A recent discussion with a colleague in San Diego led me to realize that, while I have a lot of seperate snippets of how to setup CF/JBoss, I never published a nice comprehensive, step-by-step post to show how to do it from start to finish.

This post is going to cover how to set up your server to run the JBoss Application Server – parsing ColdFusion code in its web apps. Future posts will cover how to set up JBoss AS/Apache/ColdFusion, and JBoss AS/JBoss WS/ColdFusion.

Step 1: ColdFusion Installer

The first thing you need to do is download and/or run the ColdFusion installation package. During the installation wizard, ensure that you choose to install the J2EE/WAR installation type. When the installer is done, go to the installation directory in which you will see a cfusion.war file.

A WAR file (Web Application aRchive) is simply a ZIP archive, which means you can use whichever program you have for unzipping files. Simply unzip the archive into any location you choose. When done, you will have three directories:

  • META-INF
  • WEB-INF
  • CFIDE

The only two you will be interested in are the WEB-INF and CFIDE directories. You can safely delete the META-INF directory.

Step 2: Install JBoss

Now you can download and install the version of JBoss that you want to run your applications. Installation is as easy as unzipping the downloaded ZIP file to the directory from which you want to run JBoss. When done, you’ll have the following directory structure:
JBoss directory structure

Step 3: Creating Your Application Structure

Notice the SAR and WAR directories under the deploy directory. You need to create one for your new web application. For example, if your application is the website for www.widgets.com, simply create a widgets.war directory.
Create widgets.war directory

Remember the WEB-INF and CFIDE directories you unpacked previously, well now we need them. Copy them from their current location to your new widgets.war web application directory. Amazingly, you are almost done! These two directories are all that is needed to get a JBoss web app to parse ColdFusion files.
JBoss app enabled

Step 4: Telling JBoss You’re Alive

Now, here’s where you need to determine how JBoss is going to serve your Widgets application. This is done by creating a jboss-web.xml file inside the widgets.war\WEB-INF directory.
Jboss-web.xml file

If the Widgets application is the only application you want to server from JBoss, or it is going to be your root application – in both cases, what you want served when someone hits www.widgets.com – you specify this application as the root application. This is what the jboss-web.xml file would look like.
Jboss web root

However, if you want this application to be a subdirectory off of your root, you would specify that subdirectory name in the jboss-web.xml file.
Jboss web subdir

Step 5: Serving Your Application

The last thing you might need to do – if JBoss is functioning as your main web server – is change the port on which JBoss is listening. For this, you need to look inside the deploy\jbossweb-tomcat50.sar\server.xml file.
Jboss tomcat file

The very first setting in this file is the port on which Tomcat is listening for HTTP requests. The default value is 8080, but if JBoss is your default web and application server, you will need to change the port attribute value to 80.
tomcat_server_file.jpg

Conclusion

This is the most basic configuration for JBoss / ColdFusion. After completing these steps, you can start your JBoss instance and hit your designated URL and ColdFusion files will light up.

For more advanced configurations of JBoss, here are some links to other relevant posts.
Running multiple ColdFusion instances
Securing your JBoss web applications
Hosting multiple domains in JBoss
Flexible ColdFusion deployment – serving from anywhere