925, Fax: 212-263-8196, E-mail: hendler@library.med.nyu.edu.

Site maintained by Webmaster: Robert Dempsey
Posted 11/8/2001
2001 NY-NJ Chapter of the Medical Library Association
Technology Review
What's Hot About ColdFusion?

by Nancy Glassman, MSLS
D. Samuel Gottesman Library,
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

The number of resources on the Internet is growing at an exponential rate, while those that exist are continually changing. Library websites often contain links to hundreds, if not thousands, of these resources. It is becoming unwieldy to maintain a website with static HTML pages alone. Updating links to a single resource often involves editing multiple pages. One solution to this problem is to use dynamic web pages using a database-driven website.

A database-driven website requires three pieces of software:

  • a database,
  • a web server and
  • a web application server.

The web application software allows the web server to communicate with the database. There are several web application server packages available, some are commercial others are open source. They include PHP, ASP (Microsoft Active Server Pages), SSI (Server Side Includes), and ColdFusion. This article will focus on ColdFusion.

ColdFusion is produced by Allaire Corporation, which has recently merged with Macromedia. It is compatible with many web servers (Apache, IIS) and operating systems (Windows, UNIX, Linux). It communicates with databases that use ODBC (Open Database Connectivity Specification), such as Access, Microsoft SQL server, MySQL, and Oracle.

ColdFusion has its own markup language, CFML, which is easy to learn, especially if you are familiar with HTML. You can recognize a ColdFusion-generated web page by the .cfm in the web browser's locator bar.

ColdFusion is expensive, costing several hundred dollars. Pricing information is available on the Allaire/Macromedia website. A good way to "test drive" ColdFusion is to download the from the Macromedia website. It contains the basic ColdFusion functions, but not some of the higher end e-commerce functions.

Some medical libraries that use ColdFusion are:

Some web developers have found creative ways to take advantage of ColdFusion's features. For some fun with ColdFusion, check out Crayola's website, http://www.crayola.com.

For more information on ColdFusion, try the following resources: