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Flash CMS

I'm pitching to a prospective client within the fashion industry. They'd like a flash site, but would like CMS control over updating new ranges, changing and adding text etc.
My initial reaction to this is to offer them a retainer whereby I maintain control and run the updates for them when required. However, it does bring up the opportunity for flash CMS.  I've noticed a few companies selling flash CMS products, but how effective is this as a technique - and what potential issues are at play?

Thanks very much
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Hi Aidan.

My thoughts, in terms of a CMS i'm thinking you need to be able to keep track of versioning, open and edit and save documents.
if that's the case, flash cant' do that on it's own.
if you're using a database you can open up documents and stuff, but open them in the native application and do that, but in terms of saving to a server or something, i'm not sure how you'd go about it.

Personally i wouldn't use flash as an option.
You say there are flash cms products on the market, so there must be a work around, but somehow i don't think its the most viable option.

How so, flash not a viable option?????

Flash is 'the presentation layer', much like html.
It represents your data. It's your GUI.

And for things like a fashion, you can do really nice things with flash animations and visual effects.

However. I previously compared flash a little to html. And well.
As you know, in order to make a regular web cms, you use a server side language, like php or asp because html can't fetch data from a database or xml or anything without it. (technically, there are javascript options, but forget those for a minute)

So, just like with html. Fetch your data from a database or xml, using php/asp/jsp/... and read those php/asp/jsp files using flash remoting (or the old fashioned way: loadvars, which I wouldn't recommend for complex things, like a cms)

You can do the actual CMS part (inserting, modifying data) using flash remoting too, or using html. Html will probably go faster, and the clients don't see it anyway. But, well, flash remoting can do pretty much anything. Very powerfull.

A hint though .....
If you want to do flash remoting, and you can pick a server side language, go with php. You'll find tons of documentation, and, what's most important: AMFPHP. the best remoting framework there is. Generates all your actionscript code, all you need to do, is write the php classes, and you can call them from Flash/Flex. If you use ASP however, well, good luck, but you will find close to no information whatsoever, no AMFPHP-like frameworks, no tutorials, nothing.

Seriously, check out AMFPHP.
Avatar of Vicker Leung

This may not be a very formal Flash CMS, I term it as Flash Web Builder (FLABER).
You can do simple editing of text, images, links, etc with a few mouse clicks and dnd.

Of course, it relies on server side scripting, in this case PHP.

Is a open source project written and supported by me, so spend some time play around with it~




P.S. There are other solutions too~ but they costs... 1 example is "flashblocks".
Google it and you will know what's that~

Looks nice
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Some analysis on fCMS...
I have done some research months ago and these are only my personal comments...

fCMS can only work on text... check out their demo carefully...
All those fancy Flash effects are done elsewhere...
And can you move those elements freely around?!?! Probably...
(maybe their demo have limited feature... I don't know)

US$299.... worth or not? decide it yourself.

I am not a big fan of those ready-made components or tools...  I personally do those pieces myself and work my ways into the projects...  But I think $299 is definitely worth the money if it can do 'basic' CMS functionality where the client can edit the content of the page...  That's my 2 cents...  ;)

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Thank you all for your comments on this. For me personally, where design comes fairly naturally but the coding/programming elements are a different kettle of fish entirely, I'm looking for something as user-friendly as possible to offer the client the facility of CM. I'd be more than happy to make the changes for them as required (assuming only content changes) and work that into the project price, but they've been stung by the previous company they dealt with, who quoted ridiculous amounts to make relatively simple content changes - with that in mind, the facilities of fCMS and fCMS pro seem to tick the boxes I'm after....

Will leave this open for another 12 hours, then award points....

Have you tried out my demo?
Any comments with it?

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sorry vicker, I haven't!   does it do things in a similar way to the others?  i'm looking for the most user friendly concept possible, just to fulfill the client's requirement

You really have to spend some time play around with it.
It supports tons of functions that fCMS "may not" support.

And we have tried to let a 10 years old kid to play around with it and she enjoys~!!

There are many great works done by others around the world.
Check out the user showcase in WIKI

And most important is that we are free open source projects~

We will have version 2 out very soon with extended functionality and improved stability.
Seems like ads, right? haha~ sorry about that.

Avatar of aidan09


LOL - no, completely understand you supporting the project!
So essentially, would it allow me to set up a flash website in much the same way as I do normally, and then add the CMS functionality afterwards?  Or is the CMS functionaility integrated during the build?

I can't describe with words... you better try it out~!!

In short, it is a flash movie. The tricky point is that it has administrative backend function.
In admin edit mode, you can drag and drop anything inside the flash movie
(text, images, shapes, even other swf files)

Resizing, Rotation, make it anyway you want with a few mouse clicks.

Form filling properties to do advanced settings.
e.g. typing, styling texts, image library browsing, image upload, page transition effect, etc...

Pages are saved in XML format through PHP server.
So the Flash movie can be seen as a reader, reading the XML, and generating the whole Flash web page.

Go ahead and try and you will got my point.

I have read through the pages vickerleung provided and it looks quite goone one...  Very nice as a matter of fact...  
But I think that app might somewhat confuse the users if it needs to be used as a CMS for those who does not know anything about anything yet they want to update their own content, if you know what I mean...

The CMS should be really simple so that the dumbest people can use to update the pages...  If you go over that, you are calling yourself big trouble...  Your client will call you every hour to ask you the questions about the CMS not your own app/site...

So...  What I am trying to say is...  Just be careful when you choose the program...  Have the client play with the demo version, if avaialble, and see how comfortable they are before you commit yourself to that one...  That's my 2 cents...  ;)
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Looking forward to it, vickerleung...  ;)