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Building the Back End of a Content Management System for Flash

When I decided to create a simple CMS for Flash solution to a problem that I was confronted with, it occurred to me that maybe I wasn’t the only one who had encountered it. It prompted me to write an article series about it and share it with you.

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By: Jennifer Sullivan Cassidy
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 23
August 02, 2006
  1. · Building the Back End of a Content Management System for Flash
  2. · The Back End Elements
  3. · 2. The PHP Code
  4. · Gluing it All Together

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Building the Back End of a Content Management System for Flash
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A downloadable file for this article is available here.

Now, for many of you Flash designers or developers, this may be something you tackle every day, and if this tutorial seems somewhat simplistic to you, then I wholeheartedly apologize; and for you PHP programmers that deal with form processing and flat files, I apologize to you as well. This tutorial is directed at those website developers that want to create (or have already created) the Flash site for their client, but don't want the client to call every time the content needs updating. The CMS in this article and the first part will help your client update dynamic content without ever having to contact you again; it's an easy way to put that plan into motion if you don't yet have one.

In the previous article, we looked at Flash and its dynamic variables. In this tutorial, we will look at an HTML form and the PHP code to pass the form's variables into a flat file database, and store it there. Once we have our data stored, how will we plug that data into a Flash movie or website? In short, this article will show you the second part of our Content Management System, or the back end.  Then in the conclusion of this article, we will demonstrate how we parse our data from our flat file directly into Flash by way of dynamic variables.  The code is not terribly difficult or pretty for that matter, but it certainly is effective.

The purpose of these two articles is not to dig too deeply into ActionScript, Flash, HTML, or PHP; nor is it to focus on one element too intensely; rather it will discuss the process of bringing all of these elements together to work smoothly so that you as a website designer and developer have something more to offer your Flash website client. So, since the first article focused on the Flash front end and the dynamic variables, this article will discuss creating a content management back end by taking user-entered text from an HTML form, then processing it through PHP to populate a text file, then gluing the whole thing together. 

I want to mention that I know just enough about coding to be generally literate, but I am definitely not a programmer. I am a designer by trade and by personality, and a Search Engine Optimization Consultant by profession. In my SEO practice, I encounter many websites that need re-coding for optimization purposes. So forgive the roughness of the code, and feel free to play with it and comment on its usefulness.

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