Grails for CFML Developers

I’ve talked to “the guys,” and they’re all cool with me making a top-level page to house this series. It’s going to be my main focus for a while, and it’ll focus on a number of short tutorials that cover most of what you’d need to know to go from being a good CF developers to a good Grails developer.

They’ll start with the basis – installing Grails, making a page, connecting to a database – and work on up to including Spring security, testing, building, and deploying your applications.


  1. What is Grails? (Coming Soon)
  2. What is Groovy? (Coming Soon)

The Basics

  1. How to Install Grails
  2. Installing a Free Grails IDE (Springsource Tool Suite)
  3. Creating a Page in Grails
  4. Creating Forms in Grails
  5. Creating Templates (Layouts) in Grails

Working with Models and Data

  1. Connecting Grails to MySQL (and others)
  2. Grails Models: Creating, saving, and querying data
  3. Grails Models: Many-To-One and One-To-Many Relationships
  4. Grails Models: Many-to-Many and One-To-One Relationships
  5. Grails Models: Custom Object Mapping
  6. Grails Models: Basic Validation (Constraints)(Coming Soon)
  7. Grails Models: Custom Validation

ColdFusion Features in Groovy/Grails

  1. Application.cfc
  2. Debugging
  3. Scheduled Tasks
  4. Sending Mail
  5. Working With PDFs
  6. Working With Office Documents
  7. Threads
  8. Caching (Ehcache)
  9. IO
    • File/Directory Operations
    • VFS
If there is a specific topic you would like to see covered just let us know and we’ll look into it.  Until we have a proper contact page you can tweet us with your ideas!

The rest is a work in progress. I’m currently laid up with a massive knee injury, so the 10-15 hours I normally spend a week riding a bike are going to have part of their time spent here.

12 comments on “Grails for CFML Developers
  1. David Epler says:


    This is a really good series and approaches it from an angle that most ColdFusion developers can relate to. Just thought I’d share another resource that I also found useful. InfoQ has a Getting Started with Grails book that is a free PDF download.

  2. Scott Stroz says:

    David – is that book for Grails 2?

  3. Joe Rinehart says:

    Published in 2010, so I doubt it…

  4. David Epler says:


    The InfoQ book covers 1.2.x. I was using it with 1.3.x and 2.0.x to get familiar with the basics since I learn better with books. The only Grails 2 book that I know of is The Definitive Guide to Grails 2, but won’t be released until December 2012.

  5. John Allen says:

    Pumped about this.

  6. matt says:

    thanks Joe ! enjoying these tutorials so far. Working on making the leap from CF to Grails, really appreciate the help.

    Sorry to hear about your knee, hope you can get back on your bike soon.

  7. Joe Rinehart says:

    Hey Matt – both “you’re welcome” and “thanks.” Next post coming soon, it’s just been a busy week getting back to work.

    In the meantime, be sure to check the blog’s homepage – Todd’s got Grails articles coming out for the next few days.

  8. Joe Rinehart says:

    Oops…got bitten by scheduled publication. They’re now linked.

  9. Steve Duys says:

    Thx Joe & Gang for setting this page/portal up for us CF folks looking for new dev adventures 😉 I have a question though, and I think it would help all of us.. can you guys explain why you chose Grails over RoR ? Being a newbie to this arena, I don’t quite understand all the diffs. Thx, and I plan to dive in!

    • Joe Rinehart says:

      For me, it’s largely the ease with which we’ve been able to transition. Groovy reads much like our primary client-side language (JavaScript), isn’t entirely foreign to our team that’s used to some Java development, and allows us to use Java tooling with which we’re already familiar. Within our market, it’s also a lot easier to sell JEE or .NET solutions than Rails/PHP/etc – but that’s pretty specific to our clients.

  10. Any thoughts about putting this up on Github? It would be very cool to see this evolve and continue to be updated. I know our organization is working on this conversion and would love to use this to help devs convert, but we could probably help with the documentation, too.

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