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In addition to building animation clips on the fly, Flash canalso be used to build simple Web forms to collect user data on your Website. This article demonstrates the process, showing you how to buildsimple Flash forms and link them to server-side scripts for furtherprocessing.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. Building Web Forms In Flash
  2. Access Granted
  3. Alien Invasion
  4. Loading Up
  5. Coming Back For More
  6. A Fine Balance
By: icarus, (c) Melonfire
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 323
August 07, 2002

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Next, we need to write a little ActionScript to submit the form data to a server-side script. Select the first keyframe in the Timeline, pop open the Actions panel, and add the following code to it.

function doSubmit() { userData = new LoadVars(); userData.name = name; userData.species = species; userData.speciesType = speciesType.getValue(); userData.residence = residence.getValue(); userData.send("register.php", "", "post"); }
Here's what this all means:

The LoadVars() object is what actually packages the data for transmission to the server-side script...and so, the first task is to create an instance of this object.

userData = new LoadVars();
Once that's done, I've created object properties corresponding to the various form elements, and assigned values to them from the various input fields from the form.

userData.name = name; userData.species = species; userData.speciesType = speciesType.getValue(); userData.residence = residence.getValue();
Note my usage of the getValue() methods to acquire the value of the selected items in both the radio button set and the list box. ActionScript also offers the getSelectedItems() function, which can be used to retrieve the selected items in a multiple-select list box (not demonstrated here).

Once all the form data has been loaded into the object, the send() method is used to submit this data to a server-side script - in this case, "register.php".

userData.send("register.php", "", "POST");
Pretty simple - the variables from the form are sent to the script "register.php" via POST. Let's see what that script does.

<? $name = $_POST['name']; $species = $_POST['species']; $speciesType = $_POST['speciesType']; $residence = $_POST['residence']; // open connection to database $connection = mysql_connect("localhost", "user", "pass") or die ("Unable to connect!"); mysql_select_db("db20139a") or die ("Unable to select database!"); // formulate and execute query $query = "INSERT INTO aliens (alien_name, species_name, species_type, residence_type) VALUES ('$name', '$species', '$speciesType', '$residence')"; $result = mysql_query($query) or die("Error in query: " . mysql_error()); // clean up mysql_close($connection); ?>
This should be familiar to you if you've programmed in PHP before - the data entered by the user into the form is extracted from the special $_POST array and plugged into an SQL query template. A connection to the database server is initiated, this SQL query is then executed, and the user data is inserted into the database.

 
 
>>> More Flash Articles          >>> More By icarus, (c) Melonfire
 

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- An Overview of Flash and ActionScript
- Building Web Forms In Flash
- Building Data-Driven Flash Movies
- Flash 101 (part 6): The Final Countdown
- Flash 101 (part 5): Spiralling Out Of Control
- Flash 101 (Part 4): Don't Touch Me!
- Flash 101 (part 3): Bouncing Around

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