Paul Robertson's words, punctuated

Thoughts on development, user-centered design, code, etc. by Paul Robertson

Select all checkboxes in ColdFusion Flash Forms (Intro)

One cool technology,
Two ways to do it, and
Three lessons I learned

Alternate title: My first foray into ColdFusion Flash Forms

I have to admit that, while I was wowed a bit by the ColdFusion Flash Forms demos a year ago, once I heard that Flash Forms still submitted their data just like a normal HTML form, I lost my enthusiasm.

In general I don’t do a lot of ColdFusion programming any more – most of my work is in Flash or ASP.NET, although I do maintain some CF pages that I haven’t ported over to .NET yet.

However, a few weeks ago a friend from my local Macromedia Users’ Group contacted me with a CF Flash Forms problem he was trying to solve. He was working on a Flash form with form controls (in this case, checkboxes) that were dynamically generated from a database query, making one checkbox per record in the query. He had that part figured out, but he wanted to add a “select all” button to the form that would select all the checkboxes. Since this was a problem that mostly involved ActionScript, and since I do have a CF MX 7 server available even though I don’t really use it, I decided to take the plunge.

I learned quite a bit in the process, and I’ve also gotten pretty excited about CF Flash Forms. I’m starting to see all sorts of ways I could integrate them into some of my current projects. My more CF-centric colleagues are having a good laugh over this since we have an ongoing .NET vs. ColdFusion debate =). Of course, the real solution would be to just get Flex…but maybe I’ll have to start with Flash forms so I can have some proof of the value before I make that pitch.

This actually only took me a couple of hours to figure out; of course it isn’t until now, several weeks later, that I have finally gotten time to write about what I learned. So without further introduction, allow me to present:

Plus three lessons I learned in the process:

  1. Advice for building and debugging CF Flash Forms, from one beginner to another
  2. Creating “dynamic” form fields in ColdFusion Flash Forms - how and why
  3. Getting meaningful data from dynamically generated fields in ColdFusion Flash Forms