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Building a Flash Message Board System

Chapter Description

Before Flash MX was released, message boards were almost always HTML constructions. Now they can be deployed using Flash MX and a backend server-side system to great effect. This sample chapter shows you how.


This supplied message board is ready to deploy as-is, right now. All you would need to do is to change information in the MCProperties.xml file, place it on the appropriate sever environment, and away you go! However, as a challenge, you could add some additional functionality to the system to make it even better:

  • Users may edit their own posts, but not other user's posts.

  • Develop an icon system associated with the Registration process (users could choose from a list of icons that would "brand" their posts.) You could even allow for the upload of JPEGs that users could use as their own personal icons.

  • You could display more personal information about participants, such as their location, number of posts they have made in their entire history of using the message board, multiple email addresses, and so forth.

  • Create an admin panel with which you could password-protect internal message board functions. This would allow you to quickly and easily create new topic areas, delete controversial posts, edit controversial posts, move posts to different topics (if unrelated to the current topic under which it currently resides), deploy a team of admins, each could control their own topic.

  • You could display currently logged-in members and allow for private emailing (within the system itself).

  • Each topic could have its own related chat room interface, so that an admin, or other users could speak more freely about certain topics. The transcripts could be made available as a download or as part of an email newsletter system to which users could subscribe.

These are just some ideas for you. Let your imagination run wild, and don't discount using Flash MX for anything. With fast XML parsing, default MX components, dynamic movie clip and text field creation, and text field formatting, Flash MX is ready for center stage where interactive applications are concerned. It has the ability to deliver powerful applications—take advantage of that, and enjoy the supplied message board!