Viewing by month: December 2003
If you're running your own CF server, or are hosting with a host who's willing to do a little extra work for you, you're going to love ColdFusion scheduled tasks. It's basically a way to tell CF to run a particular file at a set interval. The called file can run a report, update a database, do an XML grab, anything you want. And then you can tell CF that you want it to save the results of the file somewhere else.
I used this to great effect today, hence my post :). MM.com changed their DesDev feed, so the XSL I slaved over in VBScript wasn't doing the trick for me, and I didn't feel like writing a new one :). So I built a CF page to consume the XML feed and do it's wonders. Well that's all fine and good, but DWfaq is built in asp, so I couldn't call the CF page from my ASP application files. Scheduled tasks to the rescue :D
I set up a scheduled task to run my des dev parser once every 4 hours. When the parser runs it saves the result as a plain old HTML file which I can then include into my .asp pages. This means I don't have to parse the XML feed everytime someone hits my site, and I don't even have to worry about the MM server not being responsive but once every 4 hours (a pretty decent gamble given that I'm error checking things anyway).
The moral of the story? Scheduled tasks can make it easy to stash pages that don't change very often as static HTML files which you can then use throughout your application without worrying about your page overhead. Definitely tasty...
I took the Dreamweaver MX 2004 certification this morning, and I'm now certified again. I only scored 88% this time, but then again I finished the 90 minute test in 20, had a client meeting I had to get to (I'm blaming poor scheduling on my part).