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"Programming Flash Communication Server": Designing and Developing the Next Generation of Internet Applications

March 3, 2005

Sebastopol, CA--Macromedia's Flash Communication Server MX (FlashCom) offers real-time communication and streaming media capabilities to Flash applications. Together, Flash and FlashCom provide a rich set of tools for creating highly customized applications with features such as real-time, multi-user simulations; video conferencing and interactive chats; shared whiteboards and documents; instant polls; video-on-demand with closed captions and skinnable controls; and live event broadcasts with moderated questions and answers.

"I never cease being surprised by the adoption rates for each version of the Flash player," says Brian Lesser, FlashCom expert and coauthor of the new Programming Flash Communication Server (O'Reilly, US $49.95). More than 500 million users have Flash Player already installed, which means end users are already FlashCom ready.

However, developers may be hard pressed to deliver real-time video, audio, and data applications to those millions of end users with FlashCom. Why? "Programming with FlashCom is unlike creating standard n-tier web applications," Lesser explains. "And I don't think Macromedia appreciated what a challenge that represents for developers. Macromedia's documentation offers little guidance on how to build real-world applications. So that's really what Programming Flash Communication Server is about: how to design and build a wide range of compelling applications with Flash and the Flash Communication Server."

As Lesser notes, "Communication applications that include live video, audio, and data make collaboration at a distance more immediate and effective." For example, working with FlashCom made it far easier and more enjoyable for five authors to collaborate in the writing of this book.

"FlashCom is gaining traction in a lot of different businesses, from collaborative applications to video streaming services," says coauthor Giacomo "Peldi" Guilizzoni. "This book will allow more and more developers to build engaging, multi-user applications and games using FlashCom." But he and his coauthors are quick to point out that Programming Flash Communication Server is not a reference book. "This is a teaching/best practices book," assures Guilizzoni.

From the basics to advanced features, the book delivers comprehensive, in-depth coverage of FlashCom with plenty of thorough, working examples for real-life application. Programming Flash Communication Server helps developers design large-scale, robust, and secure applications. This book shows readers how to:

  • Avoid conflicts when multiple users update data in real time
  • Manage contention for the same resources
  • Minimize the effects of network latency
  • Adapt to differences in client bandwidth
  • Use and extend Macromedia's communication classes
  • Design and develop custom components
  • Create scaleable and secure applications
  • And, in this book, readers will find information they simply won't find anywhere else, says coauthor Joey Lott. "In researching many things for the book, we went directly to the engineers who wrote Flash Communication Server. Oftentimes, there was just one person who would know the ins and outs of a particular feature."

    With FlashCom and Programming Flash Communication Server, Lott observes, "companies and individuals can make much more interesting applications, integrating real-time communications as well as both the playback and recording of audio and video--the kinds of features and functionality that are quickly becoming must-haves for many web applications."

    Additional Resources:

    Programming Flash Communication Server
    Brian Lesser, Giacomo Guilizzoni, Joey Lott,
    Robert Reinhardt, and Justin Watkins
    ISBN: 0-596-00504-0, 816 pages, $49.95 US, $69.95 CA
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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