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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best reference book, but not a "how to" learning tool
I love O'Reilly books when I know a language and need a desktop reference. I have owned the JavaScript Definitive Resource and the PERL "Camel" book for many years.

However, if you are just starting out with Cold Fusion programming, get ColdFusion MX Bible or ColdFusion Programming instead. But remember to come back for this book when you are ready for having...
Published on August 18, 2004 by S. Alexander

versus
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excell Adv. technical content, not instructional or complete
Overall the better of the dozen or more books on coldfusion mx in terms of development-quality reference material.

Almost all of the other books on the topic do a poor job of explaining ColdFusion MX in terms of an instructional blow-by-blow get from step 1 to step 30; where 1 is an architectural overview and by step 30 you have been "instructed" on the...
Published on November 12, 2004 by Christopher Hansen


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best reference book, but not a "how to" learning tool, August 18, 2004
This review is from: Programming ColdFusion MX, 2nd Edition (Paperback)
I love O'Reilly books when I know a language and need a desktop reference. I have owned the JavaScript Definitive Resource and the PERL "Camel" book for many years.

However, if you are just starting out with Cold Fusion programming, get ColdFusion MX Bible or ColdFusion Programming instead. But remember to come back for this book when you are ready for having a good reference book.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Execellent Resource for Experienced Programmers, September 17, 2003
By 
Lisa J Wilson (Rocklin, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Programming ColdFusion MX, 2nd Edition (Paperback)
In the early days of ColdFusion, there were a couple of beginner books, but once you gained some experience, you had to go online for help. Nowadays, there are several advanced books from which to choose. "Programming ColdFusion MX" by Rob Brooks-Bilson is a good choice as an all-around resource for experienced programmers.
If you're using CF 4.5 or up, and plan to move up to the Java-based ColdFusion MX like a third of our user group members, this is the book for you. Skip the first five chapters and dive in.
Every chapter contains usable code examples for complex data, maintaining state and form control. There are plenty of advanced topics, including a full chapter on Advanced Database Techniques. The book is updated to cover the latest release of CFMX 6.1.
If you're interested in programming from CF to Flash using Flash Remoting, this book gets right to the meat of connecting and passing data back and forth. You won't learn how to layout your movie, but there are plenty of resources for Flash MX.
This book is a worthwhile addition to your library!
Lisa Wilson, Sacramento ColdFusion User Group Manager
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well-structured, systematic reference, November 10, 2003
By 
Foti Massimo (Vezia (Switzerland)) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Programming ColdFusion MX, 2nd Edition (Paperback)
There are more than a few valuable ColdFusion books on the market but, in my opinion, they suffer from their "hands down" approach that makes them very well suited for the beginners but, at the same time, often fails to deliver what experienced developers really need. So, if you already have some decent experience with ColdFusion or web developing in general (no matter the language), give yourself a favor and get a copy of Brooks-Bilson's book. The author delivers a well-structured, systematic reference to ColdFusion; just what a developer needs to get the job done, also a handy reference to keep near the keyboard. A special mention is due to the fact that this is the only book that covers version 6.1.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother buying any other CFMX book!, September 6, 2003
This review is from: Programming ColdFusion MX, 2nd Edition (Paperback)
This is my fourth CFMX book. That isn't to say that the first three were all rubbish, although one of them was! (ISBN 0735712719, which I quickly sent back; read my review at [...] and you'll see why)
I quickly moved on to ISBN 0321158024, which was a good, relatively cheap, get-you-started primer. However after a month or two I ran out of road with this as a CF reference work and I subsequently acquired ISBN 0072225564. Now there's nothing really wrong with this book, it's just that I still couldn't get the answers I wanted. After reading a load of reviews I acquired Rob's book the other day.
Now it may have over 1100 pages and look rather anorak-y but, trust me, it's brilliant and the writing style makes it easy to read. The author is clearly evangelical about CF, and if you haven't yet decided on a web development tool, after reading the first Chapter or so of this you'll ignore ASP, PHP and the rest.
I could give a dozen reasons why this is a book for beginners upwards, but just one example of how to do things quicker and simpler than the other books would be how to display a table of data with a header and alternately banded rows for greater legibility. Go to [...] and read example 11.2 on p314. If it looks like Greek to you, then it won't after you've read the early stuff or have played around with CFMX for longer than a week or three.
The bad news about this book is that I now want to re-code ALL my earlier stuff. The good news is that the lines of code are shrinking before my eyes, they're more decipherable, and probably faster.
OK, so I'll probably never use 30-50% of this book, but we're all different, and that 30-50% may well be the bits you need.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Defacto CFMX Reference Book, September 22, 2003
This review is from: Programming ColdFusion MX, 2nd Edition (Paperback)
The examples Rob uses are simple when possible and complex when necessary. The exercises he uses are explained in great details and contain many tips and techniques that will surely make you a better developer. This update brings you up to speed on the new features in CFMX and shows a few things using Flash MX remoting which was a big plus for me. The book also gives a great overview and reference guide for ColdFusion MX. In my opinion, now that ColdFusion is the defacto "Web Programming Language", this book is a vital purchase for all web professionals using CFMX and other Macromedia Web Technologies. I recommend this book without any reservation as it is one of the best technical books I have read so far.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excell Adv. technical content, not instructional or complete, November 12, 2004
By 
Christopher Hansen (Gig Harbor, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Programming ColdFusion MX, 2nd Edition (Paperback)
Overall the better of the dozen or more books on coldfusion mx in terms of development-quality reference material.

Almost all of the other books on the topic do a poor job of explaining ColdFusion MX in terms of an instructional blow-by-blow get from step 1 to step 30; where 1 is an architectural overview and by step 30 you have been "instructed" on the development of a featurable product.

This book assumes some advanced knowledge of coding technicques and advanced Web-based topics, which is fine for its targeted audience. It is not a complete Bible or Courseware-level instructional offering, by any stretch of the imagination.

Many CF MX offerings are too lite. This one is certainly not lite - it is rich in content that it does showcase, but I was disappointed when they got into the coding examples for T-SQL, but fell short by ending the topic prematurely. It also failed to give real-world examples of how SQL databases can be created, implemented and administered in a virtual capacity - as is the case with a lot of company's who do not host their own servers and do not Co-locate them either. Many, including ourselves, use a datacenter that offers industrial-grade servers that we share, and where the licensing doesn;t require me to sell my shild on the black market or a second-mortgage to pay for it

Many CF/DW texts fill their weak offerings in those subject areas (often cursory at best) with other Macromedia Applications, specifically Flash - and even these are cursory categories at best. If you don't grasp the underlying mechanics of how CF MX works, and how DW MX interfaces directly as an excellent WebDev toolset, Flash becomes so far outside the box as to make that content worthless as a resource.

All of these Macromedia offerings have their own (several hundred page) books devoted to them intimately, and still often fall short. Very few printed offerings (including this one) explicitly discuss combining DW MX for advanced design work (read: uber graphics, layout AND Database / e-commerce development/interaction...and I don't mean Access), along with DW MX's interfacing technologically with ColdFusion MX and T-SQL / SQL Server. My investigation required 2 resources: DreamWeaver MX Advanced (Towers, et al., PeachPit) and ColdFusion MX with DreamWeaver MX (David Golden, New Riders) - these were overall the "best" offerings I could find for this subject matter, although once under my belt, I will most certainly be looking forward to utilizing this book.

Hopefully someone will put all of the respective pieces together ( CF MX / DW MX / Database integration / e-commerce development). There are few (if any) that do so, or do it well - the material is just too broad and deep for most audiences. Macromedia's Web site and Developer Forums continue to be the goods in terms of supporting this - the best quality materials I have seen in a software development product to date, and a far superior approach from a content-finding and "usability" standpoint. Still difficult to find good server-level DW/CF/DB materails, with a focus on e-Commerce, though - even on the manufacturer's website. Macromedia is still tops in my book, though. Microsoft take note: If you want people to use your products and do it effectively to saturate the market and develop your IT Development base, you need to make your product offerings rich but workable at a basic level AND you must post up real-world examples that can be used as templates and starting points for that educational process - not just White papers and written (non-technical) case studies... Macromedia has this nailed, and it shows through the support and uber-cool feature sets, and in its real-world implementation guide by professional users of the technology that run it, use it, help develop it and teach it openly. Technology isn't supposed to a technical or administrative nightmare - which is sort of how I feel about Visual.Net at the moment. Adobe could also take a cue from Macromedia - it has probably the closest suite of product offerings that are usable, rish, and increibly flexible - and Version Cue is cool, but alas, GoLive sucks when it comes to DB integration and there is no Server infrastructure (or product available) to support scalability the way Macromedia's products do. If Adobe ever gets their ducks in a row in this regard, they will directly be a competitive force to be reckoned with, but until then ColdFusion MX reigns supreme, and if you know what you're doing, this book will pave the way to glory.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Coldfusion book for Beginners or Pros, December 15, 2004
This review is from: Programming ColdFusion MX, 2nd Edition (Paperback)
This book seems to bring a whole new perspective on Coldfusion. I have been programming CF for approximately 2-3 years, and this just opened up more doors of CF functionality. For example it displays one of the best "homegrown" login examples I have ever seen. It also really goes into great detail on more advanced topics that other books seems to skate around. Once again, an incredible book for beginners and pros!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Posted on behalf of the Salt Lake ColdFusion User's Group (SLCFUG), September 6, 2005
This review is from: Programming ColdFusion MX, 2nd Edition (Paperback)
-as read by member Kelly Young

This book assumes some advanced knowledge of coding techniques and advanced Web-based topics, which is fine for its targeted audience. Use of SQL examples I found very useful. I very much like the appendix references Tag Reference, Function Reference, Cold Fusion Resources. The author delivers a well-structured, systematic reference to ColdFusion; just what a developer needs to get the job done, also a handy reference to keep near the keyboard.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The defacto CFMX Reference book on the market, September 22, 2003
This review is from: Programming ColdFusion MX, 2nd Edition (Paperback)
The examples Rob uses are simple when possible and complex when necessary. The exercises he uses are explained in great details and contain many tips and techniques that will surely make you a better developer.
This update brings you up to speed on the new features in CFMX and shows a few things using Flash MX remoting which was a big plus for me. The book also gives a great overview and reference guide for ColdFusion MX.
In my opinion, now that ColdFusion is the defacto "Web Programming Language", this book is a vital purchase for all web professionals using CFMX and other Macromedia Web Technologies.
I recommend this book without any reservation as it is one of the best technical books I have read so far.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely the finest ColdFusion Book Available, August 29, 2003
By 
Brendan OHara "British TV Fan" (Philadelphia, PA USA and London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Programming ColdFusion MX, 2nd Edition (Paperback)
I have co-written a book on ColdFusion and written numerous articles in ColdFusion Developers Journal. Yet whenever I find myself wanting some piece of information I consistently return to Programming ColdFusion MX by Rob Brooks-Bilson. The ease at which he explains complicated subjects and the complete thoroughness with which he covers each topic continue to astound and impress me.
Mark my words. This is the preeminent book on ColdFusion MX and the only one to include the significant upgrades in the new release ColdFusion MX 6.1.
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Programming ColdFusion MX, 2nd Edition
Programming ColdFusion MX, 2nd Edition by Rob Brooks-Bilson (Paperback - June 2003)
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