March 3, 2005
"Programming Flash Communication Server": Designing and Developing the Next Generation of Internet Applications
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."
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
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