I've been doing some Googling on this, but I'm a Flash noob. I figured it'd be a nice addition to my website, as well as a small introduction to understanding Flash a bit better.

Basically, I'm trying to create a vertical progress bar to measure a donation goal. I can do all the graphics and such, I'm equipped on that but it's the particulars that confuse me simply because I do not understand how flash is used well. I obviously understand embedding the flash files and things like that but there's a few concepts I'm not grasping.

If someone could answer these questions I'd appreciate it:

If I have a MySQL database, and I draw a value to a php file, how can I call that value in flash to update the image?

Would a majority of the graphics be handled by variables, such as if I was using CSS and incorporating PHP? The graphics will have a bleep that goes over the current 'temperature', would I be able to restrict this based on variables from PHP?

Am I going at this the right way?

If you have any suggestions, resources, or tutorials that would be helpful. I'm using Adobe Flash CS5.5. As I said, I am a complete newbie to flash, so please treat me as such, but I do know programming so you don't have to explain basic fundamentals :P.

Thanks to everyone who assists!