Benefits of using components

Components enable you to separate the process of designing your application from the process of coding. They allow developers to create functionality that designers can use in applications. Developers can encapsulate frequently used functionality into components and designers can customize the size, location, and behavior of components by changing their parameters. They can also change the appearance of a component by editing its graphical elements, or skins.

Components share core functionality such as styles, skins, and focus management. When you add the first component to an application, this core functionality accounts for approximately 20 kilobytes of the size. When you add other components, that initial memory allocation is shared by the added components, reducing the growth in the size of your application.

This section outlines some of the benefits of the ActionScript 3.0 components.

The power of ActionScript 3.0
provides a powerful, object-oriented programming language that is an important step in the evolution of Flash Player capabilities. The language is designed for building rich Internet applications on a reusable code base. ActionScript 3.0 is based on ECMAScript, the international standardized language for scripting, and is compliant with the ECMAScript (ECMA-262) edition 3 language specification. For a thorough introduction to ActionScript 3.0, see ActionScript 3.0 Developer’s Guide. For reference information on the language, see the ActionScript 3.0 Reference for the Adobe Flash Platform.

FLA-based User Interface components
provide easy access to skins for easy customizing while authoring. These components also provide styles, including skin styles, that allow you to customize aspects of the components appearance and load skins at run time. For more information, see Customizing the UI Components and the ActionScript 3.0 Reference for the Adobe Flash Platform.

New FVLPlayback component adds FLVPlaybackCaptioning
component along with full screen support, improved live preview, skins that allow you to add color and alpha settings, and improved FLV download and layout features.

The Property inspector and Component inspector
allow you to change component parameters while authoring in Flash. For more information, see Working with component files and Set parameters and properties.

New collection dialog box
for the ComboBox, List, and TileList components allows you to populate their dataProvider property through the user interface. For more information, see Create a DataProvider.

The ActionScript 3.0 event model
allows your application to listen for events and invoke event handlers to respond. For more information, see ActionScript 3.0 event handling model and Handling events.

Manager classes
provide an easy way to handle focus and manage styles in an application. For more information, see the ActionScript 3.0 Reference for the Adobe Flash Platform.

The UIComponent base class
provides core methods, properties, and events to components that extend it. All of the ActionScript 3.0 user interface components inherit from the UIComponent class. For more information see the UIComponent class in the ActionScript 3.0 Reference for the Adobe Flash Platform.

Use of a SWC
in the UI FLA-based components provide ActionScript definitions as an asset inside the component’s Timeline to speed compilation.

An easily extendable class hierarchy
using ActionScript 3.0 allows you to create unique namespaces, import classes as needed, and subclass easily to extend components.

For more information, see the ActionScript 3.0 Reference for the Adobe Flash Platform.

Note: Flash CS5 supports both FLA-based and SWC-based components. For more information, see Component architecture.