Christmas Actionscript

Have I been working over Christmas? Yes, but I’m actually quite enjoying it and it will only do me good in the long term.

I’ve been getting Flash to communicate with Flash Media Server 2 over the break and it’s not short work.

I’m very new to the server side coding of ActionScript. I’m armed with ‘Programming Flash Communications Server’, a very good O’Reilly book that is about 2 years out of date and Google. Shame there aren’t that many people who do this sort of thing so there is not much information.

The main thing I’m trying to do is security. Our system will have 3 levels of security – Internal only, passworded, none. None is easy as anyone can use the thing, internal and passworded are harder.

Flash can do a lot of checking of things, it can check to see if it is on the University network and whether you are logged into a site, the trouble is that anything tested on the client pc can be faked; so I need to get Flash to do the hard work and then get the server to check that the information is right. I think I’m on my way there now, but seeing as I’m on my 92nd version of the server application I should be.

I’ve managed to get Flash to check a PHP page and create a code that proves that they are internal and that they are allowed to view the video. Flash sends the time and key to the server, who then tries to create the same key with the same time stamp. If both the codes are the same then the server allows the video to stream.

The big plus side of using PHP is that we can get program information to appear inside the video, as apparently we have to show the title, broadcaster and date of broadcast with every video we send. We originally thought that academics would have to edit this into their video themselves so pulling it automatically would be a great way of making life easier.

It’s all hard to explain without a) going too technical b) going too simple or c) telling you how I made it so you can reverse my processes. But it is looking good.