More ColdFusion Testing Woes With Java Objects


Once again, my team is currently working on a Flex-based mapping application and I’m working on the back-end using ColdFusion to grab the data from our SQL server, package it in a Java based data transfer object (DTO), and send it to the requesting Flex app.

Another minor glitch I ran into while trying to test the ColdFusion method calls is with the SerializeJSON function built into ColdFusion 8. Because of the way BlazeDS works, in order to send objects from the Flex app back to ColdFusion we have to convert the object to a JSON string, send it, and then rebuild the object in ColdFusion from the JSON string. My teammate explains the process in his blog entry about the tech stack “Flex, ColdFusion, Java, and BlazeDS: with JSON?

The issue is simple. I want to test methods in the ColdFusion service we are writing in ColdFusion before I try to call them from the Flex app. It should be easier to debug that way. So I create the object and use SerializeJSON to make the string to pass to the ColdFusion service method. But I get errors saying such and such property is not found when the service method tries to rebuild the object.

Here’s a simple example that demonstrates the issue

//suppose you have a Java class like so
public class BoundingBox extends DataTransferObject
	implements Serializable
	static final long serialVersionUID = -4519523511904622352L;
	private LatLngOnly upperLeftLatLng;
	private LatLngOnly lowerRightLatLng;

	public BoundingBox() {}

	public BoundingBox(LatLngOnly upperLeft, LatLngOnly lowerRight)
		this.upperLeftLatLng = upperLeft;
		this.lowerRightLatLng = lowerRight;

	//various methods including getters and setters

bnd = CreateObject("java", "com.lampo.mapping.vo.BoundingBox").init();
bnd.upperLeftLatLng =
       CreateObject("java", "com.lampo.mapping.vo.LatLngOnly").init(1.23,3.45);
bnd.lowerRightLatLng =
       CreateObject("java", "com.lampo.mapping.vo.LatLngOnly").init(5.67,7.89);

<cfset str = SerializeJSON(bnd) />
<cfset objBnd =
       CreateObject("java","com.lampo.mapping.vo.BoundingBox").makeFromJSON(str) />

Annoyingly it turns out SerializeJSON is changing some of the property names so they no longer match. While it is true ColdFusion is not case-sensitive, Java is and so capitalizing the first character of the property names causes havoc. If the property is a reference to an object, errors are thrown. If the property is a primitive, the values are not set correctly.

The only solution I have is to alter the JSON string and hard code it as an argument for the method I’m testing. You can do this manually or with some regular expression magic.

<cfset str = SerializeJSON(bnd) />

<cfset pos = REFind('\"[A-Z]',str) />
<cfloop condition="pos NEQ 0">
     <cfset str = Replace(str,Mid(str,pos,2),'"#LCase(Mid(str,pos+1,1))#','all') />
     <cfset pos = REFind('\"[A-Z]',str) />

<cfset objBnd =
       CreateObject("java","com.lampo.mapping.vo.BoundingBox").makeFromJSON(str) />

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