I’m presenting at CFUnited (August 12th-15th) on a topic I think many will find interesting – “ColdFusion 9 & LiveCycle ES: SOA Development“. I’m hoping to spark some interest in how ColdFusion and LiveCycle ES (LCES) can be combined to do some really unique and amazing things. I had the idea for this session the day I learned about the new “ColdFusion as a Service (CFaaS)” feature in ColdFusion 9, which exposes capabilities of cfchart, cfdocument, cfimage, cfmail, cfpop, and cfpdf as web services and Flash remoting endpoints.
LiveCycle ES not only provides 100+ out-of-the-box services, it also provides the ability to combine or orchestrate these services using LiveCycle process management (workflow) capabilities. These newly created processes become new services. The LCES invocation layer exposes all of these services to the outside world through various endpoints including SOAP, Flash Remoting, EJB, watched folders, email, and in the upcoming new version of LCES, REST!
So, you have ColdFusion services and LiveCycle ES services; each set of services offers its own unique capabilities, and all of them are callable using common means. What can you do when you combine them?
When does LiveCycle ES need ColdFusion?
LiveCycle ES offers a ton of out-of-the box features, but it doesn’t include many capabilities that ColdFusion provides such as Microsoft Exchange integration, image manipulation, dynamic chart creation, and numerous other CF-abilities. If what you need is not provided by the new CfaaS in CF9, you can easily create your own services by writing custom ColdFusion components (CFCs), and as you would expect, these CFCs can also be exposed as web services or Flash Remoting endpoints.
When does ColdFusion need LiveCycle ES?
CF includes neither the workflow/process management capabilities nor most of the extensive document-related services included in LCES. CF does provide some PDF creation capabilities and in CF9, you can now add headers and footers, optimize images, and more. But when when you look at the PDF capabilities of LCES, you’ll find a long list that includes rights management, digital signatures, 2D barcodes, and much more. LiveCycle also brings human workflow features to the table for things like approval processes and collaboration, which many CF developers will likely find useful in a variety of applications.
I’m still working out the details of my session, but here’s a rough agenda:
- Introduction to ColdFusion as a Service (CFaaS)
- Introduction to LiveCycle ES
- Calling ColdFusion services from LiveCycle ES (including calling a simple CFC)
- Calling LiveCycle ES services from ColdFusion
- Exploring various use-cases where this madness actually makes a lot of sense
- Brainstorming what a new custom ColdFusion component in LCES could/should look like
This is all subject to change based on how successful my demo preparation goes, but so far, it’s looking good, and I think it will be a fun session. If you have never looked at LiveCycle ES, this is a great way to get started.
Sign up here – http://cfunited.com/2009/topics#topic-367