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Fun with CFAJAXPROXY on ColdFusion 11

In the course of moving an application from ColdFusion 8 to ColdFusion 11, I came across some strange behavior caused by the CFAJAXPROXY tag.

In CF8, a particular CFCOMPONENT called ProjectBeanService had proxies set up for its methods in the rendered JavaScript like this:

var _cf_ProjectBeanService = ColdFusion.AjaxProxy.init('/components/ProjectBeanService.cfc', 'ProjectBeanService');
_cf_ProjectBeanService.prototype.get = function(sPropertyName, sBeanType, nID, sSection, nRevision) { return ColdFusion.AjaxProxy.invoke(this, "get",  {sPropertyName:sPropertyName, sBeanType:sBeanType, nID:nID, sSection:sSection, nRevision:nRevision});};
_cf_ProjectBeanService.prototype.getAll = function(sBeanType, nID, sSection, nRevision) { return ColdFusion.AjaxProxy.invoke(this, "getAll", {sBeanType:sBeanType, nID:nID, sSection:sSection, nRevision:nRevision});};
_cf_ProjectBeanService.prototype.set = function(sPropertyName, oPropertyValue, sBeanType, nID, sSection, nRevision) { return ColdFusion.AjaxProxy.invoke(this, "set", {sPropertyName:sPropertyName, oPropertyValue:oPropertyValue, sBeanType:sBeanType, nID:nID, sSection:sSection, nRevision:nRevision});};

However, in CF11, more proxies were created:

/* <![CDATA[ */
var _cf_ProjectBeanService = ColdFusion.AjaxProxy.init('/components/ProjectBeanService.cfc', 'ProjectBeanService');
_cf_ProjectBeanService.prototype.get = function(sPropertyName, sBeanType, nID, sSection, nRevision) { return ColdFusion.AjaxProxy.invoke(this, "get",  {sPropertyName:sPropertyName, sBeanType:sBeanType, nID:nID, sSection:sSection, nRevision:nRevision});};
_cf_ProjectBeanService.prototype.getAll = function(sBeanType, nID, sSection, nRevision) { return ColdFusion.AjaxProxy.invoke(this, "getAll", {sBeanType:sBeanType, nID:nID, sSection:sSection, nRevision:nRevision});};
_cf_ProjectBeanService.prototype.set = function(sPropertyName, oPropertyValue, sBeanType, nID, sSection, nRevision) { return ColdFusion.AjaxProxy.invoke(this, "set", {sPropertyName:sPropertyName, oPropertyValue:oPropertyValue, sBeanType:sBeanType, nID:nID, sSection:sSection, nRevision:nRevision});};
_cf_ProjectBeanService.prototype.get = function(sBeanName, sPropertyName) { return ColdFusion.AjaxProxy.invoke(this, "get","4789898A8974AC60", {sBeanName:sBeanName, sPropertyName:sPropertyName});};
_cf_ProjectBeanService.prototype.destroySessionBean = function(sBeanName) { return ColdFusion.AjaxProxy.invoke(this, "destroySessionBean", "4789898A8974AC60", {sBeanName:sBeanName});};
_cf_ProjectBeanService.prototype.createSessionBean = function(sBeanName, sBeanType, sDAOName) { return ColdFusion.AjaxProxy.invoke(this, "createSessionBean", "4789898A8974AC60", {sBeanName:sBeanName, sBeanType:sBeanType, sDAOName:sDAOName});};
_cf_ProjectBeanService.prototype.getAll = function(sBeanName) { return ColdFusion.AjaxProxy.invoke(this, "getAll", "4789898A8974AC60", {sBeanName:sBeanName});};
_cf_ProjectBeanService.prototype.getSessionBean = function(sBeanName) { return ColdFusion.AjaxProxy.invoke(this, "getSessionBean","4789898A8974AC60", {sBeanName:sBeanName});};
_cf_ProjectBeanService.prototype.set = function(sBeanName, sPropertyName, oPropertyValue) { return ColdFusion.AjaxProxy.invoke(this, "set", "4789898A8974AC60", {sBeanName:sBeanName, sPropertyName:sPropertyName, oPropertyValue:oPropertyValue});};
_cf_ProjectBeanService.prototype.reInitSessionBean = function(sBeanName, argument1, argument2, argument3, argument4) { return ColdFusion.AjaxProxy.invoke(this, "reInitSessionBean", "4789898A8974AC60", {sBeanName:sBeanName, argument1:argument1, argument2:argument2, argument3:argument3, argument4:argument4});};
/* ]]> */

This made no sense to me, as the ProjectBeanService class only had the three methods declared that were proxied in CF8. I looked at the ProjectBeanService.cfc file:

<cfcomponent displayname = "ProjectBeanService" extends = "com.AjaxBeanService">

    <cffunction name = "getBean" access = "private" returntype = "any">
        <cfargument name = "sBeanType" type = "string" required = "yes">
        <cfargument name = "nID" type = "numeric" required = "yes" hint = "ProjectID or ImpactID">
        <cfargument name = "sSection" type = "string" required = "no" hint = "ProjectSection or ImpactSection" default = "">
        <cfargument name = "nRevision" type = "numeric" required = "no" hint = "Commitment Revision" default = "0">

        <cfset var oBean = createObject("component","com." & sBeanType).init(nID,sSection,nRevision)  />

        <cfreturn oBean />

    </cffunction>

    <cffunction name = "set" access = "remote" returntype = "void">
        <cfargument name = "sPropertyName" type = "string" required = "yes">
        <cfargument name = "oPropertyValue" type = "string" required = "yes">
        <cfargument name = "sBeanType" type = "string" required = "yes">
        <cfargument name = "nID" type = "numeric" required = "yes">
        <cfargument name = "sSection" type = "string" required = "no" default = "">
        <cfargument name = "nRevision" type = "numeric" required = "no" default = "0">
        <cfset var oBean = StructNew() />
        <cftry>

            <cfset oBean = getBean(sBeanType, nID, sSection,nRevision) />
            <cfset oBean.set(sPropertyName,oPropertyValue) />
            <cfcatch type = "any">
                 <cfset sendError(cfcatch.ErrorCode,cfcatch.message) />
            </cfcatch>
        </cftry>
     </cffunction>

    <cffunction name = "get" access = "remote" returntype = "any">
        <cfargument name = "sPropertyName" type = "string" required = "yes">
        <cfargument name = "sBeanType" type = "string" required = "yes">
        <cfargument name = "nID" type = "numeric" required = "yes">
        <cfargument name = "sSection" type = "string" required = "no" default = "">
        <cfargument name = "nRevision" type = "numeric" required = "no" default = "0">

        <cfset var value = "" />
        <cfset var oBean = StructNew() />

        <cftry>      
            <cfset oBean = getBean(sBeanType,nID,sSection,nRevision) />
            <cfset value = oBean.get(sPropertyName) />
            <cfreturn value />

            <cfcatch type = "any">
                    <cfset sendError(cfcatch.ErrorCode,cfcatch.message) />
            </cfcatch>
        </cftry>
     </cffunction>

     <cffunction name = "getAll" access = "remote" returntype = "struct">
        <cfargument name = "sBeanType" type = "string" required = "no" default = "ProjectBean">
        <cfargument name = "nID" type = "numeric" required = "yes">
        <cfargument name = "sSection" type = "string" required = "no" default = "">
        <cfargument name = "nRevision" type = "numeric" required = "no" default = "0">

        <cfset var oBean = StructNew() />
        <cfset var oStruct = structNew() />

        <cftry>      
            <cfset oBean = getBean(sBeanType,nID,sSection,nRevision) />
            <cfset oStruct = oBean.getAll() />
            <cfreturn oStruct />

            <cfcatch type = "any">
                  <cfset sendError(cfcatch.ErrorCode,cfcatch.message) />
            </cfcatch>
        </cftry>
     </cffunction>

</cfcomponent>

I saw that this class extended another class, AjaxBeanService:

<cfcomponent displayname = "AjaxBeanService" extends = "com.AbstractAjax">

    <cffunction name = "createSessionBean" access = "remote" returntype = "struct">
        <cfargument name = "sBeanName" type = "string" required = "yes">
        <cfargument name = "sBeanType" type = "string" required = "yes">
        <cfargument name = "sDAOName" type = "string" required = "yes">
        <cfset var oBean = StructNew() />
        <cfset var oBeanArguments = ARGUMENTS />
        <cfset var oDAO = application[sDAOName] />

        <cftry>
            <cfset oBean = createObject("component","com." & sBeanType) />

             <!--- delete first 3 elements from arguments array --->
            <cfset ArrayDeleteAt(oBeanArguments,1) />
            <cfset ArrayDeleteAt(oBeanArguments,1) />
            <cfset ArrayDeleteAt(oBeanArguments,1) />

            <!--- make the DAO object the first argument --->
            <cfset ArrayPrepend(oBeanArguments,oDAO) />

            <cfset oBean.init.apply(oBean,oBeanArguments) />
            <cfset SESSION.beans[sBeanName] = oBean />
            <cfreturn oBean.getAll() />
            <cfcatch type = "any">
                <cfset sendError(cfcatch.ErrorCode,cfcatch.message) />
            </cfcatch>
        </cftry>
    </cffunction>

    <cffunction name = "destroySessionBean" access = "remote" returntype = "struct">
        <cfargument name = "sBeanName" type = "string" required = "yes">
        <cfset rc = StructDelete(SESSION.beans, "#sBeanName#", "True")>
    </cffunction>

    <cffunction name = "reInitSessionBean" access = "remote" returntype = "struct">
        <cfargument name = "sBeanName" type = "string" required = "yes">
        <cfargument name = "argument1" type = "any" required = "no" default = "">
        <cfargument name = "argument2" type = "any" required = "no" default = "">
        <cfargument name = "argument3" type = "any" required = "no" default = "">
        <cfargument name = "argument4" type = "any" required = "no" default = "">
       <cfset var oBean = StructNew() />
        <cftry>
            <cfset oBean = getSessionBean(sBeanName) />           
            <cfset oBean.init(oBean.getDAO(),argument1,argument2,argument3,argument4) />
            <cfset SESSION.beans[sBeanName] = oBean />
            <cfreturn oBean.getAll() />
            <cfcatch type = "any">
                <cfset sendError(cfcatch.ErrorCode,cfcatch.message) />
            </cfcatch>
        </cftry>
    </cffunction>

    <cffunction name = "getSessionBean" access = "remote" returntype = "any">
        <cfargument name = "sBeanName" type = "string" required = "yes">
        <cfset var oBean = StructNew() />
        <cfif StructKeyExists(SESSION.beans,sBeanName) >
            <cflock scope = "session" type = "readonly" timeout = "5" throwontimeout = "yes">
                <cfset oBean = Duplicate(SESSION.beans[sBeanName]) />
            </cflock>
        </cfif>
        <cfif StructIsEmpty(oBean)>
            <cfthrow errorcode = "500" message = "No bean found by the name '#sBeanname#'" />
        <cfelse>
            <cfreturn oBean />
        </cfif>
    </cffunction>

    <cffunction name = "set" access = "remote" returntype = "void">
        <cfargument name = "sBeanName" type = "string" required = "yes">
        <cfargument name = "sPropertyName" type = "string" required = "yes">
        <cfargument name = "oPropertyValue" type = "string" required = "yes">
        <cfset var oBean = StructNew() />
        <cftry>
            <cfset oBean = getSessionBean(sBeanName) />
            <cfset oBean.set(sPropertyName,oPropertyValue) />
            <cfcatch type = "any">
                 <cfset sendError(cfcatch.ErrorCode,cfcatch.message) />
            </cfcatch>
        </cftry>
     </cffunction>

    <cffunction name = "get" access = "remote" returntype = "any">
        <cfargument name = "sBeanName" type = "string" required = "yes">
        <cfargument name = "sPropertyName" type = "string" required = "yes">

        <cfset var value = "" />
        <cfset var oBean = StructNew() />

        <cftry>      
            <cfset oBean = getSessionBean(sBeanName) />
            <cfset value = oBean.get(sPropertyName) />
            <cfreturn value />

            <cfcatch type = "any">
                    <cfset sendError(cfcatch.ErrorCode,cfcatch.message) />
            </cfcatch>
        </cftry>
     </cffunction>

     <cffunction name = "getAll" access = "remote" returntype = "struct">
        <cfargument name = "sBeanName" type = "string" required = "yes">

        <cfset var oBean = StructNew() />
        <cfset var oStruct = structNew() />

        <cftry>      
            <cfset oBean = getSessionBean(sBeanName) />
            <cfset oStruct = oBean.getAll() />
            <cfreturn oStruct />

            <cfcatch type = "any">
                  <cfset sendError(cfcatch.ErrorCode,cfcatch.message) />
            </cfcatch>
        </cftry>
     </cffunction>

</cfcomponent>

This class contained the methods that were showing up in the rendered code on CF11.

I found that at least part of this issue was most certainly a bug in CF8 that had been corrected in CF9. In CF8, a child class apparently did not have access to the methods of the parent class via CFAJAXPROXY if the parent class methods were marked as having “remote” access. No longer, in CF9 and subsequent versions. Source (in comments): Ask a Jedi: ColdFusion Ajax example of retrieving fields of data (2)

However, that did not explain why the parent class method proxies were being rendered AFTER the child class methods, thus preventing the child from overriding the parent class methods.

So far, the only fix I have is to mark the parent methods access attributes as “public” rather than “remote”. This seems like a poor way to do it, and may yet have unintended consequences, but without writing new JavaScript to avoid the use of CFAJAXPROXY, this may be the best solution for now.

Incidentally, an article on doing that very thing is here, in case anyone needs it: Creating A Remote AJAX Proxy In Javascript Without ColdFusion 8’s CFAjaxProxy

If anyone has any better suggestions on how to fix this problem, I’ve submitted it as a question on Stack Overflow.

my Stack Overflow question