Data providers and collections

A collection object contains a data object, such as an Array or an XMList object, and provides a set of methods that let you access, sort, filter, and modify the data items in that data object. Several controls, known as data provider controls, have a dataProvider property that you populate with a collection.

The mx.collections.ArrayCollection and mx.collections.XMLListCollection classes are specific collection implementations that you can use with any data provider control in the Flex framework. Most data provider controls also support using the mx.collections.ArrayList class. This class is similar to the ArrayCollection class, except that is uses less memory, but does not have as many features.

For more information on Flex components that use data providers, see Spark list-based controls, MX data-driven controls, and Menu-based controls.