What Does What When?

Macromedia Flash Communication Server accepts connections and controls streams, SharedObjects, and, in most cases, security. The server should handle business logic and communication with application servers. Using Action Message Format (AMF), it transports data over three protocols: HTTP, HTTPS, and RTMP. By default Communication Server uses ports 1111 for the Administration and App Inspector consoles and port 1935 for Flash player communication.

The Flash player client handles the user interface and prepares data for transport to the server. Like Communication Server, it transports data over the HTTP, HTTPS, and RTMP protocols using AMF. By default is uses port 1935 for Flash Communication Server communication and port 80 for Flash Remoting MX.

The application server handles database operations and exchanges with legacy systems, including such services as email, security, and LDAP servers. It communicates with Flash Communication Server and Flash by sending ActionScript variables inside AMF messages using traditional HTTP or HTTPS web protocols.

The database server handles data storage (warehousing), data relationships, and data security. It communicates with the applications server using protocols determined by the vendor.

The database file includes Microsoft Access, dBase, MySQL, and so on. These limited functionality database technologies provide good development environments, but should be used with caution in production or high-capacity applications.

The web server handles the delivery requests for SWF, HTML, and other web-based assets, such as JPEG, GIF, and PDF. It communicates using HTTP or HTTPS protocols.

The Applications folder (/inetpub/wwwroot/flashCom/applications/) contains Communication Server application folders and provides a space for applications to store streams and SharedObjects. This folder is defined in the virtualHost.xml configuration file.

The Streams folder (/inetpub/wwwroot/flashCom/applications/appDir/streams/) stores and saves recorded Flash video (FLV) files within folders automatically or manually created for each instance of the application.

The SharedObject folder (/inetpub/wwwroot/flashCom/appDir/sharedobject/) stores and saves persistent SharedObject (FSO) files within folders automatically or manually created for each instance of the application.

The ScriptLib folder (/inetpub/wwwroot/flashCom/scriptLib/) contains Flash Communication Server Object extension libraries. Out of the box, this folder will contain two library sets: the UI components library and the Flash Remoting MX (NetServices) library. The folder is defined in the application.xml configuration file.

The Conf folder (/program files/macromedia/flash communication server mx/conf/) contains the server configuration files and the adaptor and virtual host configuration structures.

Local SharedObjects should be used to store data for disconnected clients. Using it in tandem with the remote SharedObject, you can create such applications as a synchronized address book. It can be used to store any ActionScript variable type (objects, arrays, functions or simple variables). The local SharedObject is subject to limits set by the user in the player's Settings panel.

Remote SharedObjects should be used to store common data that is required by connected clients. It can be used to store any ActionScript variable type (objects, arrays, functions, or simple variables). Unlike the local SharedObject, there is no limit for the size of a remote SharedObject.

Get the coffee: Make it strong, creamy, and with enough sugar to make it interesting?not too sweet and not flavored, at the perfect temperature, just right. Don't drink too much or you won't get to sleep tonight.

Flash MX Debugger is used to watch the state of a Flash player and interact with ActionScript functions. You can use this tool to review the structure of a SharedObject, a NetConnection, a RecordSet, or an array.

NetConnection Debugger monitors AMF messages being exchanged over RTMP or HTTP between the Flash player and the Communication Server or the Flash player and an application server. This debugger requires that NetDebug.as be included in your ActionScript. It will also monitor SSAS trace activity on the application instance it is connected to.

The Application Inspector Console loads or unloads application instances on the Communication Server. It also monitors connections, streams, and SharedObject communication, and it provides an output window for SSAS trace activity. It operates by default on port 1111.

The Administration Console manages and monitors users and applications, and it restarts virtual hosts or the entire server. It operates by default on port 1111.

    Part I: 10 Quick Steps for Getting Started