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Load External HTML file in CS5

Upon initial google search for the above title phrase, I came across no results! Only after resorting to my second search avenue (Google Books :)), did I then stumble across “The CS5 bible“.

Thanks to the brilliance of Google Books, I was able to read through only the chapters I needed (you rock Google!) and discover the solution I was actually looking for was – Adobe Air.

Adobe Air allows you to embed HTML as well as other content within the html, such as JS and additional flash files all within a flash framework allowing you to utilize actionscript and other traditional elements. The end result is now an extremely portable flash file which acts as a wrapper or window to your web application. This is also now very easy to port into a standalone out of browser application using the “projector” functionality of CS5.

The code:

var container:Sprite;
var html:HTMLLoader = new HTMLLoader;
html.width = 400;
html.height = 600;
var urlReq:URLRequest = new URLRequest("http://www.adobe.com/");
html.load(urlReq);
container.addChild(html);

References
Google Books, http://books.google.com/
Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/Photoshop-Bible-Lisa-DaNae-Dayley/dp/0470584742
Adobe Air, http://www.adobe.com/products/air/
Adobe LiveDocs, http://livedocs.adobe.com/flex/3/html/help.html?content=ProgrammingHTMLAndJavaScript_02.html

Run SWF Files from an EXE

SWF/Flash files may be embedded into an executable a number of ways, using:

Adobe Flash Platform
Adobe Air
MDM Zinc
Northcode SWF Studio

Adobe Flash and Air refer to the published executable as projectors, and both can be packaged using the Adobe Flash Platform or Air.

Zinc and SWF Studio are both 3rd party products which offer similar functionality. In my opinion, Zinc is the greater of the two products, as it offers support for Windows, Mac and Linux! It also has an API/framework for utilizing WinForms functionality such as launching modal form windows using actionscript. The API is packaged into the executable, so a clean standalone file is still all that is needed for deployment.

SWF Studio is more of an “out of the box” product, which functions as is for what it is needed for. Some may favor it due to its simplicity and ease of user interface, which on the surface seems to have a bit more features.

Ultimately, I went with Adobe Air in my particular scenario, which was definitely the most complex of the solutions, but provided the best compatibility by far (obviously) and the best one to get to work with SWF files that wrapped other SWF files multiple layers deep.

Brief addendum:
Initially I developed a custom .Net solution which loaded the SWF file inside of a form, (webbrowser object in winforms or frame in wcf) but the dependency on .Net and furthermore, Mono, in Mac/Linux systems posed as a problem since the delivery of the player needed to fit on CD/DVD alongside the videos, with very little space to spare for adding in additonal frameworks.

References
Adobe Flash Platform, http://www.adobe.com/flashplatform/
Adobe Air, http://www.adobe.com/products/air/
MDM Zinc, http://www.multidmedia.com/software/zinc/
Northcode SWF Studio, http://www.northcode.com/
Mono-Project, http://www.mono-project.com/Main_Page