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Creating a Flash Email Client Application

Chapter Description

This chapter explores the architecture and the means of creating a simple email management program using Flash MX, XML, Java, and Microsoft Access. The program handles email by using the person's pre-existing email account.

Building Peachmail: the Database

The procedure for creating a database varies from one database program to another, but the skills are basically the same. The more difficult part comes after the creation of the database and actually linking it up to a back-end. Let's quickly walk through creating the database using Microsoft Access, and then we'll have some comments on linking the server to the database.

Creating the Database

When Microsoft Access loads up, select File, New, and then choose to create a new database. When prompted to name the database (Figure 7.8), use peachmail.mdb for this Microsoft Access Database (.mdb) file, and then click Create.

Figure 7.8Figure 7.8 Create the Microsoft Access database file.

Create a table in Design view and you are presented with an empty form. Fill in the form for each of the tables listed in our database definition to create the tables. For example, Figure 7.9 shows what the Messages table would look like.

Figure 7.9Figure 7.9 Creating the Messages table in Microsoft Access.

Once you've created all the tables, the Peachmail database is complete.

Linking to the Server

To set up the database for linking, use ODBC to create a mapping on the Web host. This mapping is an alias combining the location and filename of the database file on the Web host machine. The server would reference the mapping to link to the database. Because our discussion is focused on Flash, we won't go into too much detail on how to link up Java to the database, but note that a JDBC driver is required for the specific type of database your application will communicate with. For more information on JDBC, consult http://java.sun.com/products/jdbc/.

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