Flash Tutorials

Flash Preloader

Create a Flash Preloader and ASP Guest-Book

Flash Preloader

Create a Flash Preloader for the Flash and ASP Guest-Book

As part of our Flash and ASP integration tutorial series, this section shows you how to create a preloader for your Flash and ASP guest-book (Go to our simple Flash Preloader tutorial if you landed on this page directly). The flash preloader is essential to prevent partial loading of the movie while it plays. A preloader is usually made attractive to the viewer to keep him/her occupied while another movie or some data is loaded in the background. We are going to add a very simple preloader to our Flash 'n' ASP Unleashed tutorial's Guest-Book to check if the data has been loaded from the database.

Note: Values or code you will have to enter are given in light blue and red show specific settings to be followed by you.

Starting Flash Guest-Book Interface

We add a Flash Preloader that waits for the data before displaying the form

Flash 'n' ASP Guest-Book Preloader

1. Preloader Frames: First you will have to create your preloader frames.

  • Insert a frame using Insert Frame (F5) after the first frame in the guestbook layer. Go back to the first frame and now select Insert blank keyframe (F7). You will see the two frames that were joined in the timeline, separate. Now label the second frame 'Load'. This frame represents the starting point of the preloader. Place a simple text box displaying 'Loading Guest-Book entries' on the frame.

  • Double click the 'Load' frame and give the following action script.
       Set Variable: "startE" = ""
        If (load=True)
              Set Variable: "startN" = ""
              Set Variable: "startM" = ""
              Set Variable: "startD" = ""
              Load Variables ("GuestBookGetCode.asp?NAV=" & loadNo & "&submit=" & submit, "")
         End If
    Logic: This makes sure that the e-mail field (startE) is initially null because we will check this field while looping. The variable load represents the state of the 'Load Next Batch of Entries' button in the display form. If the value of 'load' is 'True', the initialization of the other fields and loading of the next batch of entries is done. The batch number (loadNo) and submission status (submit - that shows if the user has already posted a new entry into the guestbook or not) are sent as parameters to the GuestBookGetCode.asp page. Remember when you load variables from a file you should click on the target option instead of level and leave the field blank.

  • Now insert two frames after the preloader frame using Insert Frame (F5).

Preloader Frame

2. Preloader Loop: Now we need to make a loop that executes till the data is loaded. To do this insert three frames using Insert Frame (F5) after the first frame in the counter layer.

  • Now we need a frame to check a condition and depending on it deciding whether to continue the preloader or display the guestbook. For this double click the third frame in the counter layer and give it the label Preloader. Now go to the actions tab and give the following action script.
            If (startE ne "")
                        Set Variable: "upper_bound" = size*LoadNo
                        If (count-upper_bound<=0)
                                  Set Variable: "upper_bound" = Count
                                  Set Variable: "NoLoad" = True
                                  Set Variable: "NoLoad" = False
                        End If
                        Set Variable: "y" = count-((LoadNo-1)*size)
                        If (submit=True)
                                  Set Variable: "y" = y-1
                                  Set Variable: "x" = ((LoadNo-1)*size)+2
                                  Set Variable: "x" = ((LoadNo-1)*size)+1
                                  Set Variable: "lower_bound" = 1
                        End If
                        Go to and Stop ("Main")
              End If

    Logic: This action script is the most important part of the guest-book logic. It is advisable to make sure you understand what it does. This preloader frame checks if the Flash Player has received the value of the variable 'startE'. This symbolizes that the first record has been received. If it is null then the preloader plays on to the next frame. If the value is not null then the upper bound is set as the batch size 50 (make sure to change this value if you have changed the value of intSize in the GuestBookGetCode.asp file) multiplied by the Batch number represented by variable LoadNo. Next if (count-upper_bound<0) determines whether it is the last load or not. We set the value of the record count variable 'y' from the batch number. If the user has already submitted an entry then the required adjustments to get the correct records displayed is done. Now it proceeds to the 'Display form' i.e. frame 'Main'.

  • Double click the fourth frame on the counter layer and add the following action script that results in going back to the preloader frame:
            Go to and Stop ("Preloader")

    Logic: This makes the flash go to the frame called 'Preloader' so that a loop is created.

  • Now double click the 'Success' frame and add the following code before the existing 'Stop' action:
            Set Variable: "count" = count+1
              Set Variable: "x" = 0
              Set Variable: "y" = count
              Set Variable: "lower_bound" = 0
              Set Variable: "name" & x = name
              Set Variable: "email" & x = email
              Set Variable: "mess" & x = mess
              Set Variable: "date" & x = date
              Set Variable: "startN" = name
              Set Variable: "startE" = email
              Set Variable: "startM" = mess
              Set Variable: "startD" = date

    Logic: This action script is used to give the impression that the record has been added to the database by making the submitted data from the Input Form (NewEntry Frame) appear as the newest record in the display form. Thus the count is incremented and the lower bound is changed from 1 to 0 and the values are initialized so that they appear in the Display Form as record 0.

Finishing Flash Guest-Book Interface

Flash 'n' ASP Guest-Book Ready

Congratulations! You have finished the basic Flash and ASP guestbook. Export you Flash movie and save it as GuestBook.swf under the same folder where all your other files are kept. Make new html file called GuestBook.asp and place your GuestBook.swf Flash movie in it. In its body tag add the following parameters, so it looks like:

<body bgcolor="#FFFFFF" topmargin="0" leftmargin="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0">

This results in no white space being shown around you flash file when you call it. Now to call your guestbook from anywhere you need to use this link:

<a href="javascript:{var xwin=window.open('/Your_site_path/GuestBook/Guestbook.asp','FlashGuestBook','width=240,height=280, resize=no')}">Guest Book</a>

Change the width and height dimensions according to your Flash movie dimensions and don't forget to give the correct path to your GuestBook.asp file.

Continue to Step 7: Flash Form Validation

This tutorial covers the usage of ASP and Flash to bring about Flash dynamic data display and manipulation i.e. interactivity into Flash:
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