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Dynamically Generated Forms - Macromedia Flash Data Integration

My company has a database-driven system of web forms, each of which consists of many questions in various layouts (2-column radio, 1 column checkbox, etc). The forms are never hard-coded. Each HTTP request causes Java code to perform DB queries to dynamically generate the various questions and answers. Those questions are then rendered through JSP and Struts tiles into HTML. The HTML also contains JavaScript functions to hide/show conditional questions on the web page based on answers to earlier questions. Now we're trying to figure out the best way to adapt this system to use a Flash front-end instead of ...

  1. #1

    Default Dynamically Generated Forms

    My company has a database-driven system of web forms, each of which consists of
    many questions in various layouts (2-column radio, 1 column checkbox, etc). The
    forms are never hard-coded. Each HTTP request causes Java code to perform DB
    queries to dynamically generate the various questions and answers. Those
    questions are then rendered through JSP and Struts tiles into HTML.

    The HTML also contains JavaScript functions to hide/show conditional questions
    on the web page based on answers to earlier questions.

    Now we're trying to figure out the best way to adapt this system to use a
    Flash front-end instead of HTML/JavaScript.

    My preliminary research suggests at least two possible approaches:

    1. A pre-compiled SWF could send a request with certain parameters, and the
    server could respond with an XML description of the form to build. Then the SWF
    could p that XML and dynamically generate the form using attachMovie for
    each form element (with a lot of math to determine relative positions of
    elements with variable sizes, like text labels).

    2. Flex might reduce the code for placing elements, by using MXML to describe
    the form structure as well as visual arrangement. I haven't used this yet, and
    I'm wary of Flex 2 simply because it requires Flash Player 9 which is only at
    50% browser penetration
    ([url]http://blog.flashforwardconference.com/2006/09/12/adobe-keynote-some-highlights[/url]
    /) but I might try an earlier version of Flex if it helps.

    Does anyone have a suggestion about the best approach to solving this problem?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.


    javatech Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Dynamically Generated Forms

    Umm..ofcourse I would prefer the 2nd one, if I am not too bothered about
    browser penentration. Another factor to consider is the availability of a good
    server supporting Flex.

    I would suggest using the 1st method and then maybe later on change to the
    second one, if really needed.

    flashofscarlet Guest

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