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Using the OnMissingMethod Method

It would be nice if all the CFCs that we write could handle their own errors. Starting in ColdFusion 8, any component can have a special method named OnMissingMethod that will run whenever code attempts to run a method that hasn't been defined in it. We can use this method to serve several purposes:

  • Implement custom error handling. The OnMissingMethod method can be especially useful when methods in different child classes might be called, even though they are not implemented in a particular component. For example, we could use OnMissingMethod to handle a call to getActorSalary made to a director component.
  • Run different code for several methods in a common place. If the same code can take the place of several methods, OnMissingMethod can provide a way to run the common code from a single point. This approach is not recommended, however; it's more straightforward to define all the methods separately and call the common code from each.
  • Act as a proxy that calls another object or component that will actually implement the function. For example, you could create a component that is empty except for onMissingMethod that takes any method passed to it and calls a Web service on another machine that consumes the method name and its arguments and returns a value. This approach is a good way to implement a flexible, distributed system.

The onMissingMethod function takes exactly two arguments, which contain the name of the method that was being called and a structure with the arguments that were passed to it. For example, here is a simple onMissingMethod method:

<cffunction name="onMissingMethod">
  <cfargument name="missingMethodName" type="string">
  <cfargument name="missingMethodNameArguments" type="struct">
    Hey! You called <cfoutput>#arguments.missingMethodName#</cfoutput> and I haven't
got one!
</cffunction>
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