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External Communications with Flash 8: How to Use the ExternalInterface

Article Description

Kris Hadlock explores the use of the ExternalInterface class in Flash 8. With ExternalInterface, you can build robust object-oriented Flash applications that can be connected to the outside world and tied to databases and other server-side processes.

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The ExternalInterface Class

ExternalInterface is a new class in Flash 8 that provides a programming interface to allow direct communication between ActionScript and the file that contains the Flash movie, such as an HTML page with JavaScript that cross-communicates to the embedded Flash object. This new class allows you to pass any number of parameters and return a value of any datatype. The class is supported by the following browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 5.0 and later, on Windows systems
  • Firefox 1.0 and later
  • Mozilla 1.7.5 and later
  • Netscape 8.0 and later
  • Safari 1.3 and later

Let’s get started by creating the HTML page that will contain both the JavaScript and the Flash bar chart movie.

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