Create Rich Internet apps with Macromedia Flash MX (ver 6)

September 13, 2005

PORTABLE APPLICATIONS: * Flash MX ActionScript allows you to create Flash movies that are “device aware.”
BANDWIDTH-SENSITIVE APPLICATIONS: * One of the long-standing benefits of using Flash movies for Web content is the fact that SWF files can be incredibly small.
CUSTOM MEDIA PLAYERS: * With the new capabilities, you can effectively create stand-alone media players using a Flash movie as the “shell,” or skin, that provides the user interface.
Flash MX allows you to publish stand-alone projectors (as EXE or Mac APPL files) that do not require the use of a Web browser with the Flash Player plug-in. You can distribute these projectors on floppy disks, CD-ROMs, DVDROMs, or as downloads from your Web site.
SKINS: * One of the most flexible options for all Flash UI components is the ability to “skin,” or modify, the physical appearance of the component instances within your Flash document. Note: Skins on other “windows” applications can be created using XUL script (like XML) which would be rendered using the Gecko engine.Gecko runs today on Win32 (Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT 4, Windows 2000), PowerMac, and Linux and its getting ported to other o/s’s pretty fast.
WEB SERVICES: * Flash MX can communicate with Web Services using Flash Remoting, which is included with ColdFusion MX and available as an add-on for ASP.NET and J2EE servers.Flash Remoting makes it easy for Flash to connect to Web Services and to other server-side components and databases.
* Develop complex interface elements (as components) with less hassle.
Now you can quickly drag scrollbars,window panes, push buttons, and radio buttons onto the stage of your Flash documents. These elements are called Flash UI components, and are installed automatically with the program.
* Play streaming video [.MOV, .AVI, .MPEG, .WMV (windows only) ]
(and audio) content delivered by a Web site running Flash Communication Server MX (aka FlashCom). And when we say, “streaming,” we mean streaming—we’re not talking about SWF files that contain embedded video content. Using FlashCom or third-party utilities like Sorenson Squeeze or Wildform Flix, you can record or convert digital video into Flash Video files, or FLV files. FlashCom can publish FLV files to several connected users in real time.
* Integrate a wide range of media content, from JPEG and GIF files to EPS, FreeHand, and Fireworks (PNG file) documents.
* Display JPEG image files at runtime. Flash Player 6 can download standard JPEG images directly into Flash movies (SWF files) as they play.
* Play embedded video content. Flash MX now allows you to import digital video files into a Flash document (FLA file). During import, the digital video is recompressed with the Sorenson Spark codec. This proprietary codec is built into Flash Player 6,Web users do not need to download additional plug-ins such as Apple QuickTime or Real Systems Real One Player to view the video content.
* Embed fonts that display on any supported system. Flash movies (SWF files) can embed characters from specific typefaces that you use in the Flash authoring document (FLA file). Once embedded, these characters will be seen when any user views the Flash movie.
* Integrate remote data from application servers, such as Macromedia Cold-Fusion Server MX or Microsoft ASP.NET. Remote data can be formatted in several ways, from URL form-encoded name/value pairs to standard XML.
The MX family of products introduces a new data format, AMF (Action
Message Format), which is used by Flash Remoting services built into Cold-Fusion Server MX. Now you can send and receive binary data to and from the Flash Player.
* A SWF file is the Flash movie file that is published from your Flash document in Flash MX.
* The project file that you create within Macromedia Flash MX is called a Flash document and has an .fla file extension, such as main.fla. FLA files are not uploaded to your Web server for final production and delivery to your target audience.
* An SWD file is created by Flash MX when you choose Control > Debug Movie to test your movie in the Flash MX authoring environment.
* APPL/EXE: With Flash MX or the stand-alone Flash Player 6, you can create a self-running
version of your Flash movie. This type of movie is called a projector, or a standalone.
Essentially, the Flash movie and the Flash Player engine are combined into one file: an EXE file for Windows playback, or an APPL file (as the file creator type) for Macintosh. Because the projector file contains the Flash Player engine, you do not need a Web browser and a Flash Player 6 plug-in to view the Flash movie. You can distribute the projector files on a CD-ROM or some other type of fixed media, like DVD-ROM.
* The Flash Video format is designated with an .flv extension. FLV files are precompressed video and audio files.
* AS: You can save lines or entire blocks of ActionScript code in a text file with a .as file extension.

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