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Need help developing a standalone testing application in Flash 8

Posted on 2007-03-27
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I'm trying to develop an online testing application for an Office 2007 class I must teach.  I want the interface to be web based and look great so I'm wondering if Flash 8 would be a suitable platform for developing a testing application that has say 50 questions.  I would obviously need to do everything necessary to collect answers during the test and grade the test appropriately.  Is this something that Flash can do as a standalone application?  Has anyone run across any examples of something like this where you ask a user for input, collect and store the input and generate results based on the stored input?  I'm a beginner developer and Flash person so I know this will be a very steep learning curve to develop, but I'm committed to learning.  I'd be willing to pay a few bucks if someone is willing to take the time to get me started.  
Thanks!
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Question by:RandyGeorgeRedSox
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10 Comments
 
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Tom Ray
ID: 18803779
yeah flash can do this. depending on a few things it may or may not be the right tool for the job. are you answers multiple choice, fill in the blank, essay, or other? how do you intend to get the result back to you?

also you say "I want the interface to be web based " then later ask "Is this something that Flash can do as a standalone application?" so i wondering which you want, web based or standalone?
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Author Comment

by:RandyGeorgeRedSox
ID: 18803869
the questions will be all different types, and sorry for the contradiction.  I would like to be able to offer the exam as a standalone install but a web based product that looks great is more important.  
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Tom Ray
ID: 18803905
how do you intend to get the result back to you?
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Author Comment

by:RandyGeorgeRedSox
ID: 18803928
I have no idea!!!!!  HAHAHAHA HOHO.

Honestly - I'm really trying to determine if Flash can do what I'm looking to do and if you know or have seen any code examples out there that might even remotely resemble something like a testing app, I'd love a tip on where to look.  Thanks!
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:D3SIGN3R
ID: 18804201
Hello. Yeah, flash can do it, but it's no walk in the park. A standalone kiosk can quite easily collect all answers and data input to the "test" and (example) email the data to you for filtering in your database of choice. The trick is to bypass the standard "quizzes" variables flash offers you, and create your own vars in the mc's provided. The tally of the totals flash offer you as well.

The actual design of the quiz is explained pretty well in the standard tutorials you get with the application.

Web based is by far easier, as you then POST all variables of the test taken through an ASP page to your database of choice. You see, when you submit variables from flash, any web application targeted for listening will pick up the variables, and pars them to the format you desire.

It took me around a year to perfect this method, for each time the flash player advanced, it would reject some custom code, and you'd have to re-script it.

Here is a short example:
      loadVariablesNum ("http://"+targetHost+"/BondData/fullinstall/data/timeA.asp", 0, "POST");
//Where target host being the machine or server you want the details to sort
In the asp page, you’d have the following:

<%@ LANGUAGE = VBScript %>
<%  Option Explicit %>
<%  Response.Expires= -1 %>

<%
Dim oConn, oRs, filePath, xselsurname, xselname, xjpassword, xbuysurname, xbuyname, xdiff, xstand, xhouse, xstreet, xsuburb, xhousepic, xstatus, xdealcomments

filePath = Server.MapPath("yourfile.mdb")

Set oConn = Server.CreateObject("ADODB.Connection")
oConn.Open "Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;Data Source=" & filePath

xselsurname = request.form("txtselsurname")
xselname = request.form("txtselname")
xjpassword = request.form("txtjpassword")
xbuysurname = request.form("txtbuysurname")
xbuyname = request.form("txtbuyname")
xdiff = request.form("diff")
xstand = request.form("txtstand")
xhouse = request.form("txthouse")
xstreet = request.form("txtstreet")
xsuburb= request.form("txtsuburb")
xhousepic = request.form("txthousepic")
xstatus = request.form("txtstatus")
xdealcomments = request.form("txtdealcomments")

oConn.Execute "insert into client (SellerSurname, SellerInit, jPassword, BuyerSurname, BuyerInit, TransactionDate, PropertyStand, HouseNum, StreetName, Suburb, HousePic, Status, DealComments) values ("  & "'" & xselsurname & "'" & ","  & "'" & xselname & "'" & ","  & "'" & xjpassword & "'" & ","  & "'" & xbuysurname & "'" & ","  & "'" & xbuyname & "'" & ","  & "'" & xdiff & "'" & ","  & "'" & xstand & "'" & ","  & "'" & xhouse & "'" & ","  & "'" & xstreet & "'" & ","  & "'" & xsuburb & "'" & ","  & "'" & xhousepic & "'" & ","  & "'" & xstatus & "'" & ","  & "'" & xdealcomments & "'" & ")"

response.write("confirm=y")

oConn.Close
Set oConn= Nothing


%>

//assuming the vartiables you have in your test i.e name, surname, answer1, answer2 etc. are in the ASP and declared with a valid destination in the database file.
Yup, no easy way around it.
D3sign3r.
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Tom Ray
ID: 18807849
i would set it up to have the player ask for user id (name, student number, something unique to that person) then set up a mc for each question, accepting input from the user, storing that input (input = answer) in a variable, move on to next question, store the input in another variable, etc.... at the end, send all variables to a php page that gives the user an option to review, and if all is good, click a button and have it emailed to you.

i would avoid the stand alone way.

my way may be the way D3SIGN3R is trying to avoid, but i know little to nothing about databases.
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LVL 11

Accepted Solution

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Tom Ray earned 1000 total points
ID: 18808819
there are also quiz sample files that came with flash if you wanted to view those.
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Author Comment

by:RandyGeorgeRedSox
ID: 18809027
thanks a million for the tip sibgig, that's exactly what i was looking to find out.
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Tom Ray
ID: 18809214
glad i could help, enjoy!
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:D3SIGN3R
ID: 18810171
*sniff*
D3SIGN3R looks at his bloody fingers, looks at the screen ....
thinks about his megatron vx4000 plasma blaster ....
um, ok, yeah.

Good 1.

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