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Server Scripts

It might seem as though we went through a lot of effort just to load text files that ultimately have to be edited by hand. They’re not really that dynamic if you have to open the darn text file to make a change. Don’t forget, it is indeed dynamic because you don’t have to reopen the Flash movie—but we can do even more. For example, many scripting languages (such as CGI, ASP, and Perl) in effect create URL-encoded strings based on dynamic information. Such scripting languages can easily interface with databases to produce different results, depending on the current data in the database. The URL-encoded strings these languages produce can get into Flash in several ways. Practicing with creating your own text files as we did in the previous section is not a waste of time because it mimics the process involved when you make Flash interface with server scripts.

I know just enough about this subject to work productively with others who are experts on the subject. My goal in this section is to give you the tools so that you can make your Flash movies talk to (and listen to) server scripts that someone else produces. Obviously, if you know a server script language, you’ll be that far ahead; otherwise, you’ll either need to study that subject further or work with someone who has. One big difference between loading variables from text files and loading variables from server scripts is that you can additionally send data from your Flash movie to the server script. We’ll look at how shortly; for now, let me give you a quick overview of how server scripts work.


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