Example: Internationalizing a stock ticker application

Flash Player 10.1 and later, Adobe AIR 2.0 and later

The Global Stock Ticker application retrieves and displays fictitious data about stocks in three different stock markets: the United States, Japan, and Europe. It formats the data according to the conventions of various locales.

This example illustrates the following features of the flash.globalization package:

  • Locale-aware number formatting

  • Locale-aware currency formatting

  • Setting currency ISO code and currency symbols

  • Locale-aware date formatting

  • Retrieving and displaying appropriate month name abbreviations

To get the application files for this sample, see www.adobe.com/go/learn_programmingAS3samples_flash. The Global Stock Ticker application files can be found in the folder Samples/GlobalStockTicker. The application consists of the following files:






The user interface for the application for Flex (MXML) or Flash (FLA).


Styles for the application user interface (Flex only).


An MXML component that displays a chart of simulated stock data, for Flex only.


Document class containing the user interface logic for the application (Flash only).


A custom cell renderer for the Flash DataGrid component (Flash only).


An ActionScript class that draws a chart of simulated stock data.


An ActionScript class that manages the locale and currency and handles the localized formatting of numbers, currency amounts, and dates.


An ActionScript class that holds all the sample data for the Global Stock Ticker example.

Understanding the user interface and sample data

The application’s main user interface elements are:

  • a combo box for selecting a Locale

  • a combo box for selecting a Market

  • a DataGrid that displays data for six companies in each market

  • a chart that shows simulated historical data for the selected company’s stock

The application stores all of its sample data about locales, markets, and company stocks in the StockDataModel class. A real application would retrieve data from a server and then store it in a class like StockDataModel. In this example, all the data is hard coded in the StockDataModel class.

Note: The data displayed in the financial chart doesn’t necessarily match the data shown in the DataGrid control. The chart is randomly redrawn each time a different company is selected. It is for illustration purposes only.

Setting the locale

After some initial setup work, the application calls the method Localizer.setLocale() to create formatter objects for the default locale. The setLocale() method is also called each time the user selects a new value from the Locale combo box.

public function setLocale(newLocale:String):void 
    locale  = new LocaleID(newLocale); 
    nf = new NumberFormatter(locale.name); 
    traceError(nf.lastOperationStatus, "NumberFormatter", nf.actualLocaleIDName); 
    cf = new CurrencyFormatter(locale.name); 
    traceError(cf.lastOperationStatus, "CurrencyFormatter", cf.actualLocaleIDName); 
    symbolIsSafe = cf.formattingWithCurrencySymbolIsSafe(currentCurrency); 
    cf.setCurrency(currentCurrency, currentSymbol); 
    cf.fractionalDigits = currentFraction; 
    df = new DateTimeFormatter(locale.name, DateTimeStyle.LONG, DateTimeStyle.SHORT); 
    traceError(df.lastOperationStatus, "DateTimeFormatter", df.actualLocaleIDName); 
    monthNames = df.getMonthNames(DateTimeNameStyle.LONG_ABBREVIATION); 
public function traceError(status:String, serviceName:String, localeID:String) :void 
    if(status != LastOperationStatus.NO_ERROR) 
        if(status == LastOperationStatus.USING_FALLBACK_WARNING) 
            trace("Warning - Fallback locale ID used by " 
                    + serviceName + ": " + localeID); 
        else if (status == LastOperationStatus.UNSUPPORTED_ERROR) 
            trace("Error in " + serviceName + ": " + status); 
            //abort application 
            throw(new Error("Fatal error", 0)); 
            trace("Error in " + serviceName + ": " + status); 
        trace(serviceName + " created for locale ID: " + localeID); 

First the setLocale() method creates a LocaleID object. This object makes it easier to get details about the actual locale later, if needed.

Next it creates new NumberFormatter, CurrencyFormatter, and DateTimeFormatter objects for the locale. After creating each formatter object it calls the traceError() method. This method displays error and warning messages in the console if there is a problem with the requested locale. (A real application should react based on such errors rather than just tracing them).

After creating the CurrencyFormatter object, the setLocale() method sets the formatter’s currency ISO code, currency symbol, and fractionalDigits properties to previously determined values. (Those values are set each time the user selects a new market from the Markets combo box).

After creating the DateTimeFormatter object, the setLocale() method also retrieves an array of localized month name abbreviations.

Formatting the data

The formatted stock data is presented in a DataGrid control. The DataGrid columns each call a label function that formats the column value using the appropriate formatter object.

In the Flash version, for example, the following code sets up the DataGrid columns:

var col1:DataGridColumn = new DataGridColumn("ticker"); 
col1.headerText = "Company"; 
col1.sortOptions = Array.NUMERIC; 
col1.width = 200; 
var col2:DataGridColumn = new DataGridColumn("volume"); 
col2.headerText = "Volume"; 
col2.width = 120; 
col2.cellRenderer = RightAlignedCell; 
col2.labelFunction = displayVolume; 
var col3:DataGridColumn = new DataGridColumn("price"); 
col3.headerText = "Price"; 
col3.width = 70; 
col3.cellRenderer = RightAlignedCell; 
col3.labelFunction = displayPrice; 
var col4:DataGridColumn = new DataGridColumn("change"); 
col4.headerText = "Change"; 
col4.width = 120; 
col4.cellRenderer = RightAlignedCell; 
col4.labelFunction = displayPercent;

The Flex version of the example declares its DataGrid in MXML. It also defines similar label functions for each column.

The labelFunction properties refer to the following functions, which call formatting methods of the Localizer class:

private function displayVolume(item:Object):String 
    return localizer.formatNumber(item.volume, 0); 
private function displayPercent(item:Object):String 
       return localizer.formatPercent(item.change )  ; 
  private function displayPrice(item:Object):String 
    return localizer.formatCurrency(item.price); 

The Localizer methods then set up and call the appropriate formatters:

public function formatNumber(value:Number, fractionalDigits:int = 2):String 
    nf.fractionalDigits = fractionalDigits; 
    return nf.formatNumber(value); 
public function formatPercent(value:Number, fractionalDigits:int = 2):String 
    // HACK WARNING: The position of the percent sign, and whether a space belongs 
    // between it and the number, are locale-sensitive decisions. For example, 
    // in Turkish the positive format is %12 and the negative format is -%12. 
    // Like most operating systems, flash.globalization classes do not currently 
    // provide an API for percentage formatting. 
    nf.fractionalDigits = fractionalDigits; 
    return nf.formatNumber(value) + "%"; 
public function formatCurrency(value:Number):String 
    return cf.format(value, symbolIsSafe); 
public function formatDate(dateValue:Date):String 
    return df.format(dateValue);