One of the more common uses for dynamic sites is to present constantly changing and current information. For example, if you have ever booked a hotel room or airline flight online, you are accessing a database. The data you are requesting, at the most basic level, will tell you if the flight or room is available on the date and time selected.
The way it works is rather simple. The data you provide through your request is matched against the data in the database. The result of that match is then presented back to you. In the case of the hotel room, you are normally asked to provide your arrival and departure dates. Those dates are used to check the hotel's room database to discover if, indeed, there is room at the inn. If the answer is yes, the reservation is made, and your data is added to the database. If the answer is no, the data is discarded, and you are asked to try again.
In Chapter 9, "Flash Remoting," we introduced you to how Flash Remoting works. This chapter will build on that knowledge.
The Flash Remoting service is a Flash application interface (API) that enables server-side developers to connect to the Flash Player through ActionScript. This enables you to use Flash to exchange data between objects such as Recordsets and XML (Extensible Markup Language) documents.
As we explained in Chapter 9, the Action Messaging Protocol enables Flash MX 2004 to communicate directly with ColdFusion MX. The end result is Flash presentations that are extremely fast. The capability of Flash to obtain data and display it almost instantly is why Macromedia is so vocal about the user experience. The user receives instant gratification because it "feels" as if they never left the page.