Sample Flash AS3 Code to Help Designers and Developers Handle Data and Communication


Key to the Sheridan Interactive Multimedia program curriculum is teaching learners to build environments in which end users can communicate with each other. To do this, we need interfaces for input and display and we have to get data to and from the server. Think facebook, flickr, YouTube, etc.

Adobe Flash provides many communication classes and methods such as:

  • User Interface Components:
    • Button
    • CheckBox and RadioButton (Check Box & Radio Button)
    • ComboBox and List (Combo Box)
    • TextArea, TextInput and Label (Text Area & Input)
    • NumbericStepper and ScrollPane (Numeric Stepper & Scroll Pane)
    • Slider and TileList (Tile List)
    • DataGrid (Data Grid)
  • navigateToURL to load a Web Page from Flash
  • SharedObject to save a Flash “cookie”
  • FlashVars & SWF Query String to pass variables into Flash
  • ExternalInterface to call a function in Flash from JavaScript
  • Loading a SWF with Loader and URLRequest
  • FileReference to upload a local file to be used by flash
  • URLLoader and URLVariables to retrieve text or server output
  • XML to send and receive XML
  • Web Services to connect to scripts on other servers
  • Remoting to avoid serializing and deserializing data

Here are links to content examples from our curriculum for all of the above except Web Services and Remoting. The Sheridan lessons include more than the content – there are supporting lesson plans, definition documents, steps for building, supplementary links, reflection forms, and in class explanation, lab work, assignments, exams and final projects. If you are looking into schooling in multimedia, please visit the Sheridan Interactive Multimedia site for more information on our one year post grad program.

User Interface Components

Click here for code example

Flash AS3 Components

Communication 1 – navigateToURL, SharedObject, FlashVars, ExternalInterface, Loader, URLRequest and FileReference

Click here for code example

Flash AS3 Communication

Communication 2 – URLLoader and URLVariables to get text or server script data (PHP, MySQL)

Click here for code example

Although we recommend the Falcon Data Class for this type of connection

Flash AS3 Communication

XML in Flash

Click here for code example

Although we recommend the Falcon Data Class for this type of connection

XML in Flash CS3

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13 Responses to “Sample Flash AS3 Code to Help Designers and Developers Handle Data and Communication”

  1. Dan Zen Says:

    Just did an update on the file to put in the code that fixes the ExternalInterface for IE. The code was right in the sample html but an older version in the zip file. Sorry about that! It was quite the bug too – a double bug – a timing issue and you can’t name the functions in flash and javascript the same thing.

  2. Dan Zen Says:

    Thanks to Martin who let us know the code in the zip was not updated.

  3. Steffy Says:

    I can’t find the Communication2 file you refer to at

    Is there any chance this will be fixed? I can really use those files ^^

    Thanx anyway for the great script 😀


  4. Dan Zen Says:

    Oops – sorry Steffy… just noticed your comment. The link was pointing to instead of – and is fixed now on

  5. Manejo y presentación de datos con AS3 - Bases de Datos, XML, Server side scripts, URLLoader, URLVariables « Shift F12 Says:

    […] (imagen tomada del post original) […]

  6. Dan Zen Says:

    Nice review at Flash Enabled – thanks guys…

  7. david Says:

    how do we put a CheckBox in the DataGrid while loading its data from external XML?

    cud u plz suggest!

    thank you in advance!

  8. Dan Zen Says:

    You can use FalconProvider at to get a DataProvider object from XML with a few lines of code.

    Once you have a DataProvider, you can use the various methods of the DataProvider like addItem() or addItemAt() to add items or replaceItem() etc. You might want to do so in a loop that either loops through your XML or the DataProvider’s array.

    I have never had to put checkboxes in datagrids. It is done with a custom CellRenerer class. I took a scan of the Web but after half an hour have not found an easy working model. is a good start. has one but is a couple hundred lines of code 😉

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  12. Restu Aji Says:

    hi i’m running your Communication2 file i get this Error: Error #2101: The String passed to URLVariables.decode() must be a URL-encoded query string containing name/value pairs.

    how can i fix that?please help me

  13. Dan Zen Says:

    Hi Restu – please make sure that you are not returning any extra spaces or even new lines before or after your PHP code. (delete any extra lines before or after

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