Adobe ColdFusion 8

The CFScript language

This section explains the syntax of the CFScript language.

Identifying CFScript

You enclose CFScript regions inside <cfscript> and </cfscript> tags. No other CFML tags are allowed inside a cfscript region. The following lines show a minimal script:

a = 2;


CFScript variables can be of any ColdFusion type, such as numbers, strings, arrays, queries, and objects. The CFScript code can read and write any variables that are available in the page that contains the script. This includes all common scope variables, such as session, application, and server variables.

Expressions and operators

CFScript supports all CFML expressions. CFML expressions include operators (such as +, -, EQ, and so on), as well as all CFML functions.

You can use several comparison operators in CFScript only, not in CFML tags. (You can also use the corresponding CFML operators in CFScript.) The following table lists the CFScript-only operators and the equivalent operator that you can use in CFML tags or CFScript:

CFScript operator

CFML operator

CFScript operator

CFML operator













For information about CFML expressions, operators, and functions, see Using Expressions and Number Signs.


CFScript supports the following statements:




function call


function (function definition)



var (in custom functions only)



return (in custom functions only)




The following rules apply to statements:

  • You must put a semicolon at the end of a statement.
  • Line breaks are ignored. A single statement can cross multiple lines.
  • White space is ignored. For example, it does not matter whether you precede a semicolon with a space character.
  • Use curly braces to group multiple statements together into one logical statement unit.
  • Unless otherwise indicated, you can use any ColdFusion expression in the body of a statement.

Note: This chapter documents all statements except function, var, and return. For information on these statements, see Defining functions in CFScript.

Statement blocks

Curly brace characters ({ and }) group multiple CFScript statements together so that they are treated as a single unit or statement. This enables you to create code blocks in conditional statements, such as the following:

if(score GT 0) {
    result = "positive";
    Positives = Positives + 1;

In this example, both assignment statements are executed if the score is greater than 0. If they were not in the code block, only the first line would execute.

You do not have to put brace characters on their own lines in the code. For example, you could put the open brace in the preceding example on the same line as the if statement, and some programmers use this style. However, putting at least the ending brace on its own line makes it easier to read the code and separate out code blocks.


CFScript has two forms of comments: single line and multiline.

A single line comment begins with two forward slashes (//) and ends at the line end; for example:

//This is a single-line comment.
//This is a second single-line comment.

A multiline comment starts with a /* marker and continues until it reaches a */ marker; for example:

/*This is a multiline comment.
  You do not need to start each line with a comment indicator.
  This is the last line in the comment. */

The following rules apply to comments:

  1. Comments do not have to start at the beginning of a line. They can follow active code on a line. For example, the following line is valid:
    MyVariable = 12; // Set MyVariable to the default value.

  2. The end of a multiline comment can be followed on the same line by active code. For example, the following line is valid, although it is poor coding practice:
    End of my long comment */ foo = "bar";

  3. You can use multiline format for a comment on a single line, for example:
    /*This is a single line comment using multiline format. */

  • You cannot nest /* and */ markers inside other comment lines.
  • CFML comments (<!--- and --->) do not work in CFScript.

Reserved words

In addition to the names of ColdFusion functions and words reserved by ColdFusion expressions (such as NOT, AND, IS, and so on), the following words are reserved in CFScript. Do not use these words as variables or identifiers in your scripting code:

















Differences from JavaScript

Although CFScript and JavaScript are similar, they have several key differences. The following list identifies CFScript features that differ from JavaScript:

  • CFScript uses ColdFusion expressions, which are neither a superset nor a subset of JavaScript expressions. In particular, ColdFusion expressions do not support bitwise operators, and the ColdFusion MOD or % operator operates differently from the corresponding JavaScript % operator: In ColdFusion, the operator does integer arithmetic and ignores fractional parts. ColdFusion expressions also support the EQV, IMP, CONTAINS, and DOES NOT CONTAIN operators that are not supported in JavaScript.
  • Variable declarations (var keyword) are only used in user-defined functions and threads.
  • CFScript is case-insensitive.
  • All statements end with a semicolon, and line breaks in the code are ignored.
  • Assignments are statements, not expressions, and therefore cannot be used in situations that require the assignment operation to be evaluated.
  • JavaScript objects, such as Window and Document, are not available.
  • Only the ColdFusion server processes CFScript. There is no client-side CFScript.

CFScript limitation

You cannot include ColdFusion tags in CFScript. However, you can include cfscript blocks inside other ColdFusion tags, such as cfoutput.

CFScript functional equivalents to ColdFusion tags


CFScript equivalent


Direct assignment, such as Myvar=1;


WriteOutput function

cfif, cfelseif, cfelse

if and else statements

cfswitch, cfcase, cfdefaultcase

switch, case, and default statements

Indexed cfloop

for loops

Conditional cfloop

while loops and do while loops

Structure cfloop

for in loop. (There is no equivalent for queries, lists, or objects.)


break statement. CFScript also has a continue statement that has no equivalent CFML tag.

cftry, cfcatch

try and catch statements


Direct assignment of Cookie scope memory-only variables. You cannot use direct assignment to set persistent cookies that are stored on the user's system.


CreateObject function

For example, the following example loops through a query in CFScript:

// Loop through the qGetEmails RecordSet
for (x = 1; x <= qGetEmails.RecordCount; x=x+1) {
  This_id = qGetEmails.Emails_id[x];
  This_Subject = qGetEmails.Subject[x];
  This_RecFrom = qGetEmails.RecFrom[x];
  This_SentTo = qGetEmails.SentTo[x];
  This_dReceived = qGetEmails.dReceived[x];
   This_Body = qGetEmails.Body[x];
... // More code goes here.