Date issue with ColdFusion and SQL Server Stored Procedure

I had an unexpected issue today with a SQL Server stored procedure that worked fine in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), but threw the following error when I ran it in ColdFusion:

[Macromedia][SQLServer JDBC Driver][SQLServer]The conversion of a varchar
data type to a datetime data type resulted in an out-of-range value

This was odd as the query in CF doesn’t actually contain reference to any dates.  They are all handled internally inside the stored procedure.

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Unique constraint vs NULL values in SQL Server

Lately, I’ve been working with a SQL Server database table that contains people. Each person has a system-generated ID as their primary identifier in the system, but we also hold a national identifier (something like a National Insurance or Social Security Number) in a second column.

Today, I’ve been changing the application to allow the entry of new people without a national identifier as we need to cater for rare cases where it is not known or doesn’t exist. The national identifier column had a unique constraint and disallowed NULL values.

First order of the day was to remove the NOT NULL from the column. That done, I pretty much expected it to work, after all NULL is a concept, not a real value, right? So if you put a unique constraint on a column that allows NULL values, it will be enforced for rows that have an actual value in that column but you could have as many NULLs as you like, surely? Read the rest of this entry »

How I Got Started with ColdFusion

Thanks to Steve Bryant, today is “How I got started with ColdFusion” Day.  I hadn’t intended to take part as I don’t think my story is particularly interesting, but having seen the steady flow of posts in Google Reader all day, I’ve been moved to write something.

I’ve had an interest in computers since home computers became common in the ’80s, though my parents had a habit of choosing the more obscure examples (Dragon 32, Acorn Electron…) so decent games were harder to come by and I spent more time learning BASIC programming than gaming.  Come to think of it, maybe they knew exactly what they were doing… Read the rest of this entry »

Scotch on the Rocks 2011 (Day 2)

Following on from Day1 (part 1 and part 2), this is my final post on SOTR 2011, with notes from the Day 2 sessions that I attended. Read the rest of this entry »

Scotch on the Rocks 2011 (Day 1 PM)

Continuing from my Day 1 AM post, here are some notes from the sessions I attended on the afternoon of Day 1. Read the rest of this entry »

Scotch on the Rocks 2011 (Day 1 AM)

The Scotch on the Rocks 2011 ColdFusion conference was held at the Apex International Hotel in Edinburgh on the 3rd and 4th March, and this year I was able to attend the whole event (having gone for just the first day in 2010).  Some notes from the sessions I attended follow below, and will continue in future posts.  The notes are not exhaustive, but hopefully cover the main points of the sessions, and anything else I considered interesting. Read the rest of this entry »

Enabling external inputs on Philips iTV

Whenever I stay in a hotel, I always take my iPod Classic, loaded with movies and TV shows, and a video cable so that if I’m bored I don’t have to watch whatever rubbish happens to be on at the time.  Most hotel TVs have at least a composite video input, so this generally works, but I recently encountered a Philips iTV that despite having a decent selection of inputs, had no way to select them on either the TV or the remote control.

Philips iTV (short for “Institutional TV”, though their newer models have the altogether more welcoming “Hospitalty TV” label) televisions are made specifically for use in hotels, hospitals and the like, and have the ability to restrict the features available to guests, and provide pay per view services and so on.

There are a number of different models with different operating software and configuration options, and it may not always be possible to change the settings without a special master remote control, but if you’re lucky (as I was) you may be able to get into the service menu using just the guest remote in the room, and enable the external inputs. Read the rest of this entry »

IsNumeric vs IsValid

Here is an oddity spotted by my colleague David Boyer (MisterDai) the other day. Since Dave has been um, too busy to blog about it, and we worked through it together, I’m throwing up a quick post about our findings for posterity.

If you’ve been using Adobe ColdFusion for any length of time, you’re probably aware of the IsNumeric() function. It’s been around for ages (at least since I started using CF back with version 4.5) and does pretty much what you’d expect – if the value passed to it is numeric it returns true, otherwise it returns false.

More recently (MX 7), IsValid() was introduced. This is a more general-purpose function for validating data.  It takes an additional parameter, type, indicating which data type rule to apply to the supplied value. Specifying a type of numeric is, according to the CF9 documentation at least, equivalent to IsNumeric().

The problem is that they aren’t exactly equivalent.   Read the rest of this entry »

Scotch on the Rocks 2010

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend my first ColdFusion conference last week, Scotch on the Rocks 2010, but only for the first of the two days.  Since our employer was funding the trip, colleague Mister Dai and I mostly went to different sessions to get the maximum value out of the day. The folowing is a quick roundup of the sessions I attended, Read the rest of this entry »

xPLCurrentCost source now on Google Code

The xPL project subversion repository has been moved over to Google Code which has given me the nudge I needed to finally get the xPLCurrentCost source into svn.  Check it out (did you see what I did there?) at