|If you are considering starting your own Flash ecard service, there are a few things that you will need besides a copy of AdobeR FlashR. Besides creating the Flash animation for a Flash ecard, you will need a program to collect the senderís and receiverís email address and the senderís message and then store the information, along with which of your ecards was chosen by the sender, in a database. Of course, you will also need a database. When the receiver views the ecard, you will need the program to get the stored information from the database and display it as part of the ecard animation. Although displaying the message in the Flash ecard is done with ActionScript, the program that supplies the information to your Flash ecard is called ecard server software.|
You have several choices for this back end part of the ecard process. Most of these programs are written in a script language such as PHP or ASP. Your first option is to write the program yourself. The second option is to use one of the numerous freeware programs downloadable from the web. There are many places that offer free ecard or postcard scripts including the following.
These free scripts are usually very simple and may need to be adjusted to use SWF files instead of JPG or GIF images in your ecards. Also, these scripts usually are written to work with one of the more popular databases, such as MySQLR. You will need to have that database installed in a specific location on your server, as required by the program. If this is not possible, you will need to manually make changes to the code to tell the program where to find the database on your system.
There are also packaged software sold by companies specializing in developing software for small businesses. The package usually comes with a self installation wizard that places the program and database on your server for you. Also, you will get many more features than you will find with the free scripts. Here are just a few places that offer professional ecard server software. Unlike the free scripts that may have only a support forum, these companies offer much more support for installing and using their software.
Greeting Card Pro
All of the above options require you to run the ecard system from your website. If you prefer external hosting for your Flash ecard system, you are limited to your choices. This is because most of the remote hosted ecard systems do not support Flash ecards. Here is one company that gives you the choice of self hosting or external hosting on their server.
My Postcards PRO (Advanced) Service
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