Flash Emulator - Architecture - Data Formats

Data Formats

Flash Player includes native support for many different data formats, some of which can only be accessed through the ActionScript scripting interface.

  • XML: Flash Player has included native support for XML parsing and generation since version 8. XML data is held in memory as an XML Document Object Model, and can be manipulated using ActionScript. ActionScript 3 also supports ECMAScript for XML (E4X), which allows XML data to be manipulated more easily.
  • JSON: Flash Player 11 includes native support for importing and exporting data in the JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) format, which allows interoperability with web services and JavaScript programs.
  • AMF: Flash Player allows cookies to be stored on users computers, in the form of Local Shared Objects, the Flash equivalent to browser cookies. Flash Player can also natively read and write files in the Action Message Format, the default data format for Local Shared Objects. Since the AMF format specification is published, data can be transferred to and from Flash applications using AMF datasets instead of JSON or XML, reducing the need for parsing and validating such data.
  • SWF: The specification for the SWF file format was published by Adobe, enabling the development of the SWX Format project, which utilized the SWF file format and AMF as a means for Flash applications to exchange data with server side applications. The SWX system stores data as standard SWF bytecode which is automatically interpreted by Flash Player. Another open-source project, SWXml allows Flash applications to load XML files as native ActionScript objects without any client-side XML parsing, by converting XML files to SWF/AMF on the server.

Adobe Flash Player supports socket communication using stream sockets which can be utilized using ActionScript to transfer plain text, XML or binary data between servers. ActionScript 2.0 only supported XML data transfer, while ActionScript 3.0 supports binary and XML data transfer.

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