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Import Real-Time JSON Services in ColdFusion to Build Applications



Use the CData JDBC Driver for JSON to import and use JSON services in ColdFusion.

Adobe ColdFusion is a web and mobile application development platform. It uses its own scripting language, ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML), to create data-driven websites as well as generate remote services, such as REST.

When ColdFusion is paired with the CData JDBC Driver for JSON, you can link your ColdFusion web and mobile applications to operational JSON data. This allows for your applications to be more robust and complete. This article details how to use the JDBC driver to create a table populated with JSON data from within a ColdFusion markup file.

With built-in optimized data processing, the CData JDBC Driver offers unmatched performance for interacting with live JSON services. When you issue complex SQL queries to JSON, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to JSON and utilizes the embedded SQL engine to process unsupported operations client-side (often SQL functions and JOIN operations). Its built-in dynamic metadata querying allows you to work with and analyze JSON services using native data types.

Configuring the Connection to JSON

You will need a JDBC connection string to establish a connection between Coldfusion and JSON.

See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation to authenticate to your data source: The data provider models JSON APIs as bidirectional database tables and JSON files as read-only views (local files, files stored on popular cloud services, and FTP servers). The major authentication schemes are supported, including HTTP Basic, Digest, NTLM, OAuth, and FTP. See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation for authentication guides.

After setting the URI and providing any authentication values, set DataModel to more closely match the data representation to the structure of your data.

The DataModel property is the controlling property over how your data is represented into tables and toggles the following basic configurations.

  • Document (default): Model a top-level, document view of your JSON data. The data provider returns nested elements as aggregates of data.
  • FlattenedDocuments: Implicitly join nested documents and their parents into a single table.
  • Relational: Return individual, related tables from hierarchical data. The tables contain a primary key and a foreign key that links to the parent document.

See the Modeling JSON Data chapter for more information on configuring the relational representation. You will also find the sample data used in the following examples. The data includes entries for people, the cars they own, and various maintenance services performed on those cars.

Built-in Connection String Designer

For assistance in constructing the JDBC URL, use the connection string designer built into the JSON JDBC Driver. Either double-click the JAR file or execute the jar file from the command-line.

java -jar cdata.jdbc.json.jar

Adding a Data Source and Creating a Table

After configuring the connection, follow the steps below to add the CData JDBC Driver to ColdFusion's lib directory, add a new data source, test the connection, create a ColdFusion markup file, and, finally, make a real-time connection with JSON services and display it in a table written in the ColdFusion Markup Language, or CFML:

  1. Copy the JDBC Driver for JSON and lic file from "C:\Program Files\CData[product_name]\lib" to "C:\ColdFusion2021\cfusion\wwwroot\WEB-INF\lib". cdata.jdbc.json.jar cdata.jdbc.json.lic

    Note: If you do not copy the .lic file with the jar, you will see a licensing error that indicates you do not have a valid license installed. This is true for both the trial and full versions.

  2. From the ColdFusion administrator interface, choose Data & Services.
  3. Here, we can "Add New Data Source". The data source name can be any name, provided it conforms to the ColdFusion variable naming conventions. For our JDBC driver, choose "other", then click the "Add" button.
  4. Next, populate the driver properties.
    • JDBC URL will need to be in the format: jdbc:json:|connectionString|.
    • A typical connection string looks like this:

      jdbc:json:URI=C:/people.json;DataModel=Relational;

    • The Driver Class is: cdata.jdbc.json.JSONDriver
    • The Driver Name is arbitrary and simply used to recognize the data source in the ColdFusion administration console.
  5. Now, test the connection by clicking the check mark to the left of the CDataJSONJDBC data source you just created. When the data source reports an "OK" status, it is ready for use.
  6. Next, create a new ColdFusion Markup file (.cfm) and place it in the wwwroot directory ("C:\ColdFusion2021\cfusion\wwwroot") for ColdFusion.

    The following code queries the data source:

                
            <cfquery name="JSONQuery" dataSource="CDataJSONJDBC"> 
              SELECT * FROM people 
            </cfquery> 
        
    And a CFTable can be used to quickly output the table in HTML:
                
              <cftable  
              query = "JSONQuery" 
              border = "1" 
              colHeaders 
              colSpacing = "2" 
              headerLines = "2" 
              HTMLTable 
              maxRows = "500" 
              startRow = "1"> 
    
              <cfcol header="<b>[ personal.name.first ]</b>" align="Left" width=2 text="[ personal.name.first ]"/> 
    
              <cfcol header="<b>[ personal.name.last ]</b>" align="Left" width=15 text="[ personal.name.last ]"/> 
    
              ...
    
            </cftable> 
        
    Full code, including the HTML portion is available below:
                
            <html> 
            <head><title>CData Software | JSON people Table Demo </title></head> 
            <body> 
            <cfoutput>#ucase("JSON people Table Demo")#</cfoutput> 
            <cfquery name="JSONQuery" dataSource="CDataJSONJDBC"> 
    
              SELECT * FROM people 
    
            </cfquery> 
            <cftable  
              query = "JSONQuery" 
              border = "1" 
              colHeaders 
              colSpacing = "2" 
              headerLines = "2" 
              HTMLTable 
              maxRows = "500" 
              startRow = "1"> 
              <cfcol header="<b>[ personal.name.first ]</b>" align="Left" width=2 text="[ personal.name.first ]"/> 
    
              <cfcol header="<b>[ personal.name.last ]</b>" align="Left" width=15 text="[ personal.name.last ]"/> 
    
              ...
    
            </cftable> 
            </body> 
    
            </html>  
        
  7. Finally, run the code locally in a browser at the default port of 8500. It produces a table populated with JSON data!

As a note, the CData JDBC Drivers also support parameterized queries using the cfqueryparam element. For example: SELECT * FROM Account WHERE name =

Get Started Today

Download a free, 30-day trial of the CData JDBC Driver for JSON and start building JSON-connected applications with Adobe ColdFusion. Reach out to our Support Team if you have any questions.