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Flash For An Intranet
Can someone who knows the pros and cons of Flash help me?
carmo




msg:671873
 12:48 pm on Dec 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

My company wants to develop an intranet site and they keep pushing Flash on me. They want to create the entire intranet in Flash...which includes database access. I don't like the idea, but can anyone give me their insight in how Flash would be benificial to an intranet or how it could cause problems. Thanks.

 

knighty




msg:671874
 4:16 pm on Dec 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

Carmo,

You could easily tie in Flash to create dynamic pages. you can use flash with ASP or PHP etc.

There is also a program called Generator which sits server side and allows you to create flash templates which create flash pages or GIFS, JPGS etc on the fly.

My main concern about Flash for doing total sites is that other people may not be able to understand or have the skill to use Flash (maintaing) and that everyone will have to have flash installed.

[vulcan.com...] is dynamically driven by Macromedia Flash Generator

seriesint




msg:671875
 4:32 pm on Dec 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

Hi,

I'm not a flash guru nor even an advocate of it use. Yet, in an Intranet env. it would negate the most common issues with Flash. It can be massively slow to download and "does everybody have the plugin". Both gone in the intranet :( So I would start telling them the lead time to develop the entire site in Flash would be longer (don't worry the moment they hear lead-time they do the conversion to dollars for you).

Perhaps of more use though, what other technologies do you see as being as useful? Do you have an alternate proposal ready for them to consider as being better? I would look for a solution that allows content to be added by the other employees in a safe manner through forms etc. Allowing the correct people to add stuff like calendar information, press releases etc is a big bonus for you as the developer since you won't have to be hassled to do simple things like add pages. Some packages exist, web based groupware is popular these days and there might even be equivalents in Flash.

Have to admit Flash is appealing for a write once, just feed it to them type of approach. That skips the natural course of updating though. Course being an intranet (all similiar client machines I hope) the browser(s) issue should be reduced as well. But until you have something solid to offer them that can lower total cost, provide more features,etc. I don't see them being given reasons to not use Flash. Odds are they think its "leading edge" and cute, ick.

txbakers




msg:671876
 10:32 pm on Dec 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

Flash is definitely "cute" but within a short time I find it to be very annoying - almost as annoying as popups within a web site.

I've worked in Flash and added animations, splash pages and more to sites, and I eventually take them all down.

Flash stuff is nice the first time you see it, maybe the second. But by the third I want to skip all that time wasting stuff and get to the information I need from a web site.

Used in moderation - as buttons perhaps, would be very nice and not annoying over time.

And the maintenance would be difficult. Each time you need to change something means a whole new swf file, not just a few lines of code in a text editor.

I would try to dissuade them from using Flash for the entire site.

knighty




msg:671877
 9:49 am on Dec 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

The above two posts do not understand the possibilities of Flash and while I agree the HTML would probbably be better I would like to point out that flash CAN be very easy to update and maintain.

A flash nav bar for instance could easily provide a more complex, sophisticated and quicker download.

However the question to ask yourself when doing anything is what do I want to achieve? and what is the best way to do that?

You can do easily updatable, XML,ASP or PHP fed Flash pages which users can update via a form. You can also do the same with HTML.

Flash is a lot harder to master than HTML and to be honest apart from appliactions and navigation I would'nt really see much point in intergrating Flash. Why don't you compramise and perhaps do the navigation and other parts in Flash but the bulk of it in HTML?

I am actually re-developing my companies Intranet and thought about using Flash but decided not to mainly because I didnt want people to do anything to view the site. Some people here are hopelss when it comes to technology and I want to make it as accessable as possible. I'm gonna use DHTML for the navigation and will probbably use flash in other parts of the site to act as guides or tutorials.

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