Exploring ColdFusion Builder's Services Browser

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Today I thought I'd take a look at ColdFusion Builder feature I had not paid much attention to - the Services Browser. The Services Browser has a couple of interesting functions in it that you might find pretty darn useful. Let's take a look at a sample view first:

As you can see, the Services Browser primary role is to list all the CFCs defined for a server. It creates a package base listing of each CFC. You can expand a package to see individual CFCs, and then expand a CFC to see the physical file path (which oddly you can't use as a quick way to open the file) and then each method.

Notice right away this is much more detailed then the outline view. You can see a list of arguments as well as a return type. If you expand the method itself you see details on the arguments:

Another important difference between this and the Outline view is that the Services view is not tied to your current page. So if you want to work on test.cfm and see test.cfc, you would use the Services panel.

You also have some code writing options available. Right clicking on a CFC gives you the option to insert a CFObject or createObject. Here is an example of that:

<cfobject name="base" component="collyba.services.base" /> createObject("component", "collyba.services.base").init()

You can also right click on a particular method and select to insert a cfinvoke or createObject. Here is an example of that:

<cfinvoke component="collyba.services.chatService" method="createNewChatRoom" returnVariable="chatService" > <cfinvokeargument name="service" value="" /> <cfinvokeargument name="roomname" value="" /> </cfinvoke> createObject("component", "collyba.services.chatService").createNewChatRoom(service, roomname);

On top of the Services view are some interesting buttons:

The first button simply shows or hides "system" CFCs. It isn't entirely clear what they mean by that, but when I toggled it it simply hid CFCs under cfdocs and CFIDE. The ones next to it are more interesting. They allow you to toggle visibility based on access type. This could be a great way to just show remote methods for example.

Last but not least I want to point out two more buttons on the upper right side of the view:

This button let's you toggle between CFCs and web services. Once you switch to web services, you will be presented with an empty view. There will be two red buttons (kinda surprised - red typically implies an error) for adding and removing web service URLs. I don't know about you, but I can probably read Klingon better than I could read WSDL. Here is a sample from NOAA:

Pretty handy, right? As a final FYI, I've added a new ColdFusion Builder category to my blog. I've added my older CFB-related entries to it and will be using this category from now on. I'd also love to get questions/suggestions/etc for future CFB related topics.

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About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

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Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Mark Fuqua posted on 2/27/2010 at 10:16 AM

I noticed something in your list of services...Apptacular....how is it...where can I get a copy? I guess it helps to be the Coldfusion Jedi :)

Comment 2 by Tony Garcia posted on 2/27/2010 at 6:07 PM

Apptacular is an application generation extension for CFBuilder that Terry Ryan is working on (but hasn't released yet, to my knowledge)


Comment 3 by Tony Garcia posted on 2/27/2010 at 6:08 PM

oops -- I realized you asked "how is it", not "what is it". Never mind.

Comment 4 by Raymond Camden posted on 2/27/2010 at 6:19 PM

Just pretend you didn't see it. ;)

Comment 5 by Shirak posted on 2/28/2010 at 12:08 AM

It is one of important features in cfbuilder especially for a companies who deals with different technologies. I was expecting cfbuilder proxy to generate arguments type too, but it is not, hopefully by the complete release of cfbuilder this function will enhanced.
We end up creating our own WSDL proxy generator to create equivalent cfcs for passed objects.

Comment 6 by Kenneth Gladden posted on 5/20/2014 at 1:54 AM

Do you know if they did away with "Services Browser" in CF Builder 3? I can't find it.

Comment 7 by Raymond Camden posted on 5/20/2014 at 1:58 AM

It looks like yes. I'll ping Ram about it.

Comment 8 by Pawel Czarnota posted on 6/30/2014 at 10:24 PM

I have remote server installed but when I expand it in the services browser, CF Builder hangs and after a while is gives me an error: "Unable to get meta data for cfc" What am I missing to get it working? Thanks

Comment 9 by Raymond Camden posted on 6/30/2014 at 10:36 PM

What version of CF and CFB? Do other CFCs work? Can you try making a simple CFC with one method and see if it works ok?

Comment 10 by John posted on 8/27/2014 at 7:29 PM

Hi Ray,

I cannot find the service Browser in CF Builder version 3(trial version).

Is it available on trial version too?


Comment 11 by Raymond Camden posted on 8/27/2014 at 8:09 PM

It may be a paid version only thing John. It isn't listed here though: http://www.adobe.com/produc...

Comment 12 by John posted on 8/27/2014 at 8:29 PM

Thanks Ray. When I updated the new patch, it worked.

Now I have an issue with accessing a public WSDL file. It is showing error even though it works perfectly fine when I'm accessing it though Browsers(IE,Chrome,FF etc)

Error message: http://imgur.com/BWJO78Q

PS: WSDL was built using Oracle Service Bus.

Comment 13 by Raymond Camden posted on 8/27/2014 at 8:30 PM

No idea man - I'd recommend filing a bug report.

Comment 14 by John posted on 8/27/2014 at 9:03 PM

I will do it, thanks.