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Sending a Flash Animation with ColdFusion Email

by Ron Kurtus (revised 5 March 2007)

Although it is very difficult to include a Flash animation when sending an email through standard methods, you can include the animation when sending email in ColdFusion. All that is needed is to make some simple modifications to the Flash HTML code and then send the email though the CFMAIL tag.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.



Flash in email difficult

A major problem in sending Flash animations in email stems from how most email browsers handle HTML. Because of this even the company that makes Flash—Adobe/Macromedia—Flash animations in their promotional emails, such as their newsletter. Instead, they provide a link to a web site.

Get around limitations

You can get around the email browser limitations by sending your email through CFMAIL.

Process

The process is as follows:

  1. Make a CFMAIL template.
  2. Make your Flash movie and paste the code into the template.
  3. Modify the code slightly.
  4. Upload the CFM and SWF files to your server.
  5. Send the email.

Code modifications

The modifcations to the Flash HTML code consists of changing every occurance of # to ## and making the link to the SWF absolute (full web address) insteaf of relative.

Receiver in HTML

Note that the person receiving the email must have the email application set to reading HTML.

Example of code

Start with the typical CFMAIL code

<CFMAIL
TO="name@website.com"
FROM="me@mysite.com"
SUBJECT="Important Animation"
TYPE="HTML">

Paste standard Flash code for your movie

Make changes similar to those marked in red:

<OBJECT classid="clsid:D27CD6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-4440000"
codebase="http://active.macromedia.com/flash2
/cabs/swflash.cab##version=6,0,0,0"
ID=animation WIDTH=800 HEIGHT=400>

Use full URL instead of just /stuff/animation.swf.

<PARAM NAME=movie
VALUE="http://www.mysite/stuff/animation.swf">

<PARAM NAME=QUALITY VALUE=HIGH>
<PARAM NAME=BGCOLOR VALUE=##FFFFFF>

<EMBED SRC="http://www.mysite/stuff/animation.swf" QUALITY=HIGH BGCOLOR=##FFFFFF
WIDTH="800" HEIGHT="400"
TYPE="application/x-shockwave-flash" PLUGINSPAGE=
"http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi? P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash">

</OBJECT>

</CFMAIL>

Place SWF file

Obviously, you must place the your Flash SWF file in the location on your server that is indicated in your absolute Web address. In the example above, that means in the /stuff/ folder.

Summary

It is difficult to include a Flash animation when sending an email through standard methods. You can include the animation when sending email in ColdFusion with some simple modifications to the Flash HTML code.


Always do your best


Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials

Websites

ColdFusion Resources

Books

Top-rated books on ColdFusion


Questions and comments

Do you have any questions, comments, or opinions on this subject? If so, send an email with your feedback. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.


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emailflash.htm

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