Efficiently Managing Large Amounts of Undetermined Data
I am in the process of building a site framework that is going to be home to a large amount of data. This information is going to reside in a database and provided to flash via ASP. The information is going to be of indeterminate type.. it may be a text document, it may be a .swf file, a bunch of jpegs, or most likely, all 3 at the same time. I'm not looking for scripting or progamming help... what I would like is discussion or suggestions on theory on how best to manage the display of this information in flash. At this time, my plan is to create a type of template for text only, text and images, slideshow, etc. I also would like the display of requested information to occur as fast as possible. With this in mind, would it be better to have these templates as separate swf files that flash could load and fill in the blanks, or to create them as mc's in a shared library and have flash attach them?
The other consideration I had was building a type of layout engine to dynamically create an mc containing the desired objects and placing it where needed. However, previous experience with dynamically created objects, especially textfields has show that they don't always behave exactly as expected, so I've kind of shelved this idea.
Does anyone have any suggestions or thoughts? I would like to know if I'm on the right track with this... The description of the project from the client is this (verbatim) "You've got your data in the database, you've got your flash movie... boom, boom, boom, we've got a website" With previous experience, the 'boom, boom, boom' part is the part that takes 200 hours, and I have one sample page of data and about 1000 unorganized powerpoint presentations to work from.
When someone tells me boom boom boom, I head for the door. That aside I would look toward creating an abstraction layer. This is not boom boom boom though you may find some classes already built to help.