What is Flash?

Adobe Flash (previously called Shockwave Flash and Macromedia Flash) is a set of multimedia technologies developed and distributed by Adobe Systems and earlier by Macromedia. Since its introduction in 1996, Flash technology has become a popular method for adding animation and interactivity to web pages; Flash is commonly used to create animation, advertisements, various web page components, to integrate video into web pages, and more recently, to develop rich Internet applications.

Flash can manipulate vector and raster graphics and supports bi-directional streaming of audio and video. It contains a scripting language called ActionScript. It is available in most common web browsers and some mobile phones and other electronic devices (using Flash Lite). Several software products, systems, and devices are able to create or display Flash, including the Adobe Flash Player. The Adobe Flash Professional multimedia authoring program is used to create content for the Adobe Engagement Platform, such as web applications, games and movies, and content for mobile phones and other embedded devices.

Files in the SWF format, traditionally called "ShockWave Flash" movies, "Flash movies" or "Flash games", usually have a .swf file extension and may be an object of a web page, strictly "played" in a standalone Flash Player, or incorporated into a Projector, a self-executing Flash movie (with the .exe extension in Microsoft Windows). Flash Video (FLV) files have a .flv file extension and are used from within .swf files.

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