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Dreamweaver is not a necessary tool. It could be replaced by any number of programs, including something as simple as Notepad. And considering how much more you need to know to be able to successfully use DW these days, you would probably know enough to be able to use Notepad just as successfully. Still, DW has some features that can aid in generating page code.
In general, html-coded files are the basis of a web-based presentation, and they can be created with any software that deals in ascii text. Even in the case of Flash, the swf file you create is usually presented using code embedded in an html-coded page.
Flash itself will publish an html page that embeds the swf code if you elect to. And Flash can be displayed without an html page as long as you have the Flash Player... but usually an html page is used to help control the presentation. The thing with Flash content is you do need special software (such as Flash) to generate a Flash file. Other software can output an swf file, but Flash itself provides the most utility in creating Flash designs.
I am not familiar with most other Adobe products but I would guess that many of them offer the ability to produce html pages for designs you create with them. And I believe a few of them can also create Flash swf files.
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So if I understand you correctly if I am trying to create a website to make available a widget for purchase on line, which I basically am, and I want/must set-up some sort of Pay Pal account, etc. then using Flash for my website is out of the question is that correct? If yes then you are saying catigorically that there isn't any website out there which uses Flash as it's foundational platform through which individuals can actually purchase something....only learn about something is that correct?
You can also do some sort of things like paypal in flash too but tough to manage all products for example, shopping cart need scroll, adding products at runtime which is more dynamic and which is one fetched from the database concept. Still you can do that in flash by using flash as the front end, PHP for the communciation medium and sql server as the database.
LOL, you know I have been at this for almost 8 months now spending about every free second I have learning one program after another doinig andless tutorial homework, etc. Everytime I thiink I have a handle on what I need to learn to get where I want to go I receive a snippet of information like yours which makes me think I have reached yet another false summit. In this instance I have no idea what PHP and sql are and yet your reply says I can get where I wish to go via Flash, (which I would very much like to do), if I learn yet another program, etc. However, I'll find out what they are and learn about them if that is what's required. So to place a slightly finer point on my situation basically I am wanting to sell only a single type of widget, (i.e., a very smalll business offering one widget which I can fabricate in different sizes depending on a potential customers specific needs). I will need to set-up some sort of "commerical" Pay Pal type of something. Now that I see and understand the animation abilities and interactivity possible using Flash I think it is a much better medium for my widegt then Dreamweaver and would therefore like to use it IF I can get where I need to go. So you are kindly informing me that if I learn PHP and sql....whatever on earth they are....I could use Flash to get where I wish to go, correct? By the way, thanks so muc for your help!
My suggestion would be to build the framework of the site (basic template & nav, home & purchase or contact pages) in Dreamweaver, then if you want interactivity/animation for the about page, build that portion in Flash & embed it in the Dreamweaver template to create the "About" page.
But this is coming from someone who doesn't have a lot of spare time to learn new programs.
If you only have a handful of items to sell, then having a database (mySQL) becomes less necessary, though it could still serve a purpose as a sales tool for storing order information. But as far as PHP goes, it is somewhat of a must-have for the purpose of processing an order form from the web site into your hands. Otherwise, the only option you have is to make the user send you an email describing what they want, which is a less than desirable solution..
PHP can be used to process forms (something neither html nor Flash can do in a web site). With PHP you can process the order form that the user submits from the site and have it send a notification (email) to you of the order, as well as, if you desire, enter the order into a datafile or database (such as mySQL) if you wanted to have one.
The database becomes handier when you have alot of products/inventory that you need to manage, both from the presentation aspect and the processing aspect. You can have the database store all of the product information, and then use PHP to retrieve that information and transfer it into Flash for presentation. Similarly, if an order is placed, you can have the PHP deal with updating the database to adjust availabilities/quantities.
What you might want to do first is just look into processing a form using PHP to have it send the information to you in an email. That is somewhat of a first step in learning how to implement PHP with online data processing. Try searching Google using terms like "AS3 PHP form tutorial" and "AS3 PHP email tutorial"
Similarly, if you want to become familiar with introducing a mySQL database into the mix, then search using terms like "AS3 PHP MySQL tutorial"
Thanks, I'll certainly gve that some thought and investigation....the struggle continues....
This is probably due to a much more 'fluid' check-out experience when using flash, but don't use flash or any html check-out procedure to actually collect customer credit card details, (use a payment gateway) and beware in what personal details you do collect.
As for which you should learn to create web sites -
Flash as I have already hinted at, gives a much better and more fluid user experience, (also easier to build a more 'unique' web site).
Dreamweaver, (html/css/etc) is much more search engine friendly, but also much easier to get completely wrong, yet have your pages still work.
I could also say that html is catching up with flash, (and you will hear this stated by many) with such things as the use of html5's canvas, svg and off-line storage. But unless you have time to learn these things yourself beware, help is almost none existent, and as people who have used these html advanced items will tell you, doing the equivalent in flash takes only a fraction of the time.
Thanks again Ned. Though I am trying to keep things relatively simple if possible it certainly sounds like PHP, and perhaps sql, are things I need to incorporate. If I understand your reply correctly both can be used within the FLASH environment should I prefer to go that route. I will definately look into them per your suggestion. Thank you again for your time in answering my questions.
PZ, thanks for your reply. Based on it, and the other kind replies I have received, I am going to continue delving into the FLASH format and see what I can come up with in terms dealing with the "commercial" aspect of a web site which I am being warned here is difficult if not impossible to do in FLASH. I am not trying to make a multi-million dollar operation just a unique mom & pop type operation but I will still need to have an order/payment device in place. I wouldn't care which I used Dreamweaver or Flash if it weren't for my belief that FLASH allows for, in my opinion....from what I have seen, a more emotional experience. I like the thought of providing that as part and parcel of ones "experience" as the widget I hope to provide, IF I can get a website up and running, deals in helping people showcase the most emotional things in their lives. I designed and built these things for myself years ago and people have always said I should make them available to others. After 20 years that is what I am investigating doing and FLASH intuitively seems like a better way to go IF I can just make it do what it needs to do. Every time I think I am almost there I reach yet another false summit. The journey continues....thanks again.
Sounds like you are well on your way this your project and I wish you the best!
Just to clarify one point.. There is no such thing as a Flash Website .. only HTML, PHP, ASP etc. sites which may have some Flash content.
So I don't think it's a question on using Flash or Dreamweaver to build your site... most likely you will need both, Flash for the content, DW (or some other editor) for the page structure as well as any PHP for server side scripting you may need.
As for building your own shopping cart, I suggest you start at your bank and work back from there to your Web site, NOT the other way around. Banks are very strict about which "Gateways" they use and the Gateway company is very strict about which shopping cart they will allow to connect to there services.
If you are expecting to collect payments via credit cards, you'll most like need a Merchant Account at your bank. Check and see what it takes to get yours set up. That's the account that your Gateway service will connect to... for background info..here are a couple used by local banks here:
But get with your banker before going too far. Make sure that you don't have to undo some of the efforts and development because they did not meet bank or gateway specs.
Thanks Adnin, I will certainly take your welcome comments under advisement. Thank you so much!