cfconfusion - Phill Nacelli

New ColdFusion Builder Extension - Variable Mapper

posted: 26 Feb 2012

So for a while now, I've been thinking about this project and finally, with the new features in ColdFusion Builder Twister Extensions (in public beta now, you should check it out), I was able to finally get it done. Thanks to my friend Luis Majano and the folks in the ColdFusion Builder Development Team for driving these new features, I think we'll see some other great extensions being build by the community.

Variable Mapper let's you quickly manage your variable mappings within your project using the new ColdFusion Builder Twister (now in public beta).

Variable Mapper - Manage Variable Mappings View

One of the neat features is you can quickly create a variable mapping by just highlighting the variable in the editor and right clicking on it, in the menu select Variable Mapper --> Add Variable Mapping...

Variable Mapper - Add Variable Mapping Menu

This will open a quick add dialog window with the variable name already filled in, all you have to do is supply the mapping and click ok. Variable Mapper will update your settings.xml file (where mappings are stored) and refresh the IDE for you without interrupting your work. Just code away!

Variable Mapper - Add Variable Mappings Dialog

Now you can quickly get your code insight for your CFCs without having to open project properties everytime!

You can get Variable Mapper on RIAForge. I have some other features that will enhance this tool, but meanwhile enjoy v1.0! Feel free to submit any issues or enhancements idea.

"We?re losing them to PHP, .Net, Python, Ruby, Jav

posted: 04 Mar 2011

"We?re losing them to PHP, .Net, Python, Ruby, Java, etc. "

I'm sure you have heard this quote before, on forums, blogs, twitter, etc... and I wanted to share a bit of my opinion about it. The big players right now are .NET, Java and "PHP". Reason is not because of frameworks, open source, language features, etc...

There has been a huge shift in how technology is adopted in the enterprise, where technology is not the main focus, (remember the IBM ad? "Shirts! We sell Shirts!"). Decisions about technology is no longer being driven from the confines of the IT department but from top management focusing on short and long term strategic goals. Organizations now have CEO?s that are asked to do more with less (that?s why being a software engineer is now a great field to be in!). But the days of building applications to support initiatives from the scratch are now gone!

So here?s the problem in my opinion (here are some examples to make my point, by no means a complete list):

  • .NET has Sharepoint and Microsoft CRM
  • Java has Oracle software, IBM software, SugarCRM, etc...
  • PHP has Drupal

All these technologies have a great number of web based enterprise ready software (both commercial and open source) that can be quickly acquired and implemented and customized directly or via third party plugins/modules (not saying it?s always smooth) that is being marketed deliberately to the top level management. Meanwhile, we in the ColdFusion community debate feverishly over whether or not the server or the IDE should be open source, or what frameworks to use, should we have this feature or that feature... etc.. But we are lacking those products (yes we have Mura and a few others, and I?ll address that in a bit, so please bear with me) that make organizations feel confident that they are not taking a huge gamble starting something from scratch or whether or not it will have a well supported upgrade path.

ColdFusion is an awesome platform, I love it and it has been great for me, my career and my mortage bank! ;)

But unless we stop blaming Adobe for all the problems, and start building applications/products that will matter to organizations and make investing in this platform more attractive and worthwhile to upper management it doesn?t matter how many features you put in ColdFusion and it will remain a niche market. I see MuraCMS as a great catalyst for that change, taking how well Drupal has evolved from a simple CMS to an application stack full of different modules built by the community so business can quickly mashup applications to serve their needs.

PHP's popularity is not because of the features or syntax (who in their right mind want to use object->property instead of!) but hugely because Drupal has been the catalyst, Sharepoint has been a huge catalyst for .NET, Oracle and IBM software are a huge catalyst for Java. We as a community need to stop blaming and making excuses (I?m by no means innocent here!). We need to get more in tune with the business world, find out what they want and need and deliver them. I think ColdFusion?s future is not as a server but as a platform full of customizable COTS products that helps business grow! Folks want to talk open source, ok. let?s do it.. but let?s focus on the great thing about open source (which is not about free software!) and let?s start as a community building these products (CRMs, CMSs, ERPs) that can be customized by ColdFusion developers and earn the market share back.

I?m curious what you guys think, feel free to bash me (or more preferrably my thoughts) if I?m wrong here (as my friends say, I have thick skin!)

Capital Area ColdFusion User Group: Ray Camden, "P

posted: 05 Oct 2010

Don't miss the next Capital Area ColdFusion User Group meeting! Tuesday, October 12th Ray Camden, the ColdFusion Jedi Master, will be presenting on "Practices of a Modern Developer".

For more detailed information and to RSVP go to

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Capital Area ColdFusion User Group Kickoff Event

posted: 10 Sep 2010

MD/VA/DC Area folks!

Join us for appetizers and meet several leaders in the Adobe ColdFusion community for this initial kick off event. Reconnect with old DC Area ColdFusion friends and meet new ones! Come find out about the exciting meeting topics and formats we are planning, and let us know what other subjects you would like to hear about.

Show up and enter for a chance to win some schwag and also a signed book by Ben Forta!

Be sure to register yourself (even if you can't make it on Tuesday) and rsvp at

Here are the details:

what: Capital Area ColdFusion User Group Kickoff Social
when: Tuesday, September 14th at 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
where: Timpano Chophouse
12021 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852-1603
phone: (301) 881-6939

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Blog Issues

posted: 06 Aug 2010

I'm currently having some issues with this blog, and I've been considering v3.0 redesign, now seems like a good time! Please bear with me as my time is currently limited, I hope to get this done asap.

Thanks Alan Rother (@AlanRother) and John Whish (@aliaspooryorik) for the heads up.


Welcome Michael Marins Nacelli

posted: 16 Sep 2009

I'm very proud to announce that this past Monday, June 22, 2009 at 2:23pm my beautiful wife Amy gave birth to our son Michael Marins Nacelli. Baby was born weighting 6 lbs 12 ozs, 19.5 inches long. Both Mom and Baby are doing great and we can't wait to take him home soon.

Hello From Minneapolis

posted: 16 Sep 2009

Just arrived in Minneapolis and checked into my room. Waiting for Scott Stroz, Dan Wilson and Jason Delmore to arrive and hit our tee time. Looking forward to another great CF.Objective() 2009 Conference.

If you happen to see me on the hallways, do say hi. I'm looking forward to seeing and meeting you there!

CFUnited Speaker Q&A

posted: 16 Sep 2009

CFUnited folks have asked the speakers to answer some questions regarding the conference and post on our blogs, here's my response:

Topic: Leveraging Basic Object Oriented Concepts in ColdFusion -

1. Have you spoken at CFUnited in the past? What would you tell someone who hasn't been to CFUnited before?
I spoke at CFUnited 2008, and I have attended every year since the CFun days. If you have never been to CFUnited, you are missing out in one of the best chances to trully make your job better in a number of facets. You'll learn from industry experts on the latest ColdFusion and Flex/Air trends, not only this gives you the power to build better apps but makes you more marketable when looking for a new job. You'll have a chance to meet and network with a great number of people who's day to day experiences are similar to your own, this is a huge resource when you stumble on a problem or if you are also looking for talent to help in your projects. The Expo hall is a great chance to checkout what products and services are there to make your day to day life easier and help achieve your development goals.

2. Why should people attend your session(s)?
If you are not yet doing Object-Oriented programming because you keep hearing all those buzz words like Singletons, Decorators, and other Design Patterns and can't find an example using ColdFusion to help you understand what they mean, you may want to checkout my "Leveraging Basic Object Oriented and Design Patterns in ColdFusion" session. This session is built to help you break into the OO world with a basic understanding of Design Patterns and how they help solve re-occurring problems.

3. Do you have any projects in the works that you will be revealing at CFUnited?
It's too early to tell...

4. Besides your topic, what other sessions are you looking forward to?
I'm looking forward to seeing some of the Coldbox sessions, more on Flex and AIR development with ColdFusion.

5. Where can people find you at CFUnited? (At the bar, networking, working, in your room, etc.)
AboutWeb booth, sessions, bar, networking, bar, pool, golf course and yes.. the bar!

6. What's the latest news with you? Has anything changed since last CFUnited?
My wife and I are expecting our first child, boy, due July 1st! He may be making his first appearance at CFUnited this year!!!

7. When you are not working what do you like to do in your free time?
Try out new technologies and frameworks, golfing and grilling with family and friends.

Rolando Lopez is back

posted: 16 Sep 2009

Just want to give a quick shout out that my good friend and colleague Rolando Lopez is back in the bloggosphere with a totally redesigned and fresh new blog.

I have the privilege to be Rolando?s colleague and friend (Thanks Rob Gonda!) and I have to say that it?s always a joy to have technical discussions with him. His skills and knowledge on CF and Software Architecture that I see potentially being discussed in his blog will without a doubt be an asset to us all.

ColdFusion Web Day Brazil

posted: 16 Sep 2009

Not sure how many of you know this, but I'm originally from Brazil. In the past few years, I have seen a great amount of buzz increase about ColdFusion in South America, particularly in Brazil.

I was proud to find out that there will be a Web Day in Brazil totally devoted to discussing and promoting the ColdFusion platform and its capabilities online.

The event will take place on April 11th. For more information and schedule/agenda go to

AboutWeb Welcomes Sandy Clark

posted: 16 Sep 2009

It is my pleasure to announce that Sandy Clark has recently joined the AboutWeb team. I'm sure most of you know Sandy from her involvement in the ColdFusion community and her presentations and articles on coldfusion, cascading style sheets, usability and accessibility. We are excited to have her in our team.

We are also still looking for other ColdFusion and Flex developers in the DC Metro Area, if you or someone you know is looking to work for a great company and with great people like Sandy, please email your resume to pnacelli[at]

Please help one of our own - Joe & Dale Rinehart

posted: 16 Jan 2009

I'm sure by now many of you have heard of, or had the pleasure of personally meeting Joe Rinehart, one of our own community's most selfless and dedicated individuals. And by now you may have heard about his wife Dale's recent diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I'm very fortunate to know Joe and have met his wife Dale at past conferences and I have to say they are both incredible people. Also, like many of you, I have benefited from his work with Model-Glue and his knowledge which he is always willing to share either via his always great presentations at conferences or on an individual basis. Regardless of the circumstances, Joe is always there willing to help or contribute with enthusiasm.

It's well known that Multiple Sclerosis treatment costs are very expensive. Regardless if the patient has adequate medical insurance coverage they still have many out-of-pocket expenses. This is where you, the ColdFusion community comes in. We are asking everyone who can, to please visit and help us say thanks to all his efforts while supporting them.

Thank you.

Nacelli Pre-Release - Codenamed Boy!

posted: 15 Jan 2009

I'm proud to announce that towards the end of June my wife is due to give birth to our first child! Yesterday we went in for our monthly consult we learned that we are having a boy!

Finally... I'm on Twitter.

posted: 12 Jan 2009

So I finally decided to really invest some time into checking out Twitter and I decided to take the plunge (ok.. some of you have convinced me I was behind the times.. you know who you are!!!). So now you can see what I'm up to, but be warned, you may find yourself being bored!!!

CFUnited 2009 Topics Survey Now Open - Leveraging

posted: 04 Dec 2008

The CFUnited 2009 Topics Survey is now open, you can go there and vote for your favorite topics you'd like to see presented.

I have re-submitted my topic (you can find it under the "Please choose 4 from the list of topics that cover OO" section) from last year as it was well received and attended, and I'm hoping to make this year's presentation even better, so please head on over to the survey and voice your opinion and hopefully vote for my as well. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Leveraging Basic Object Oriented Concepts and Design Patterns in ColdFusion - Phill Nacelli

This session will introduce you to the basic concepts of object oriented development along with some basic design patterns by looking at real world code examples. Today's ColdFusion developers are bombarded by complex terms such as Singletons, Facades, Data Access Objects(DAOs) and other design patterns, making it hard for the novice to understand these valuable concepts without looking at actual code. This session will demystify those terms and give you the basic knowledge needed to build a foundation into the real advantages of Object Oriented programming.

See you at MAX!

posted: 10 Nov 2008

Just want to say that myself and two of my colleagues (Rolando Lopez and Jim Archy) from AboutWeb will be attending MAX North America next week.

Aside from all the great sessions I always look forward to some of the great conversations in the hallways between talks, so if you see me and want to talk shop or bounce off ideas or questions be sure to say "Hi". Hope to see you there!

ColdFusion Security Fix

posted: 03 Aug 2008

Just want to pass on the word that Adobe has released a security advisory yesterday for ColdFusion 7 and 8. This resolves an identified vulnerability that could potentially allow session hijacking for applications utilizing CFID or CFTOKEN. This does not apply to applications using J2EE Session management.

More details and how to get your ColdFusion server updated can be found on this link:

Presenting at CFUnited 2008.

posted: 03 Aug 2008

I just received confirmation that I will be giving two presentations at CFUnited 2008.

The first is "Integrated ColdFusion Development Environment" which will cover the use of CFEclipse along with version control (using Subversion) and automated build scripts (using ANT) to help organize, maintain and simplify you and your development team's day to day tasks.

The second is "Leveraging Basic Object-Oriented Concepts in ColdFusion". This presentation's focus is to give the basic knowledge necessary to those programmers wanting to venture into using object oriented programming techniques in ColdFusion. If you have been waiting to make the move into OO, but were not sure where to start, this is the presentation for you.

Also, don't forget that Early Bird Registration prices end this Friday, November 30th!

For a more detailed summary about both topics:

Integrated ColdFusion Development Environment

Leveraging Basic Object Oriented Concepts in ColdFusion

Capital Area Flex User's Group Reminder - Postpone

posted: 03 Aug 2008

Due to inclement weather in the Washigton, DC Area this meeting has been postponed to next week. I'll be posting an update soon.

Just a quick note that tomorrow evening, Wednesday, December 4th, the Capital Area Flex User's Group(CAPFug) will be meeting onsite and broadcasting live via Adobe Connect!

Theo Rushin will be talking about "Working with the SQL Lite Database in Flex on AIR" and Samer Sadek, AboutWeb Software Architect, will present on "Using ColdFusion with AIR".

The first presentation will start at 6:30pm here at the AboutWeb Office and as always, free pizza, sodas and snacks are provided during the social break between sessions.

For live broadcast:

Capital Area Flex User's Group(CAPFug)
AboutWeb Office
6177 Executive Blvd
Rockville, MD 20852
(301) 468-9246

Capital Area Flex User's Group Reminder

posted: 03 Aug 2008

Just a quick reminder that we are holding the postponed Capital Area Flex User's Group(CAPFug) meeting from last week tonight, Wednesday, December 12th, onsite and broadcasting live via Adobe Connect!

Theo Rushin will be talking about "Working with the SQL Lite Database in Flex on AIR" and Samer Sadek, AboutWeb Software Architect, will present on "Using ColdFusion with AIR".

The first presentation will start at 6:30pm here at the AboutWeb Office and as always, free pizza, sodas and snacks are provided during the social break between sessions.

For live broadcast:

Capital Area Flex User's Group(CAPFug)
AboutWeb Office
6177 Executive Blvd
Rockville, MD 20852
(301) 468-9246

Neat SVN Monitoring Tool - CommitMonitor

posted: 03 Aug 2008

Just found this neat tool for monitoring my svn repo commits, thought I'd pass it along. In the past I have used Trac's rss feed but for quick monitoring without the need to install and setup Trac, CommitMonitor does a superb job.

For more info and to download it checkout their site at

Flex Camp Washington, DC 2008

posted: 03 Aug 2008

Just want to pass on the word that tomorrow AboutWeb LLC and Adobe Systems will be hosting the Flex Camp Washington, DC 2008. This is one-day gathering with Adobe Flex experts covering everything you need to know about the power of Flex, the upcoming release of Flex 3, and a bit about the much anticipated Adobe Air.

Since we have already surpassed the registration capacity, we are going to be broadcasting the entire event live on Adobe Connect from 9:30am to 12:00pm and then after lunch break from 1:00pm to 5:00pm (All times are Eastern Standard Time).

To view the event go to, choose the "Enter as a Guest" option and click "Enter Room" after entering your name. We look forward to seeing you online!

Capital Area Flex User's Group April Meeting Remin

posted: 03 Aug 2008

Just a quick meeting reminder that the Capital Area Flex User's Group is meeting this Wednesday night at 6:30pm at AboutWeb.

We have another amazing meeting lined up for you tomorrow night. To start off the night we'll have Ashish Jaiman from Microsoft present on Silverlight. This should be an opportunity to see where Microsoft stands with it's competing product and perhaps inspire some friendly rivalry.

After a break for food and drinks, Kelly Brown will be presenting on BlazeDS, an open source Flex/Air server initiative from Adobe.

Please arrive by 6:30pm at our Rockville office as presentations will begin promptly at 7:00pm. For directions and more information visit

As always, we will be broadcasting the event live on Adobe Connect. To follow the event online (sorry no e-food though!) go to

Capital Area Flex User's Group Meeting Reminder

posted: 03 Aug 2008

Just a quick meeting reminder that the Capital Area Flex User's Group is meeting tonight at 6:00pm to celebrate the much anticipated launch of Adobe Flex 3.0 and AIR 1.0!

Adobe's RIA technologies enable you to rapidly build and deploy the most engaging applications across browsers and on the desktop. The DC Flex Usergroup is hosting a special live event to share exciting new information on Adobe's platform tools and technologies for building RIAs. You'll see an exclusive user group video presentation by Adobe Chief Software Architect, Kevin Lynch, hear some important product news, plus get your hands on some exclusive schwag and other giveaways. Be part of the fun and excitement and join the rest of the Adobe developer community by participating in this very special event

As always, we will be broadcasting the event live on Adobe Connect. To follow the event online (sorry no e-food though!) go to

Come work with us!

posted: 03 Aug 2008

AboutWeb, LLC has an exciting opportunity for an Object-Oriented ColdFusion Developer to join our Solutions Team in Rockville. Selected new team member should have a solid background in ColdFusion MX 7/8 and experience with the following:

  • Demonstrated experience developing Object-Oriented applications.
  • Experience with MVC or 3-tier Architecture.
  • CSS, Custom Tags.
  • Production level development in Java, .NET, Flex or Ajax will be considered pluses.
  • CF Certification, or willingness to obtain certification.
  • Current Clearance or ability to pass background investigation.

If you are interested, we would like to talk to you soon! Please email your resume to jarchy[at]aboutweb[dot]com.

Happy CSS Naked Day!

posted: 03 Aug 2008

You are probably wondering what the heck is wrong with this site, well I'm taking part of the CSS Naked Day, it's a day to promote Web Standards awareness. Click on the link to find out more about it.

CF.Objective() - Done Presenting

posted: 03 Aug 2008

I'm done with my presentations on "Leveraging Basic Design Patterns in ColdFusion" talk at CF.Objective(). For those of you who attended, thank you very much for coming! I hope you have learned something useful that will help make your day to day coding better, and I'd love to hear from you on any feedback. I will be posting my slides and code examples as soon as I return home to Maryland. Also, I am thinking about making an extension to this intro talk with an intermediate session covering more patterns, let me know if you are interested in that as well.

I'd like to also thank our great hosts Jared Rypka-Hauer, Steven Hauer and Jim Louis for a great conference experience, both as a speaker and as an attendee. I'm looking forward to CF.Objective() 2009!

CF.Objective() - Leveraging Basic Design Patterns

posted: 03 Aug 2008

As promised, here are the slides and code examples for my CF.Objective() 2008 presentation. Feel free to post any comments or questions and I'll get to them asap.

As I mentioned after the presentation, I'm also going to be putting together an intermediate version of this talk covering more complex patterns. Also, I have been told that CF.Objective() 2009 will be tentatively scheduled for May 6-9. So now you have plenty of time to begin schmoozing your bosses to let you go. I have to say that this is THE conference for learning the high level skills needed to build enterprise level applications in ColdFusion.

Here's the link to download the presentation and code examples:


CFUnited Presentations are coming, I swear..

posted: 03 Aug 2008

For those of you that attended my session, my presentations are coming, I swear! I just found out that my recorded preso did not have any audio so I'm planning on recording another one soon and I'll be sure to add some of the stuff that we didn't have time to cover during the preso.

If you have any questions or comments or anything else you'd like to see, please feel free to post on this entry and I'll get back to you soon.


CFUnited 2008 - Pick your favorite Sci-Fi Movie!

posted: 03 Aug 2008

My company AboutWeb is again sponsoring the community pit at this year's CFUnited. Every year we look at coming up with something new to make your experience more enjoyable. This year, to go with the Green/Sci-Fi theme of the conference, we are going to be having a movie theater showing the greatest Sci-Fi movies, ever!

How do we know that they are the greatest ever, you ask? Because you get to tell us what you want to watch!!! That's right, we are running a poll to get your opinion on what movies will make the cut. To vote for your favorite movie, please go the following link:

Adobe AIR Feature Request - Feedback wanted

posted: 03 Aug 2008

I have recently submitted a feature request to the fine folks in the Adobe AIR team. Below is the entry, what do you think? I know some of you may have concerns about security, I would like to use this entry as a soundboard of pros and cons for something like this. Thanks

First a bit of history. At first I thought it would be cool to be able to package a dll file along with my AIR app and be able to have AIR register that file locally (given that user has been warned and prompted properly) and then be able to call on that dll from my application. However dll would only be supported on apps running on Windows platform, so instead why not use jar files instead so that at least multiple platforms could take advantage of a given functionality.

Here's the request:

Brief title for your desired feature:
JAR Integration and Packaging

How would you like the feature to work?
Ability to package jar files and be able to interact with them on the client (given that user has been warned and prompted properly) from my AIR application. This would give AIR the ability to interact with libraries that already do some of the much requested features like USB/Serial port communications. Given that any platform running jvm can take advantage of this feature, it makes more sense to use jar then dlls.

Why is this feature important to you?
Ability in application to interact with bar code scanners, cash drawers, print certain documents to specific printers like parking permits and invoices in stock paper.