One of the great things about Flash is that you can use it to read information from other programs (such as databases and XML files). That means you can add this content to Flash to create more dynamic movies.

Well in this two-part tutorial we're going to make use of Flash's ability to work with external information, and develop a fully functioning photo gallery that derives it's information from data stored in an XML file.

Using XML can sometimes be a neat alternative to using a database (for instance when you don't have access to a database or an application server). It's also great for Flash movies that will be distributed on a CD-ROM.

In this part of this tutorial, we'll look at XML and some of the rules that you'll need to know to work with XML files. We'll also load an XML file into Flash and display the contents. In the second part we'll use the XML file to display images and captions. Then we'll see how to add categories to the photos in the gallery.

I'm assuming that you know how to enter ActionScript into the Actions panel and that you have some experience at using actions in your Flash movies.

Check also the new Dreamweaver extension Flash Album Generator that will allow to create Flash Galleries quickly and easy!