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Author: Joachim Schnier | Website: http://www.cancerinform.net/

A Simple XML-Based Searchable Database

By Joachim Schnier

Introduction

This tutorial is about creating a simple to a limited extent searchable database with XML and integrating it into Flash. "XML is the phuture of the web", somebody once wrote to me and that is what I am learning wherever something is written about XML. There are a number of ways to parse XML such as XSL or javascript. So why should we use flash to parse XML scripts? There are two major reasons: 1. Flash is platform/browser independent. Check out this subpage of my website gliomas 2001. If you have a Mac you will be lost whether you have Internet Explorer (IE 5.1) or Netscape (NS 7.0), because these browsers are not capable of parsing the script, only IE 6 for Windows. It's annoying, isn't it? Flash is different, it allows anybody with a compatible flashplayer to get access to the XML document. Now there is another reason. Supposed you have text you want to show in combination with pictures, animations or movies. Flash is the most suitable program, which allows you to do that. With Flash MX capabilities to incorporate quicktime movies, flash becomes even more powerful. You will get a taste of that when you go through this tutorial.
Now what are you going to learn in this tutorial? You will learn

A) how to create an XML file suitable for flash;
B) how to access the XML tree using actionscript to create a database;
C) how to create a simple search engine.
This is actually a very simple approach to incorporate XML into flash, which means to me the possibilities are endless!? But now have a look at the final product of this tutorial and play around a bit. I strongly recommend you to put trace actions into the script to find out precisely what the variables stand for. Also you can eliminate things or add things. That's what I did to learn about XML and Flash.

» Level Intermediate

Added: 2002-07-05
Rating: 7.92 Votes: 146
(10 being the highest)
» Author
The author is a scientist working in cancer research.
» Download
Download the files used in this tutorial.
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