Coldfusion application.cfm and the affected files

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If I have a site where there is a protected back end and I'm looking to use an application.cfm file, how can I tell which pages use the application filesa and which ones do not.

index.cfm
update/application.cfm
update/loginexpired.cfm
update/login.cfm
update/somesecurepage.cfm
update/someothersecurepage.cfm

I want updates/login.cfm to create the session if the login is correct. If the secure pages update/somesecurepage.cfm and update/someothersecurepage.cfm are accessed without correct login the application should forward to update/loginexpired.cfm but I don't want any of the other pages to use application.cfm.

Is this plausible or should I use cfinclude instead?


  1. Always make sure you name your Application.cfm and Application.cfc files with a capital "A". This way if you move from Windows to a case sensitive file system, you wont have an issue where ColdFusion cannot find your Application.cfm/cfc files.

  2. As far as your question goes, with your current structure, all files in the "update" folder will use the Application.cfm file. It will be executed before any other code in those files. If you only want certain pages to redirect to a loginexpired page, then I would typically create a subfolder, put an Application.cfm file in that folder that includes the Application.cfm file from the parent folder: <cfinclude template="../Application.cfm" />. Then in this file, you would add your security check. in the parent Application.cfm file you would include the <cfapplication /> tag. If you are using sessions, be sure to enable session management in your cfapplication tag. (<cfapplication name="myappname" sessionmanagement="true" />)

  3. You really should have an Application.cfm or Applciation.cfc file in the root of your site. If you do not, the application will run without an application scope. ColdFusion has a kind of "unnamed" application where this would run without a defined application name. You will most likely encounter undesired effects. All CF apps should have a named application, using the cfapplication tag or a Application.cfc file with this.name set.

  4. If you are writing this as a new application, I would suggest you use Application.cfc instead of Application.cfm. You will have access to the application, session and request life cycles (onApplicationStart/End, onSessionStart/End, onRequestStart/End) as well as the onError and onMissingTemplate event handlers giving your more control over the flow of your application.