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Flash Remoting: The Definitive Guide

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Flash Remoting: The Definitive Guide, 9780596004019 (059600401X), O'Reilly, 2003
Flash Remoting MX lets developers easily integrate rich Macromedia Flash content with applications that are built using ColdFusion, ASP.NET, Java, PHP, or SOAP-based web services. The result is complex client/server applications that more closely resemble desktop applications than traditional web pages. Build applications that connect to a database, file system, or other server-side technologies. Developers who are looking to create Rich Internet Applications with the Flash will find Flash Remoting: The Definitive Guide indispensable.

The Web has always been an expanding, changing medium. What was in vogue just a few years ago might be completely abandoned today, and what is in vogue today may be completely abandoned tomorrow. Java™ applets were considered a breakthrough technology that was going to revolutionize the Web when they first came out. Java applets failed to take hold for several reasons, chief among them the complexity of the Java language for nonprogrammers, the download size for anything more than a simple applet, and the security restrictions that effectively tied the hands of the applet. ASP was Microsoft's attempt to replace Java applets with server-side applications. JSP learned from the mistakes of ASP and provided a much more robust solution by offering compiled pages rather than interpreted pages. ASP.NET, in turn, learned from the mistakes of JSP by providing a framework that can be accessible to a variety of different languages using a common runtime environment.

And Flash has learned from the mistakes of those early Java applets. The Flash browser plugin is small, self-contained, and ubiquitous. Flash is attractive to designers as well as programmers, and it provides rich functionality that enhances the end user's experience. Also, a Flash movie looks essentially the same on a Windows machine as it does on a Macintosh.

Some things have not changed, however. The Web is still primarily based in HTML. Even though XHTML is coming into prominence, it is just a syntactically standardized version of HTML that conforms to XML specifications. Flash solves many of the deficiencies of HTML by improving on animation limitations of DHTML, allowing for true interactivity, offering greater cross-platform and cross-browser consistency, and allowing upgrades of the Flash Player without requiring the user to upgrade his browser. By making Flash consistent across platforms, Macromedia has ensured that the Flash designer can virtually eliminate the laborious trial-and-error work that HTML web page designers go through to keep their pages consistent across platforms and browser types.

Macromedia Flash Remoting MX, or simply Flash Remoting, first offered with Flash MX, allows sophisticated datatypes to be passed from the server to the client and back without the speed limitations, bulk, and manual serialization/deserialization required by the XML techniques in previous versions of Flash.

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