Although Director does not natively support database connectivity, it is possible to integrate a database into a Director movie. This TechNote covers several ways that databases can be used inside Director and how the connectivity is created.
The easiest way to integrate a database into Director involves using a third-party Xtra. These Xtras are developed by other companies and have a wide range of functionality, support and cost. Third-party Xtras are usually well documented, tested by the development company, and are designed for ease of use inside Director.
The other options outlined in this document use current functionality in Director or integrate Director with Macromedia Flash to connect to an Internet database. These techniques are not intended for local databases, are often complex to implement, and require knowledge of CGI, JSP, XML and other data-related technologies. The benefit of using these techniques is that they do not require the purchase of a third-party solution. They also allow customization and flexibility within the database connectivity.
The following list of third-party Xtras provides a brief overview of each Xtra:
Data Grip and Datagrip Net
|GoldenGate Database Connector and V12 Database Engine
GoldenGate allows online Director applications to connect to existing ODBC databases (Oracle, MS SQL Server, MySQL, MS Access, and others). V12 is a proprietary database developed by Integration New Media that can import data from FileMaker Pro, MS Excel, 4th Dimension, and so on, as TEXT or DBF files. Data can also be directly imported into V12 databases from MS FoxPro, MS Access, MS SQL Server or MS Excel files via an ODBC driver (Windows only).
Valentina for Director (V4MD) is a Xtra that allows connectivity to Paradigma Software's "object-relational" database engine.
Posting to a CGI script
It is possible to use the postNetText command in Lingo to send and retrieve data to and from a CGI script. This process requires a customized CGI script, database and a server to handle these post requests. For more information on how to use postURL, please refer to Using postNetText to send data to a cgi script (TechNote 15790) and Using postNetText to send data from Director (TechNote 15658).
Embedded Macromedia Flash movies and XML
Macromedia Flash 5 movies can access XML servers to pass and retrieve data to and from a database. Director 8.5 and above support imported Macromedia Flash 5 movies, and Director can take advantage of Flash's ability to access XML servers. In this scenario, Macromedia Flash will handle all the data transfers, and Director will then use the data in the movie. For more information about XML and Macromedia Flash, please refer to Integrating XML and Flash in a Web Application. For more details about how to enable Macromedia Flash and Director communicate, please refer to How do I pass a variable from Flash to Director? (TechNote 14796).
Using Director as a database
It is possible to use Director and Lingo to create a custom database application. An excellent two part series was written by Gary Rosenzweig and is available at Director On-line.
Using Director with Databases: Part 1
Using Director with Databases: Part 2