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Features > Flash MX Professional 2004

Flash MX Professional 2004

Flash MX 2004 has been split into two products: Flash MX 2004 and Flash MX Professional 2004. The Professional version contains all of the features and functionality of the regular version with additional ones for creating more sophisticated data-driven Internet applications and improvements for more efficient delivery of video content over the Web. There is new support for streamlining the creation of content for other devices such as mobile phones and PDAs by providing a cross-platform development environment. In addition there have been several enhancements for implementing video into Flash with an improved encoder, enhanced playback, and new media components. With the addition of these new features Flash MX Professional 2004 is now a robust and comprehensive Web application development environment.

  • External ActionScript File Editing Implement external ActionScript files and utilize an external script editing environment in conjunction with Flash MX Professional.

  • Exporting and Importing Flash Video With Flash MX Professional 2004 you can now export to the FLV (Flash Video Format) from a variety of professional video editing and compositing applications including Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, Xpress DV, Discreet Cleaner, and Anystream Agility with compression options not available in Flash such as variable bit rate. Import these files into Flash without any further compression. Add playback controls and interactivity, and create your own skins for a video playback interface. Media components for controllers, displays, and playback will connect to video on a Web server or stream from a Macromedia Flash Communications Server.

  • Data Connector Components The heart of Flash MX Professional 2004 is in the Data Connectivity functionality included making it a so-called Rich Internet Application (RIA). You can develop data-driven applications with little scripting using pre-built components set up to connect to a variety of external data sources such as Web services or XML. These components can be integrated with an application server or ColdFusion using Macromedia Flash Remoting Integration. Component functionality can be implemented by drag and drop or controlled solely through ActionScript. Component properties can be connected to the data received in an XML file, Web service call, or record set by using binding tabs keeping them in sync.

    Utilizing the Connector and Resolver components will ensure that data updates and transfers are as efficient as possible. Data Source Shadowing monitors any changes made to a dataset. When a database is updated the best performance is achieved through Delta Packets, which will update only the records or fields that have been changed. Because the data components only read data and are independent of the visual layer the user sees, they can adapt to changes in the data without having to be re-coded to accommodate.

  • Create Slides Using the new Slide properties and Transition behavior functionality to easily create sophisticated presentations and mock-ups for user interfaces. These new templates help organize content and create transitions, sequencing them with interactive elements without having to code.

  • Forms and Advanced Components The key features for application development in the Professional version include a forms-based development environment. This environment is familiar to developers who are accustomed to using Microsoft Visual Basic and other similar tools. It is now integrated with the Flash Timeline and can be used in conjunction with or in place of it making it ideal for the developer interested in implementing Flash content without having to acquire new skills or face the learning curve required to create in the traditional Flash environment. Sophisticated applications are quickly assembled with the new ECMA-compliant ActionScript 2.0. Components that were introduced in Flash MX have been expanded and made more sophisticated. Inclusion in Flash MX Professional are new components including an improved list box, data grid, calendar, menu, and accordion tabbed panes. Each Flash user interface component contains parameters that specify the appearance and behavior of each Component instance. This allows for much more versatility and ease in creating sophisticated visual interfaces.

  • Project Panel The Project panel allows you to mange files, assets, code and components in one convenient place. Files are managed in a collapsible tree control and nested folders. Additionally, project files can be split into several files that share libraries so that a team of people can work simultaneously on various files contained in the project. A file check in/ check out system (similar to that employed in Dreamweaver MX) prevents files from being overwritten.

  • Source Code Control Project files can now be synchronized with the source control system API of your choice, including Microsoft Visual SourceSafe, or file-level locking that can be used locally, networked or via ftp.

  • Device Deployment Flash content deployment is expanding from the Web to other mediums. The last couple of years have seen an explosion in the manufacturing and use of cell phones, PDAs, and consumer electronic devices. Because of the versatility of Flash MX and the relatively small file sizes it is the perfect environment for creating content destined for these devices. Flash MX Professional 2004 comes equipped with a template library of cell phone and PDA interfaces which can be developed for and then previewed in Flash Player emulators. Troubleshoot compatibility issues and performance conflicts before deploying to the target device. New profiles for licensees of the Macromedia Flash Player can be added as they become available. Additionally MIDI ring tones and sounds can be implemented while authoring.



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