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Preface > Using Code Examples - Pg. xv

Preface This book is intended to show you how to design and build applications that use Macromedia's Flash Communication Server MX. Together, Flash and the Flash Communication Server (FlashCom) can be used to create a dizzying array of applica- tions including virtual classrooms, real-time multiplayer games, media-on-demand services, instant messaging applications, interactive live event broadcasts, video con- ferencing systems, and more. Macromedia designed FlashCom to simplify develop- ing these types of communication applications. This book covers everything you need to know to program for FlashCom, whether creating simple standalone applica- tions or more complex applications that work with web application servers, data- bases, and directory servers. What Does FlashCom Offer? FlashCom is a real-time communication server. It provides an extensible and cus- tomizable platform for developing real-time, media-rich, web-based communication applications. As described in the Foreword, FlashCom takes care of the plumbing required to create networked applications, allowing you to focus on your unique application rather than write code to support network protocols. A Flash movie running in Flash Player 6 or later can connect to a FlashCom Server and through it exchange audio, video, and ActionScript data with other Flash mov- ies. Creating communication applications involves scripting using ActionScript on the client side and its close relative, Server-Side ActionScript, on the server side. Mac- romedia provides ActionScript classes that make managing real-time multiuser com- munications much simpler than in other platforms. The NetConnection class used to connect a Flash movie to the server, and the NetStream class used to stream audio, video, and data between them are just two examples. FlashCom Server runs on Windows or Linux, but the Flash client runs on multiple platforms, including Windows and Macintosh. Authoring is often performed in Flash MX 2004 or Flash MX Professional 2004 on Windows or Macintosh. xv This is the Title of the Book, eMatter Edition Copyright © 2007 O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.