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Flash Communication Server MX maintains a persistent connection between the client and the server. Unlike HTTP, which is connected only when a request is made, Flash Communication Server MX is continually connected after a connection is established. Flash Communication Server MX works because of its unique connectivity, its streaming ability, and its powerful programming model, ActionScript.
Flash Communication Server MX operates like a hub that facilitates connections. Flash Players connect to the Flash Communication Server MX hub using a special always-on communication protocol called Real-Time Messaging Protocol ( RTMP ) . Just like a network hub, Flash Communication Server MX can connect to other communication server hubs to increase user and bandwidth capacity in licensing and hardware.
Flash Communication Server MX can also connect to J2EE, Web Services, and ASP.NET application servers to extend applications with database connectivity and other server resources using Flash Remoting. Examples of this connectivity are sending an email or authenticating connections using a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) server.
Flash Communication Server MX's unique instant-on approach lets you instantly stream video or sound to or from your website with no additional plug-ins or downloads for your user. Flash Player 7 does support a "progressive streaming" solution for video without using Flash Communication Server MX; however, this solution has limits. When connected to Flash Communication Server MX, you can create play lists, have more control over the playback with specific starting points and duration parameters, and have options to mute the audio or video tracks to conserve bandwidth. Flash Communication Server MX will also let you send or receive live video or audio, and it provides the options for recording streams.
Flash Communication Server MX has a powerful programming model called Remote SharedObjects . SharedObjects synchronizes complex data and supports sending one-way messages between other Flash Players connected to the server.
Regular ActionScript objects are transported across network connections using the Action Message Format ( AMF ) . This format is used over a nonpersistent HTTP or secure HTTP (HTTPS) connection when exchanging data with application servers. The format is also used over the persistent RTMP when exchanging communication data between the Flash Player and the server. AMF is a binary format that is handled transparently by the server and Flash Player.
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