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ColdFusion supports several extensibility options, including writing CFX tags with Java or C++, by using CORBA objects, and more. The Extensions section of the Administrator allows you to manage certain options related to extensibility.

The Java Applets Page

You can use the Java Applets page to create aliases for client-side Java applets that you use often throughout your applications. These aliases let you add the applets to individual pages with simpler, more manageable code. Once the alias has been created, you include the actual applet in your pages with the <cfapplet> tag.

The CFX Tags Page

It's possible to create new tags for ColdFusion that are written with Java or C++, rather than CFML; these are called CFX tags. CFX tags are usually created to add some kind of capability that is intrinsically easier or more sensible to implement with Java or C++ than with ColdFusion code. For instance, if you already have C++ code available that completes a particular task, why translate it into the corresponding ColdFusion code when you can just create a CFX tag that leverages the existing C++ code?

Before a CFX tag can be used in your ColdFusion pages, it must be registered using the Cold-Fusion Administrator. The first thing you will need to know is whether the CFX tag in question was written with Java or C++. If you have been given a .class file (or files), the CFX was written with Java. If it has a .dll extension, it was created with C++.

The Custom Tag Paths Page

The default location for custom tags is the /CustomTags folder directory beneath the ColdFusion root.

To add a new custom tag path, enter the location in the New Path field and click Add Path. Once the path has been created, you can then place custom tag files within the folder you specified, and they will be found automatically, as if they were placed in the default folder.

To edit or delete an existing tag path, use the icons provided for each entry in the Current Custom Tag Paths list.

The CORBA Connectors Page

If you plan to invoke CORBA objects or services within your ColdFusion pages, you need to set up a CORBA connector for the ORB you plan to use to broker your requests. ColdFusion ships with support for Borland's VisiBroker product. If you need support for a different ORB vendor's product, you will need to contact Adobe.

Assuming you intend to use the VisiBroker support rather than some other ORB, you need to add a connector for VisiBroker by following these steps:

  1. Click the Register CORBA Connector button on the CORBA Connectors page of the Administrator. The Edit CORBA Connector page appears.
  2. In the ORB Name field, enter a descriptive name for the connector, such as visibroker.
  3. In the ORB Class Name field, enter coldfusion.runtime.corba.VisibrokerConnector.
  4. Leave the Classpath field blank.
  5. In the ORB Property File field, enter the path to the file in ColdFusion's lib folder. For a default Windows installation, the correct path would be
  6. Click Submit to create the connector.
  7. Edit the SVCnameroot property in the file appropriately so that ColdFusion is able to find the root.

In addition, you will need to provide the appropriate value to the SVCnameroot property in the file. You will also need to make sure that the vbjorb.jar file is present (this file is distributed with VisiBroker) and that the path to vbjorb.jar is part of ColdFusion's Java class path setting (see the section "The Java and JVM Page" earlier in this chapter).

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