My CFUnited Session – How ColdFusion 9 and LiveCycle ES can work together

I’m presenting at CFUnited (August 12th-15th) on a topic I think many will find interesting – “ColdFusion 9 & LiveCycle ES: SOA Development“.  I’m hoping to spark some interest in how ColdFusion and LiveCycle ES (LCES) can be combined to do some really unique and amazing things. I had the idea for this session the day I learned about the new “ColdFusion as a Service (CFaaS)” feature in ColdFusion 9, which exposes capabilities of cfchart, cfdocument, cfimage, cfmail, cfpop, and cfpdf as web services and Flash remoting endpoints.


LiveCycle ES not only provides 100+ out-of-the-box services, it also provides the ability to combine or orchestrate these services using LiveCycle process management (workflow) capabilities.  These newly created processes become new services.  The LCES invocation layer exposes all of these services to the outside world through various endpoints including SOAP, Flash Remoting, EJB, watched folders, email, and in the upcoming new version of LCES, REST!

So, you have ColdFusion services and LiveCycle ES services; each set of services offers its own unique capabilities, and all of them are callable using common means.  What can you do when you combine them?

When does LiveCycle ES need ColdFusion?

LiveCycle ES offers a ton of out-of-the box features, but it doesn’t include many capabilities that ColdFusion provides such as Microsoft Exchange integration, image manipulation, dynamic chart creation, and numerous other CF-abilities. If what you need is not provided by the  new CfaaS in CF9, you can easily create your own services by writing custom ColdFusion components (CFCs), and as you would expect, these CFCs can also be exposed as web services or Flash Remoting endpoints.

When does ColdFusion need LiveCycle ES?

CF  includes neither the workflow/process management capabilities nor most of the extensive document-related services included in LCES.  CF does provide some PDF creation capabilities and in CF9, you can now add headers and footers, optimize images, and more.  But when when you look at  the PDF capabilities of LCES, you’ll find a long list that includes rights management, digital signatures, 2D barcodes, and much more.  LiveCycle also brings human workflow features to the table for things like approval processes and collaboration, which many CF developers will likely find useful in a variety of applications.

I’m still working out the details of my session, but here’s a rough agenda:

  • Introduction to ColdFusion as a Service (CFaaS)
  • Introduction to LiveCycle ES
  • Calling ColdFusion services from LiveCycle ES (including calling a simple CFC)
  • Calling LiveCycle ES services from ColdFusion
  • Exploring various use-cases where this madness actually makes a lot of sense
  • Brainstorming what a new custom ColdFusion component in LCES could/should look like

This is all subject to change based on how successful my demo preparation goes, but so far, it’s looking good, and I think it will be a fun session.  If you have never looked at LiveCycle ES, this is a great way to get started.

Sign up here –

~ by Greg on August 4, 2009.

3 Responses to “My CFUnited Session – How ColdFusion 9 and LiveCycle ES can work together”

  1. Greg,

    I’m totally confused with the release of CF9. I’m quite comfortable with CF8 and have been using the built-in LiveCycle DS ES service quite extensively. However, I’m worried now we’re going to have to upgrade to v9 in the near future, and I can’t figure out if CF9 has the same setup? From what I can glean from various posts and articles CF9 and LCDS ES still work nicely together, but do they still come as a single package (ie. can you check the box to install LCDS when you’re installing CF9?).

    We’ve got a very extensive setup with the CF8 and LCDS install with hundreds of Assember,DAO,VO’s… I’m hoping that it’s not going to kill me to migrate this all to CF9 when they stop selling/supporting CF8.

    If you’ve got insight on this topic, and are looking for Blog post ideas, this would be a great one to explain.

    Thanks in advance, and keep the great posts coming.

    • Hey Brendan – CF9 no longer ships with LCDS. It ships with BlazeDS instead and it installs automatically. If you truly need LCDS, you have to do the LCDS install yourself after the CF9 install. I haven’t tried it but I glanced at the docs and it looks fairly painless.

      By the way, CF9 does NOT work with LCDS 3.0 (latest release). You’ll want to install LCDS 2.6 (same version that comes with CF8). The next dot release of CF9 (9.1?) will support LCDS 3.0.

      If you do install CF9 with LCDS 2.6, please drop me a line to let me know how it went.



  2. Greg,
    Are you going to post your session online? I have been looking for a good start point how to install and configure LCDS with CF9.1 but with no luck. The download zip file from adobe website is missing resource folder.

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