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OK, Which Components Do I Get with Flash MX 2004?

Both Flash MX 2004 and Flash MX 2004 Professional ship with more components than shipped with Flash MX. Flash MX 2004 ships with 14 components and Flash MX Professional ships with 33.

The following list details all the components that ship with Flash MX 2004:

  • Button component

  • CheckBox component

  • ComboBox component

  • Label component

  • List component

  • Loader component

  • NumericStepper component

  • PopUpManager class

  • ProgressBar component

  • RadioButton component

  • ScrollPane component

  • TextArea component

  • TextInput component

  • Window component

Flash MX 2004 Professional has all of the components above plus the following:

  • Accordion component

  • Alert component

  • DataBinding package

  • DateField component

  • DataGrid component

  • DataHolder component

  • DataSet component

  • DateChooser component

  • Form class

  • MediaController component

  • MediaDisplay component

  • MediaPlayback component

  • Menu component

  • RDBMSResolver component

  • Screen class

  • Tree component

  • WebServiceConnector component

  • XMLConnector component

  • XUpdateResolver component

The components are now richer and can be extended more effectively than with previous components.

You will want to check your Flash Help panel for a complete breakdown of functionality of each and every component. But, to help you out, here is a quick table that illustrates what each component does.




The Button allows you to select a button with a label and icon. The interaction with the component is very similar to a HTML button.


The CheckBox allows you to add a check box to ask for Boolean answers from questions such as "True/False."


The ComboBox is a drop-down menu. Later, you will see a ComboBox used to display all 50 states.


The Label can have text dynamically added to it.


The List is similar to a ComboBox, except that it lists all the options users can select.


The loader is an empty component into which a SWF or JPG can be loaded.


The NumericStepper lets you scroll through a numbered menu.


The PopUpManger is a special component that displays pop-up windows onscreen.


The ProgessBar is a preloader tool you can use to load external SWF, MP3, and other files into your Flash Movie.


The RadioButton allows you to have a group of items from which only one can be selected. For instance, you can have a RadioButton group of five colors, from which you need to choose just one.


The ScrollPane is a useful component when you do not have enough room onscreen. You can load a movie clip into the ScrollPane and mask the area that is presented.


The TextArea component is very similar to a Dynamic Text field.


The Alert can be used to post alerts in the Flash movie in much the same way you have alerts in a Web browser.


The DataBinding component allows you to bind data from one component to another.


The DateField component is a calendar tool you can use to select dates.


One of the most powerful tools in Flash is the DataGrid. In many ways, it is similar to the DataGrid tool found in the .NET world. There are, however, improvements with the Flash DataGrid over the .Net DataGrid—such as the capability to change states without requiring a post-back or page refresh as you need in .NET.


You can use the DataHolder as you move data.


The DataSet controls DataSets posted into Flash.


DateChoose is similar to the DateField, except that DataChoose is a pop-up version of the DateField, from which you can choose a date.


The Form component is a set of classes that are invisible on the Stage—like the DepthManager component. You can use the Form component to build form movies.


The MediaController component enables you to connect to Flash Video (FLV) or MP3 files.


You can play back video with the MediaDisplay component.


The MediaPlayBack component is a tool bar that lets a user play, stop, rewind and fastforward through a movie.


The Menu component is very similar to a standard menu you find in many desktop applications. It is really nice if you want to create a Flash application that has a "desk top" feel.


With RDMSResolver, you can receive and post to a RDBMS data source.


The screen lets you add popup windows to your Flash movies.


The Tree component displays a Windows Explorer-like tree that you can use to move through different section of a movie.


You can now connect to SOAP-specific Web Services through the WebServiceConnector.


The XMLConnector connects to an XML file on your server.


The XupdateResolver enables you to post to databases that support the Xupdate, such as Xymian.

You will find that all the components are located in the Components panel, which is slightly different from Flash MX. Groups of components are collected together in an expandable tree.

To use a component, you need only to drag it onto the Stage from the Components panel. For instance, select the Button component and drag it onto the Stage. Now, open the Components Inspector panel. You will see that there are three tabs: Parameters, Bindings, Schema.

The Parameters tab enables you to modify parameters for the component. In this case, you can change the label that appears on the button—the width, height, and other features. Each component has its own set of parameters.

The Bindings tab allows you to bind data from a Web Service, XML file, or dataset to the component. This makes content much more dynamic.

The Schema tab controls how the content from the Bindings tab is controlled. There is a lot of flexibility with this control that enables you to do all sorts of things with the data.

In addition to these tabs, you can still name your component in the Properties panel. This is essential for components to pass content back and forth to each other.

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