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Author: Ben Johnson

Introduction

So you’ve ventured into Flash Remoting. You’ve setup your application, your components & maybe you’ve even pulled down data from the server. But now you have to make your data do something. With nearly two dozen components in the Macromedia UI and Charting Component Sets, it may seem as though you’ll have to learn nearly two dozen different methods of adding data to a component. Lucky for you, Macromedia thought ahead and standardized the process to help make Flash MX a true Rapid Application Development tool.

Introduce yourself to the DataGlue class. DataGlue provides a single API to bind data to all components that use recordset data. DataGlue is a simple class that utilizes two functions, bindFormatString() and bindFormatFunction(), to bind and format recordset data. Each one provides unique functionality depending on the complexity of your needs.

Requirements

This tutorial will assume that you have intermediate level knowledge of some type of server side language that supports Flash Remoting (i.e. ColdFusion MX, ASP.NET or Java). Although this tutorial references ColdFusion Components, this tutorial is geared towards the Flash side and can be applied to any server side language mentioned above.

For more information on creating ColdFusion Components, see Ben Forta’s article, Introduction to ColdFusion Components, on Macromedia.com.

This tutorial also assumes a basic knowledge of Flash Remoting, including making server calls as well as how callback functions are used to return data to Flash. Flash Components are also used extensively in this tutorial so a familiarity with components is required as well. You’ll also need the Bar Chart component which can be found in the Charting Components download from the Macromedia Exchange.

For more information on Components, see Jonathan Kaye’s article, “How to Create a Flash MX Component.” To learn about Flash Remoting, see Mike Chamber’s article, “Getting Started with ColdFusion MX and Macromedia Flash Remoting.”

The Task at Hand

Lets say your boss decides that he wants you to develop an Employee Management application. Not only that, but he wants the interface to be in Flash because of its rich user interface and portability. He also decides that he should use ColdFusion MX as the application server because it’s ease of use and scalability.

What should we do? The first step is to setup a ColdFusion component called Employees.cfc that we will retrieve all the employee information from. For this example, our ColdFusion component only contains a method called getAllEmployees() that returns a recordset of your company’s employees.

Next, we begin designing our Flash interface. For simplicity, we will only add a List Box component, named employeesListBox, to display a simple list of our employees and a Bar Chart component, named employeesBarChart, to allow us to view statistical data on our employees. We also initialize our Flash Remoting parameters and service calls to the Employee.cfc.

» Level Intermediate

Added: 2002-08-16
Rating: 7 Votes: 20
(10 being the highest)
» Author
Ben Johnson has been programming for seven years and creating web applications for the past two years. He is currently an information architect for Architekture.com, creating web applications using Flash and ColdFusion.
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