Part of what makes developing web applications with ColdFusion so easy is the simplicity of the ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML). Because CFML is a tag-based language like HTML, it is simple to write and easy to understand. All ColdFusion code is written inside tags or within the boundaries of paired tags (just like HTML). There are over 90 tags and 265 functions in the CFML language that you can use to accomplish virtually any task. ColdFusion tags wrap complex functionality, such as database connectivity and data manipulation, into simple tags that can be invoked with a minimum of coding. CFML functions offer even more power, as they provide access to common operations, such as string manipulation and mathematical functions, that aren’t possible using HTML alone.
Because CFML is a programming language, we need to start with some basics about the language. In this chapter, I cover how to create and save ColdFusion applications, as well as the major aspects of the language, such as datatypes, variables, expressions, conditional processing, and more.