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Using FTP from inside CFEclipse

I have been using CFEclispe as my primary development IDE for ColdFusion applications for quite a while.  One nifty, yet in my case, rarely used, feature of CFEclipse is the ability to FTP to a site and add and edit files, similar to the way Dreamweaver used to work with 'FTP Sites'. I happened to be asked a couple of times recently if it can be done, and if so, how. So this will save me the time and energy of explaining again.

I had issues with the FTP functionality using CFEClipse 1.3 with Eclipse 3.1, so your mileage may vary,  The example shown below is CFEclispe running in Eclipse 3.2.

First, Open Eclispe and go to the 'File Explorer' tab. If you don't see this tab, click 'Window --> Show View', and choose 'File Explorer View' under the 'CFML folder.

Now, in order to set up an FTP connection, you need to click the arrow the the right of the drop down box in the File Explorer View, and select 'Locations' (See image below)

Next, you need too specify you FTP connection information. Note in the image below, I have a connection named 'test', we will use this in the next step.

OK, so now we have our connection, we need to use it.  To do this, select the connection name from the drop down at the top of the File Explorer View, in my example, the connection named 'Test'.

Lastly, once CFEclipse connects, you can navigate the FTP site like any other directory structure tree.  Like HomeSite, the list of files in a directory is displayed in a separate panel under the directory tree. From there you can select files and edit them all you like.  To create a new file, simply right-click on the directory where you wish to add a file and select 'Create File'. You can also create new directories by right-clicking a directory and choosing 'Create Directory'.


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James, F.E. said...
Thanks for posting this. I just started using CFEclipse as my editor of choice and I've been trying to figure out how to use FTP from within it.
Scott Stroz said...
@James - Using another Eclispe plug-in named Aptana, you can actually synch your local file system or Eclipse project to a remote FTP site.

The post will probably have to wait until tomorrow.
Mark Drew said...
Thanks for posting this Scott! I never get a chance to actually write about the features I put into CFEclipse. Just so you know what is happenigng in the background, I replaced the File System Provider (i.e. the client) for Apache's Virtual File System, which means that using a URL it can connect to a lot of file systems. It was a pretty big job since I ripped out a whole bunch of stuff to replace it!
dickbob said...
@Scott - Sounds like Aptana is what *I* really need as I come from a Dreamweaver background and I'm used to synching with my local file system.

@Mark - Any chance CFEclipse with support this functionality in the forseeable future or should I invest in Aptana?
James, F.E. said...
I've not heard about Aptana until now. I'll check it out.

Scott Stroz said...
I was discussing this with a co-worker this morning, and he informed me there is a way to synchronize without the use of Aptana. However, I will say that Aptana is a great plug-in for CSS and JS development. It also does XML and HTML edittting, but I rarely, if at all, use those features.
Mike Henke said...
@Scott - Great timing and post. Never new about this feature always was suggesting Aptana.
@Mark - What about RDS within CFEclipse using this same approach? :-)
doug sims said...
I would reccomend aptana if you are doing web2.0 ajax stuff, as it has autocomplete for dojo, prototype, etc. however, id doesnt play so nice with cfeclipse as far as CFM file so you have to keep your JS in seperate .js files to use the autocomplete
Tim Davis said...
Yes!... Aptana has been the answer for me. I have avoided the Eclipse switch due to the (lame) FTP lacking features similar to DreamWeaver. But running both Aptana and CFeclipse you can set up an FTP account then use Aptana's "Sync" app to get hooked up. I now have been cold turkey from DreamWeaver for 3 weeks and love CFeclipse...Works great!
Rob Wilkerson said...
I had some trouble with FTP when I had both Aptana & CFEclipse installed. Basically, if both were installed neither worked. Has anyone else seen this, by any chance? It could be my install...
Jason Troy said...
I've had issues with FTP in CFEclipse and quit using it. After I would open a file and work on it, the FTP server connection would time out. When I would save the file, I got a null pointer exception. In order to re-establish the FTP connection, I had to click on the folder. Annoying!
sal said...
gotta quick question. When you're developing with eclipse, are you mainly developing in the Aptana perspective or cfeclipse perspective??
Faith Sloan said...
You wrote: "In the window that pops up, choose 'Other --> FTP'"

I do not have an "Other" category so I cannot get to the FTP or WEBDAV options.

Is there something I need to do special? I am using:
Eclipse SDK
Version: 3.3.0
Build id: I20070625-1500

and just installed cfeclipse latest version today.

Thanx in advance and ...

God Bless
Scott Stroz said...
@Faith - If you do not see the 'Other' option, you might not have WebDav/FTP installed in Eclipse.
Faith Sloan said...
I do not see a WebDav/FTP or even an FTP entity to download on the web site. In addition, I have managed to set up a remote FTP connection for one of my development servers.

Any other suggestions? Please advise and thanx in advance.

God Bless
Scott Stroz said...
I believe you should be able to get WebDav/FTP by doing an update from within Eclipse. I also think you need at least Eclipse 3.2
Faith Sloan said...
The generic update did not give me the FTP/WEBDAV feature; searching eclipse web site took me on a wild goose chase. After a coupla hours of banging my head, I finally got it from

Again, I have Eclipse Europa (v3.3)

Thanx and God Bless
Phillip Senn said...
It worked!
Steven Benjamin said...
Scott, thank you posting this.
Dipak kumar Panda said...
Thanks friend. It was really an useful info. for me.
Thanks again.