I mentioned several advanced CFC topics briefly earlier in this chapter. These topics included introspection, inheritance, CFC security, and assigning component instances to shared variable scopes. This section presents a more detailed exploration of each of these topics.
One of the coolest features of CFCs is that they are self-documenting. All of the various tag attributes we discussed throughout the chapter, along with any user-defined attributes, are available as component metadata. This metadata exists as a ColdFusion structure that can be used for all sorts of purposes. ColdFusion MX comes with a tool called the CFC Explorer that you can use to introspect any CFC on your ColdFusion server. To use the CFC Explorer, simply fire up a browser and enter the URL to the CFC you want to introspect. You should be presented with the CFC Explorer login screen shown in Figure 22-3.
Figure 22-3. ColdFusion Administrator RDS password prompt for accessing the CFC Explorer
You’ll need to enter the RDS password for the server to use the CFC browser Once you’ve entered a valid RDS password, ColdFusion MX allows you to proceed to the CFC Explorer. The CFC Explorer displays a nicely formatted screen containing the component’s metadata, including the component’s name, path on the server, properties, and methods. A sample CFC Explorer screen is shown in Figure 22-4 ...