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Using Macromedia Flash as a front end for Access

I have written an Access application that our employees use on a daily basis
to enter information.

It's comprises of a series of forms, a few data integrity check queries that
run in the background and a few reports.

Quite often I lament at the limitations of using forms, in particular how to
make something that looks "stylish".
This frustration may of course be caused by my own lack of
skill/understanding on the subject, but for a moment lets discard that
argument...

:-)

I was dreaming one day and decided it would be nice if I could create my
front end in something like Macromedia Flash. I could have crazy shaped
buttons, interesting text effects and god-knows what else.

And because these are (some of) the things Flash is good at, they can be
done quickly.

So can anyone point my in the direction of tutorials/examples/books on the
subject. Is it possible? Is it useful? Is there another (easier or better)
way to create a nice front end for your Access app?

Please discuss...

TIA

--
Scott

Gamertag: scottmorrison
Xbox Live Games: Top Spin, PGR2, RS3, RTCW, Tetris
Nov 12 '05 #1
10 2693
rkc

"Scott" <no****@nospam.com> wrote in message
news:H3*******************@newsfep4-glfd.server.ntli.net...
I have written an Access application that our employees use on a daily basis to enter information.

It's comprises of a series of forms, a few data integrity check queries that run in the background and a few reports.

Quite often I lament at the limitations of using forms, in particular how to make something that looks "stylish".
This frustration may of course be caused by my own lack of
skill/understanding on the subject, but for a moment lets discard that
argument...

:-)

I was dreaming one day and decided it would be nice if I could create my
front end in something like Macromedia Flash. I could have crazy shaped
buttons, interesting text effects and god-knows what else.

And because these are (some of) the things Flash is good at, they can be
done quickly.

So can anyone point my in the direction of tutorials/examples/books on the
subject. Is it possible? Is it useful? Is there another (easier or better)
way to create a nice front end for your Access app?


This is fun.

Private Sub Text1_MouseMove(Button As Integer, Shift As Integer, X As
Single, Y As Single)
Text1.Visible = False
MsgBox "Woops!"
Text1.Visible = True
End Sub



Nov 12 '05 #2
"Scott" <no****@nospam.com> wrote in
news:H3*******************@newsfep4-glfd.server.ntli.net:
I have written an Access application that our employees use on a daily
basis to enter information.

It's comprises of a series of forms, a few data integrity check queries
that run in the background and a few reports.

Quite often I lament at the limitations of using forms, in particular
how to make something that looks "stylish".
This frustration may of course be caused by my own lack of
skill/understanding on the subject, but for a moment lets discard that
argument...

:-)

I was dreaming one day and decided it would be nice if I could create my
front end in something like Macromedia Flash. I could have crazy shaped
buttons, interesting text effects and god-knows what else.

And because these are (some of) the things Flash is good at, they can be
done quickly.

So can anyone point my in the direction of tutorials/examples/books on
the subject. Is it possible? Is it useful? Is there another (easier or
better) way to create a nice front end for your Access app?

Please discuss...


I use the web browser control linked to an html file to show a Flash Splash
Screen on open, but I have not tried to make that screen data aware. But
it's an interesting idea.

Currently I am working on an HTA application.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?
url=/workshop/author/hta/overview/htaoverview.asp

(be careful of line breaks)

The front end seems to give the capability for everything you mention. I
like it, but I am not sure that it is ready for big-time database
programming. One must script everything one wants to do.

The opinion of many that my html designs are ugly is not one of my big
motivations here. But so what, I happen to like flurescent green on black.

--
Lyle
(for e-mail refer to http://ffdba.com/contacts.htm)
Nov 12 '05 #3
Lyle Fairfield wrote:
I use the web browser control linked to an html file to show a Flash
Splash Screen on open
That sounds like it might be fun. I was thinking about doing a splash screen
only the other day.
Not sure how to use the web browser control, any advice?
Currently I am working on an HTA application.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?
url=/workshop/author/hta/overview/htaoverview.asp
That was an interesting read. I had never even heard of HTA before.
Not sure if it all made sense, but I think I got the jist.
(be careful of line breaks)
Try www.tinyurl.com in the future :-) I find it invaluable.
The front end seems to give the capability for everything you
mention. I like it, but I am not sure that it is ready for big-time
database programming. One must script everything one wants to do.


Scripting. Hmmm. Not my strong point.

Many thanks!

--
Scott

Now on XBox Live!
Gamertag: scottmorrison
Xbox Live Games: Top Spin, PGR2, RS3, RTCW, Tetris
Nov 12 '05 #4
We do some work with Flash and trade data using asp pages.

However, this requires some vbscript (you mention scripting is not your
strongpoint) and this method has severe limitations and problems with large
lists with over 100 items. Not to mention that you loose the reports, data
grid displays, record locking, and countless other features.

In a nutshell, Flash is great for doing single user apps for kiosks or
menu's and vector based movies/demo's for end user viewing. It just not
built to be a front end for a multi-user company application.

If you want cool looking UI's you will have to pick up a programming
language and get serious about it. If I had the time to play... I would be
looking into using Visual Basic and the DirectX classes
(http://www.microsoft.com/directx) used by game developers to harness
serious power and pizzazz. I have often thought that the most breathtaking
database front end would be one where the UI simulated a real world and
allowed you to access data by 3d graphical interfaces, kind of like the
database Hollywood dreamt up in "Disclosure" starring Michael Douglas and
Demi Moore. That was way out there at the time, but with some modern gaming
and database programming experience... a very real possibility indeed. So
anyway... there goes another one of my clever idea's...

--
Jerry Boone
Analytical Technologies, Inc.
http://www.antech.biz
Secure Hosting and Development Solutions for ASP, ASP.NET, SQL Server, and
Access
"Scott" <no****@nospam.com> wrote in message
news:_P*******************@newsfep4-glfd.server.ntli.net...
Lyle Fairfield wrote:
I use the web browser control linked to an html file to show a Flash
Splash Screen on open
That sounds like it might be fun. I was thinking about doing a splash

screen only the other day.
Not sure how to use the web browser control, any advice?
Currently I am working on an HTA application.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?
url=/workshop/author/hta/overview/htaoverview.asp


That was an interesting read. I had never even heard of HTA before.
Not sure if it all made sense, but I think I got the jist.
(be careful of line breaks)


Try www.tinyurl.com in the future :-) I find it invaluable.
The front end seems to give the capability for everything you
mention. I like it, but I am not sure that it is ready for big-time
database programming. One must script everything one wants to do.


Scripting. Hmmm. Not my strong point.

Many thanks!

--
Scott

Now on XBox Live!
Gamertag: scottmorrison
Xbox Live Games: Top Spin, PGR2, RS3, RTCW, Tetris

Nov 12 '05 #5
"Scott" <no****@nospam.com> wrote in
news:_P*******************@newsfep4-glfd.server.ntli.net:
Lyle Fairfield wrote:
I use the web browser control linked to an html file to show a Flash
Splash Screen on open


That sounds like it might be fun. I was thinking about doing a splash
screen only the other day.
Not sure how to use the web browser control, any advice?
Currently I am working on an HTA application.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?
url=/workshop/author/hta/overview/htaoverview.asp


That was an interesting read. I had never even heard of HTA before.
Not sure if it all made sense, but I think I got the jist.


The form has a web browser control on it (inserted).

The code is:

Private Sub Form_Close()
' after the splash comes the login
DoCmd.OpenForm "frmLogin"
End Sub

Private Sub Form_Load()
' shows the pretty (not-so ... having this redesigned) page
Me.wbHDSB.navigate "http://ffdba.com/ESO/index.htm"
End Sub

Private Sub Form_Open(Cancel As Integer)
' generic code to place the form nicely
PlaceForm Me, True
End Sub

Private Sub Form_Timer()
' closes the form after 5? seconds
DoCmd.Close acForm, Me.Name
End Sub
Nov 12 '05 #6
Jerry Boone wrote:
We do some work with Flash and trade data using asp pages.

However, this requires some vbscript (you mention scripting is not
your strongpoint) and this method has severe limitations and problems
with large lists with over 100 items. Not to mention that you loose
the reports, data grid displays, record locking, and countless other
features.
By coincidence, I had just finished reading this article:

http://tinyurl.com/ywats

Which discusses linking Flash to a databse via ASP.
But having read your comments regarding it's limitations, I'm not so excited
any more.
In a nutshell, Flash is great for doing single user apps for kiosks or
menu's and vector based movies/demo's for end user viewing. It just
not built to be a front end for a multi-user company application.
Fair enough. It was a nice dream...
If you want cool looking UI's you will have to pick up a programming
language and get serious about it. If I had the time to play... I
would be looking into using Visual Basic and the DirectX classes
(http://www.microsoft.com/directx) used by game developers to harness
serious power and pizzazz.
I already have wahat I would call a "moderate" knowledge of VB. It's not my
first language. they insisted on Java at university (perhaps that is a
viable route? I have never really thought about it before).

But I would not have a clue where to start with something like this! Any
articles available? I guess its overkill for what I'm thinking, but it might
be interesting anyway.
I have often thought that the most
breathtaking database front end would be one where the UI simulated a
real world and allowed you to access data by 3d graphical interfaces,
kind of like the database Hollywood dreamt up in "Disclosure"
starring Michael Douglas and Demi Moore. That was way out there at
the time, but with some modern gaming and database programming
experience... a very real possibility indeed. So anyway... there
goes another one of my clever idea's...


Many thanks!

--
Scott

Now on XBox Live!
Gamertag: scottmorrison
Xbox Live Games: Top Spin, PGR2, RS3, RTCW, Tetris
Nov 12 '05 #7
Lyle Fairfield <Mi************@Invalid.Com> wrote in
news:Xn*******************@130.133.1.4:
Currently I am working on an HTA application.


You're big on Windows Scripting Host, too, if I remember correctly.

You seem to have a thing for using the most dangerous and insecure
Microsoft technologies you can get your hands on, Lyle.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.bway.net/~dfenton
dfenton at bway dot net http://www.bway.net/~dfassoc
Nov 12 '05 #8
"David W. Fenton" <dX********@bway.net.invalid> wrote in
news:Xn**********************************@24.168.1 28.90:
Lyle Fairfield <Mi************@Invalid.Com> wrote in
news:Xn*******************@130.133.1.4:
Currently I am working on an HTA application.


You're big on Windows Scripting Host, too, if I remember correctly.

You seem to have a thing for using the most dangerous and insecure
Microsoft technologies you can get your hands on, Lyle.


Not only that, but I peel potatoes with a Buck knife.

--
Lyle
(for e-mail refer to http://ffdba.com/contacts.htm)
Nov 12 '05 #9
DFS

"Jerry Boone" <je***@antech.biz.killspam> wrote in message
news:oM******************@newssvr24.news.prodigy.c om...
We do some work with Flash and trade data using asp pages.

However, this requires some vbscript (you mention scripting is not your
strongpoint) and this method has severe limitations and problems with large lists with over 100 items. Not to mention that you loose the reports, data grid displays, record locking, and countless other features.

In a nutshell, Flash is great for doing single user apps for kiosks or
menu's and vector based movies/demo's for end user viewing. It just not
built to be a front end for a multi-user company application.

If you want cool looking UI's you will have to pick up a programming
language and get serious about it. If I had the time to play... I would be looking into using Visual Basic and the DirectX classes
(http://www.microsoft.com/directx) used by game developers to harness
serious power and pizzazz. I have often thought that the most breathtaking database front end would be one where the UI simulated a real world and
allowed you to access data by 3d graphical interfaces, kind of like the
database Hollywood dreamt up in "Disclosure" starring Michael Douglas and
Demi Moore. That was way out there at the time, but with some modern gaming and database programming experience... a very real possibility indeed. So
anyway... there goes another one of my clever idea's...
heh! Don't worry, ideas are cheap. I thought of the same thing years ago.
So did a million other people. I once storyboarded an airline application
where the user would grab parts of the plane, move them around in 3-D with
their mouse, and drill down into parts inventories databases.

It's easy to overlay clickable "hotspots" on a graphic, but 3D manipulation
is a different matter. Writing your own 3D programming/libraries isn't for
the faint of heart - it ain't VB!

Jerry Boone
Analytical Technologies, Inc.
http://www.antech.biz
Secure Hosting and Development Solutions for ASP, ASP.NET, SQL Server, and
Access
"Scott" <no****@nospam.com> wrote in message
news:_P*******************@newsfep4-glfd.server.ntli.net...
Lyle Fairfield wrote:
I use the web browser control linked to an html file to show a Flash
Splash Screen on open


That sounds like it might be fun. I was thinking about doing a splash

screen
only the other day.
Not sure how to use the web browser control, any advice?
Currently I am working on an HTA application.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?
url=/workshop/author/hta/overview/htaoverview.asp


That was an interesting read. I had never even heard of HTA before.
Not sure if it all made sense, but I think I got the jist.
(be careful of line breaks)


Try www.tinyurl.com in the future :-) I find it invaluable.
The front end seems to give the capability for everything you
mention. I like it, but I am not sure that it is ready for big-time
database programming. One must script everything one wants to do.


Scripting. Hmmm. Not my strong point.

Many thanks!

--
Scott

Now on XBox Live!
Gamertag: scottmorrison
Xbox Live Games: Top Spin, PGR2, RS3, RTCW, Tetris


Nov 12 '05 #10
Chuck Grimsby <c.*******@worldnet.att.net.invalid> wrote in
news:fo********************************@4ax.com:
On 27 Jan 2004 17:31:57 GMT, Lyle Fairfield
<Mi************@Invalid.Com> wrote:
"David W. Fenton" <dX********@bway.net.invalid> wrote in
news:Xn**********************************@24.168 .128.90:

Lyle Fairfield <Mi************@Invalid.Com> wrote in
news:Xn*******************@130.133.1.4:
Currently I am working on an HTA application. You're big on Windows Scripting Host, too, if I remember correctly.
You seem to have a thing for using the most dangerous and insecure
Microsoft technologies you can get your hands on, Lyle.

Not only that, but I peel potatoes with a Buck knife.


What? There's another way?


Not Really ... except for the red headed ones ... they pretty much peel
themselves.

--
Lyle
(for e-mail refer to http://ffdba.com/contacts.htm)
Nov 12 '05 #11

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