Many people begin their relationship with ColdFusion out of a need to provide web-based access to data stored in a database. This might be as simple as wanting to output the contents of a single database table as an HTML table or as sophisticated as a multipage report generated from several related tables in a database. Whatever your requirements, the methods for querying the data from the database and outputting the results to a user’s web browser using ColdFusion remain the same.
ColdFusion doesn’t stop with allowing you to query data from a database. Using ColdFusion, you can perform a wide range of database operations including adding, updating, and deleting records; adding new columns to existing tables; and creating, altering, and dropping existing tables. In this chapter, we cover the basics you need to know in order to use ColdFusion to interact with a database. Included in the discussion are configuring data sources, an introduction to SQL, and techniques for retrieving and displaying data.