The right (and wrong) way to package a ColdFusion Builder extension

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This has tripped up a lot of people, myself included, and impacts both extension writers and extension users. Have you ever tried to install a ColdFusion Builder extension and gotten this error?

If you get this, it means the extension writer incorrectly zipped his or her extension. When you create a zip file from an extension folder, it is critical that you zip from the directory itself and not from the parent. Does that make sense? Probably not. Here is the right way to zip an extension in Windows - it should be similar for fruity machines:

It may be a bit hard to see in this screen shot, but I'm inside the extension folder itself. This will create a zip where ide_config.xml is in the root.

The wrong way is to create the zip from above the folder. This is how I always make my zips which I think is pretty natural for folks too. It's also why you keep seeing this mistake happen:

Here is another way to see the difference. I opened both up in WinRAR. You can see the one on the left has ide_config.xml in root, while the other has the folder itself.

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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 Lola LB posted on 3/10/2011 at 7:42 PM

Ahhh . . . now it's all clear, with the screenshots! Thanks . . .

Comment 2 by Russ Johnson posted on 3/10/2011 at 7:53 PM

You can also use the Adobe Extension Builder extension to package your extension from inside the IDE. I find this much easier and it eliminates the mistakes of creating the wrong zip files.

Comment 3 by emmet posted on 3/10/2011 at 8:01 PM

Oh jeeez... your OS... it burns my eyes! j/k

Good tip!

Comment 4 by Raymond Camden posted on 3/10/2011 at 8:09 PM

Russ, you are right, it does support making packages. However, in my test, it just failed.

Comment 5 by Raymond Camden posted on 3/10/2011 at 8:10 PM

Although - that may be my CF being down... will report back.

Comment 6 by Raymond Camden posted on 3/10/2011 at 8:14 PM

Darn tooting Russ. I can confirm that right clicking on the folder and using the Package option worked fine, and matches what I normally do for zips in the OS. So this is probably the even better option. I never bothered using the extension before because I didn't need help creating these guys, but packaging like this will be useful. Great tip Russ!

Comment 7 by Ryan posted on 3/10/2011 at 8:47 PM

Maybe this would be a good enhancement/tweak to the CF Builder 2 code. If it doesn't find any files other than folders in the zip file to have it go 1 folder down and look for the xml file there.

Comment 8 by Raymond Camden posted on 3/11/2011 at 12:01 AM

Yeah, sounds like it would be a good idea.

Comment 9 by Big Mad Kev posted on 3/11/2011 at 6:24 PM

Nice one Ray & Russ,

But Ray, WInRar really in 2011 :)

Comment 10 by Raymond Camden posted on 3/11/2011 at 7:26 PM

Win7 seems to support most things out of the box, but not RAR, so I needed a program for that, but also, this program seemed like a nice way to _visualize_ the differences. Know what I mean?

Comment 11 by Chris posted on 5/5/2011 at 1:46 AM

You should check out 7zip (for all compressed files)

Comment 12 by Alirio Antonio Boquin A. posted on 5/10/2011 at 9:08 PM

Hi Raymond!

Yesterday I downloaded trial version of CF Builder 2. But I get the error ""cannot find ide_config.xml file" when I try to install the Adobe CFC Generator, extension. Ther only one directory "handlers"

I open the zip file and there no ide_config.xml file inside the zip.

Comment 13 by Raymond Camden posted on 5/10/2011 at 9:58 PM

Wow. You are correct. Please file a bug report.

Comment 14 by Raymond Camden posted on 5/10/2011 at 10:16 PM

I have a version of the file. I'm waiting to see if I can get permission to share it here.

Comment 15 by Alirio Antonio Boquin A. posted on 5/11/2011 at 12:32 AM

Thank you Raymond,

I did the report (Bug 2872040).

I compare an old Adobe CFC from CF Builder 1 and the file is bigger and has inside the ide_config.xml file this is strange because this is something that is often used.

I will tell as it ends!

Thank You Again

Comment 16 by Krishna posted on 5/11/2011 at 10:52 AM

With ColdFusion Builder 2, CFC Generator was intended to be removed.However mistakenly, CFC Generator was removed only partially. If you want to use, please take it from: http://applicationcfc.riafo... and deploy instead of using the shipped one.

ColdFusion Builder Team

Comment 17 by Alirio Antonio Boquin A. posted on 5/12/2011 at 12:23 AM

Hi Krishna,

Thank you I really appreciate your help, but I am confuse…

I download CFC Generator from, but these don’t help me, I need to build a Service CFC to use it with Flex.

Has far I know with CFC Generator help me with the workflow CF Applications backend and FlashBuilder front end.

Let me explain you what I'm trying to do this, like Terry do it in this video:

A couple of years ago, I build Flex/ColdFusion apps with Flex 2 / Flex 3 / I wrote the CFC's by my own and then I use RemoteObject from Flex to access data from CF.

Why remove CFC Generator extension?
Do I have to write by my self a lot lines of code again?

Comment 18 by Raymond Camden posted on 5/12/2011 at 1:03 AM

He didn't remove it though - he said it is online at RIAForge. Are you saying that version isn't what you need?

Comment 19 by Alirio Antonio Boquin posted on 5/13/2011 at 4:25 AM

Raymond I found another solution, I use Adobe CFC from CF Builder 1 with my trial of ColdFusion Builder 2 and it's working perfect!!!

I will compare this Adobe extension and ApplicationCFC of RIAForge.

Thank you for help and support.


Comment 20 by Krishna posted on 5/17/2011 at 3:36 PM

Correct version of CFC Generator is also available now at:

ColdFusion Builder Team

Comment 21 by TuTone posted on 5/30/2011 at 4:36 PM

The Adobe CFC Generator does not work on Mac OSx with Cold Fusion Builder 2. I have deleted the one that shipped with CFB 2 and installed the new one. When I 'Generate ORM CFC' I only get a blank screen, and the editor never loads. Seems like a road block in my Cold Fusion Builder 2 learning.

Comment 22 by Raymond Camden posted on 5/30/2011 at 5:04 PM

Please use the bug report functionality on the RIAForge project... although I see they have not enabled it. So instead, use the "Contact Project" link to report it directly to Krishna.

Comment 23 by Nikitul posted on 5/18/2014 at 4:36 PM

Hello Ray,
My question kind of newbie and also is a little off topic but please apologize me for that.
I saw that Coldfusion Builder with Adobe CFC Generator submit just one xml type parameter.
How can I do this from a form, or where can I read about this type of submitting?


Comment 24 by Raymond Camden posted on 5/18/2014 at 6:50 PM

You should read up on the CFB Extension API (this is in the CFB docs). Every "communication" from CFB to your extension code is done with an XML packet of data. It tells your code how the extension was fired. For an example of seeing this XML, see my Mirror extension at RIAForge.