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Ben Nadel at dev.Objective() 2015 (Bloomington, MN) with: Brannon Hightower
Ben Nadel at dev.Objective() 2015 (Bloomington, MN) with: Brannon Hightower

Finding Template Execution Stack in ColdFusion

Published in Comments (11)

There have been times when I wanted to get a list of all the ColdFusion templates that were executed during a single page call. I wanted to get a list similar to that of the debugging information that shows at the bottom of the page when debugging output is turned on. To figure it out, I looked at the template that handles the current debugging. When you look in the file, getting this information is actually really simple. To get a stack trace, you just have to create a ColdFusion service factory and ask for the debugging service:

<!--- Create ColdFusion service factory instance. --->
<cfset objFactory = CreateObject(
	) />

<!--- Get the debugging service from the service factory. --->
<cfset objDebugging = objFactory.GetDebuggingService() />

	Get the events table. This includes all events
	that have taken place, not just template executions.
	This is returned as a query.
<cfset qEvents = objDebugging.GetDebugger().GetData() />

	Now that we have all the events in query format, do a
	query of queries to get only events that were template
	executions event.
<cfquery name="qTemplates" dbtype="query">
		type = 'Template'
		template ASC

<!--- Dump out the query of template. --->
<cfdump var="#qTemplates#" />

That's all there is to it. As far as I know, the ServiceFactory stuff was not documented in ColdFusion MX 6, and was considered "unsupported", but I think that in ColdFusion 7, this is a fully supported factory object and is available for programmers to leverage.

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Reader Comments


Hi Ben,

Thanks for posting this -- just this morning I needed code to solve this problem (for my debugging library) and your sample works great. I've refactored it into a UDF, and made a few tweaks. Would you mind if I submitted the UDF to I'll of course give you credit for the original work.

Thanks again.


Hey Ben,

When I try implementing this I keep getting a "Value Must Be Initialized Before Use" error. I am assuming this may have to do with the fact that I do not have debug turned on inside CF Administrator. Is it possible in invoke this without turning on debug in the administrator...or is there a way to turn on debug for one page instance and not the entire server? There are times when I only want to debug for a single page that is giving me trouble but I don't want to risk showing debug details to everyone, especially in a production environment.

Any insight would be most excellent and much appreciated.




From what I remember, you *might* need to have debugging turned on.

You could try to throw an error and then catch it and look at the tag context... this is an "expensive" approach; but, if you're doing it for debugging, it should work.


I am doing code cleanup on a project and need to collect the templates that are unused. If we have the set of templates used then obviously the unused are just the complement of that set. I use a similar method the collect the templates(and if a cfc, the method called):
<cfobject action="CREATE" type="JAVA" class="coldfusion.server.ServiceFactory" name="factory">
<cfset cfdebugger = factory.getDebuggingService()>
<cfcatch type="Any"></cfcatch>
<cfobject action="CREATE" type="JAVA" class="java.lang.String" name="ST">
<cfset qEvents = cfdebugger.getDebugger().getData()>
<cfquery dbType="query" name="cfdebug_templates_summary" debug="false">
SELECT distinct template
FROM qEvents
WHERE type = 'Template'
<cfloop query="cfdebug_templates_summary">
//need a java string so we can split on a regex
//now find the method called
out&=":" & temp3;
<cflog file="templatesused" text="#out#">


Any ideas on how to pull the template list if you *don't* have debugging turned on? I can't get debugging turned on but it would sure save my sanity if I could see that template stack.



"@Ron, From what I remember, you *might* need to have debugging turned on."

I was getting the same error as Ron, on top of Enable Request Debugging Output, I had to add my IP address to the Debugging IP Addresses.

Also the Post Comment button no worky in FireFox 4.


You can also get the tag context via:

<cfset oException = createObject("java","java.lang.Exception").init() >
<cfdump var="#oException#">

Now, what I want is to get my hands on the cfquery /cfstoredproc information including the starttime/enddimt values so I can instrument our DB interactions and run some coverage analysis. This information is available in the bjDebugging.GetDebugger().GetData() object but, as has been noted, I need to have "Enable Request Debugging" turned on. I'm sure this info is maintained somewhere in the java bowels.

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Ben Nadel