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ColdFusion Tutorial – Installing ColdFusion and Defining a Data Source

 Page 3 — Installing ColdFusion and Defining a Data Source

Installing the package is deceptively simple, and if you’re an advanced enough user that some company is giving you the administrator password and letting you sit in the big kids’ chair at their Web server then you shouldn’t have any trouble. The reason I call the process “deceptive” is that setting this thing up is a breeze – the hard part doesn’t come until later when you’re building templates.

The installer will ask you a few questions about where you want to put the files, what Web server software you use, what program you use to create your databases, blah blah. As before, if any of these befuddle you, you’d better go find a grown-up to be present at the proceedings. And use those little blunt scissors if you have to cut anything out.

You’ll probably be asked to restart your machine and/or your Web server software. If you’re not the system administrator, make sure before you restart that you have access to that little list of things you have to do to get the server back up and running (stop and restart this process, delete that route, etc.). Even the best sysadmins have these; they’re usually scrawled on a Post-It affixed to the monitor. Some administrators actually print these out so they’re legible, but they’re usually the anal types and probably wouldn’t be letting you fool with their Web server in the first place.

Now you’re ready to define your data sources in ColdFusion. The newer versions of the software use a Web page interface to do this and older versions use a standard Windows dialog box. Both are found under the heading ColdFusion Administrator.

A data source name (DSN) is the database you want to serve up on the Web. If you’re running your own copy of ColdFusion, you can set up several; if you’re using it on a provider’s machine you’ll probably be limited to a single DSN. Again, the setup is pretty straightforward stuff. Just point the administrator software to the database you’ll be using and, if the database resides on a machine other than the Web server, supply any log-in and password information it will need to log on to that machine. The key word here is permissions: Your database should have read access enabled for the username your Web server uses to log in. Depending on the software you use to create your databases, this may be defined in standard file permissions or in the program itself.