It is possible in SWF to use gradient fills. The gradient definitions are pretty raw and require you to draw large objects (that you can scale down later if you wish). A radial fill will usually be used to draw a round corner or a big & smooth dot. A linear fill can be used to draw objects which go from one color to another. The linear fill goes from left to right by default. It can be rotation as required though. Yet, in either case what is drawn in the shape object needs to be at the right scale and in the right direction. This may not always prove easy to deal with!
There are some additional technical information with the description of the gradient records.