The amazing adventures of Doug Hughes

Im happy to announce that I have three new Alagad projects to announce. As with most other Alagad projects these are all free and open source. Please share and enjoy!

The first project is my favorite: ColdBooks.

ColdBooks is a free and open source tool that allows ColdFusion developers to work with data stored in Intuit QuickBooks. ColdBooks attempts to simplify the process of communication with QuickBooks by integrating with the ColdFusion administrator and allowing users to create and use connections to QuickBooks in a manner similar to ColdFusion data sources.

Essentially, its a tool that you drop in under the ColdFusion CFIDE/administrator directory and can use to establish connections to QuickBooks via the Quickbooks web connector. You can then use services that this tool provides within your application to do pretty much anything that the QuickBooks API supports. This includes reading and writing employee, customer, vendor, invoice, check and many other types of data.

Were still working on implementing this at Alagad, but well soon be using this to connect our project management and time tracking tools directly to QuickBooks. (We actually already do this via a different unreleased too, but its very unreliable. So, Im excited to get ColdBooks rolled out.)

The next project is an Imap Watcher Event Gateway

How many times have you needed to interact with emailed data in your ColdFusion applications? Well, maybe not that often, but when youve had to its always been a pain in the rear. Traditionally, youd have to create a scheduled process that would run every few minutes to check for new messages in your POP account. This is slow, unreliable and can be problematic. What if you needed (or wanted) a more efficient and nearly real-time system?

The Imap Watcher Event Gateway works like the Directory Watcher Event gateway in that it can watch a folder on your IMAP server and, as soon as a new message appears, it can announce an event to a configured CFC that can do whatever you want with it.

For my first test application I simply created a CFC to echo back the message that was sent:

<cfcomponent hint="I this is a sample CFC that handles generic Events">
	<cffunction name="onEvent" access="public" hint="I handle incomming events from an event gateway." output="false" returntype="void">
		<cfargument name="CFEvent" hint="I am the cfevent structure" required="true" type="struct" />
		<cfset var Message = />

			<cfmail from="#Message.getTo()[1]#" to="#ListChangeDelims(Message.getFrom(), "[],", ",")#" subject="Re: #Message.getSubject()#"
				port="465" useSSL="true" server="" username="" password="something"
			>Echo: #Message.getText()#</cfmail>
				<cfdump var="#cfcatch#" output="console" />


So, thats nifty and all. I can quickly reply back to emails. But what if I wanted to do something cooler? Well, just for fun, I setup a Google Voice account to send SMS messages to email to an email address that I watch with the IMAP Watcher Event Gateway. This means I now have a poor-mans SMS short code (well, long code). This example only echos the SMS back to you, but now you may be able to see how it would be easy to make some cool applications with this.

The last project is an SNMP Event Gateway

The SNMP Event Gateway was originally created for Michigan State University a while back. They gave me permission to release it a long time ago, but Im just now getting to it.

In all honestly, Im not too familiar with SNMP so I cant speak in detail to this gateways capabilities. However, I can say that it lets you listen for SNMP events as well as broadcast SNMP events. Behind the scenes it uses SNMP4J and, as far as I can tell, it pretty much just works.

So, there you go. Share and Enjoy!

Comments on: "Three new Open Source Alagad Projects for IMAP, SNMP and QuickBooks" (7)

  1. Smart stuff, Doug!


  2. I assume you will be listing these at RIAForge, right? Right?!?!


  3. Pretty cool. By the way documentation link on IMAP gateway watcher download pdf for coldbook.



  4. Mark Fuqua said:


    I read through your documentation for ColdBooks and it looks really helpful. I’m sure I’ll have a ton on questions when I actually go to implement this (I’m pretty dense), which I promise to try and get answered on a list somewhere…hopefully this will be well used in the community…that will help alleviate the avalanche of help requests that seem to accompany any Open Source initiative (no good deed goes unpunished).

    I did want to ask your opinion on a general Coldfusion/Quickbooks question: I have noticed that Intuit is pushing hard to get people to adopt QuickBase in lue of QBWC. Quickbase uses a Flex front end to connect to a database in the cloud. These are SAAS apps, with a marketplace through Intuit for selling/billing/marketing. Personally, I am not really interested in a race to the bottom with SAAS type apps, all competing for similar customers in the same marketplace. What are your thoughts on this? Is Alagad going to use Quickbase? What do you see as the basic differences between the two?

    Thanks, looking forward to your expert opinion.


  5. @Qasim – Thanks for pointing out the link issue. I’ve fixed it.

    @Mark – You’re welcome to pepper us with questions. Right now there’s no public mailing list (or private for that matter). We might end up turning questions you have into a series of blog entries. If there’s enough volume of questions we can establish an official mailing list.

    As far as QuickBase goes, I can’t profess to be very well informed. I’ve looked at it and, to the best of my interpretation, it seems to be a system whereby a subset of your QuickBooks data gets uploaded into the cloud and is accessible by affiliated Flex-based applications.

    The way I read it, this is useful to someone who wants to essentially add on additional services to QuickBooks. However, if someone wants to do real integration with QuickBooks (for example, automating creation of invoices based on time tracked in your internal systems), then QuickBase wouldn’t be the answer. You’d really need to manually do the integration which is a pain in the ass, and which ColdBooks is intended to make easier.

    So, no, I don’t have any intention on using QuickBase.


  6. Compassionate for the brobdingnagian analyze, but I’m gaga the new Zune, and expectation this, as fortunate as the excellent reviews some different fill person scripted, improve you terminate if it’s the aright selection for you.


  7. I’m very impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it your self? Anyway keep up the excellent top quality writing, it’s rare to see a fantastic blog like this one by dre tour purple.


Comments are closed.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: