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Installing ColdFusion Server on Windows Platforms

Compared to what I'll get into later, installing ColdFusion Server is a breeze. When you pop in the CD-ROM, the setup proceeds pretty much along the lines of every Windows program you've ever used before.

Before installing, make sure that the files and directories on your server are generally cleaned up—that is, you don't have old stuff hanging around from previously installed apps you've since deleted.

Make sure that you have Web server software installed and running before you begin ColdFusion installation. If you're not sure whether you're running a Web server, open a browser on your system and enter this URL:

If you see your site's home page, or other text provided by your Web server, you know things are running correctly. If you don't, consult your Web server's documentation for help.

Because you're evidently maintaining your own Web server, I'll assume that you've reached Big Kid status and I won't offend you here by detailing installation basics such as click on the setup icon, enter your name and serial number, and so on. Beyond that, the installation app will offer some options. I recommend choosing the default install directory unless you have a really good reason not to. You'll then be asked which ColdFusion components you want to install. If disk space isn't an issue, go ahead and let the installer default to add them all, including the documentation and code examples. If you find a component you don't use, you can always delete it later.

Next the installer will present a list of compatible server APIs and ask you to choose the one that matches your brand of Web server software. If you're running a server that is only partially supported by ColdFusion, it's a good idea to check the documentation at this point and read over the features offered by different compatibility modes.


Windows users installing ColdFusion for use with Apache Web servers will need to make a couple manual modifications to the server. Check the ColdFusion help file for details.

Next you'll be asked to choose an administrator password, which you'll need later to access the ColdFusion Administrator.

ColdFusion will, by default, install its documentation as HTML and CFM pages. This might seem a little strange if you're used to reading application docs in Microsoft Word or other text formats, but when you start browsing the pages you'll understand the method behind the apparent madness. By coding some of the pages in .CFM template files, Macromedia is able to actively demonstrate sample output for each of ColdFusion's tags.

After the setup files decompress, the installer will ask you to reboot your server so that ColdFusion can make the necessary link with your system ODBC.


Depending on your system platform, ColdFusion runs in a variety of ways. On Windows NT\2000, it becomes a system service, accessible from the Services Control Panel. On Solaris systems, it runs as a process, and is initiated by a script. On Windows 9x systems, the program runs as an ordinary executable and is accessible from the system tray.

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