Macromedia unveils Studio MX suite
Macromedia unveiled Flash MX on March 4; today the company has rolled out Macromedia Studio MX, a new integrated family of tool, server and client technologies for creating rich Internet applications that "promise significantly more intuitive, responsive, and effective user experiences across platforms and devices," according to Rob Burgess, chairman and CEO of Macromedia.
Members of the Macromedia MX product family include the Macromedia ColdFusion MX server-scripting environment and a suite of development tools; Macromedia Flash MX; Macromedia Dreamweaver MX ( see separate story ); Macromedia Fireworks MX ( see separate story ); and Macromedia FreeHand 10, which are available together in Macromedia Studio MX.
"The whole MX product family was born out of our experiences working with customers and seeing what people are doing on the Internet," Macromedia Vice President Adam Berry told MacCentral. "We talked to designers and developers about what they were trying to get done and what their customers were asking for. One of the things we found was that people want to move from browsing content to doing something with content. At Macromedia, we began looking at what we could do in this area. The result is what we call rich Internet applications."
Macromedia's rich Internet application approach involves three key elements: client technology, server technology, and development tools. The company's merger with Allaire last year offered the opportunity to bring out products with backend capabilities, especially through ColdFusion.
"We're bringing the technology together as a family, but each product is a major release in its own right," Berry said.
While most of Macromedia's MX products are Mac (and Mac OS X) compatible, the one exception is Macromedia ColdFusion MX. The new version comes to the standards-based Java technology architecture and can be used to build rich Internet applications and working with XML, Web services and Microsoft .NET technology.
"ColdFusion MX isn't available for the Mac itself, but we have built application development capabilities for using ColdFusion into Dreamweaver MX for the Mac," Berry said. "We've seen in most Macintosh development shops that people put an application server or scripting technology such as ColdFusion on a server platform and work off of that. However, up until now there hasn't been a strong application development environment that works with such platforms and which supports all remote development capabilities you need in such an environment."
With complete support for the new features in ColdFusion MX, Dreamweaver MX enables organizations to rapidly design, build, test and maintain applications that take full advantage of the ColdFusion MX environment. In fact, some features of ColdFusion Studio and all the features of Dreamweaver UltraDev will be incorporated into Dreamweaver MX. This means those two solutions will no longer be sold as separate products.
"We've seen a tremendous response from Mac OS X users to beta of our family of MX products," Berry said. "The products have gotten great response individually. The way they work seamlessly together should make Macromedia Studio MX THE suite for doing Web and application development on the Mac."
Macromedia Studio MX is due next month with introductory pricing at US$799. Information on upgrading from one or more Macromedia products is available online. Studio MX will be available in English in May; French and German in June; and Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Swedish, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish in July.
Macromedia MX Studio requires a Power Mac G3 or higher; Mac OS 9.1 or higher, or OS X 10.1 and higher; 96MB RAM to open one application (128MB recommended); Additional RAM required to open multiple applications simultaneously; 16-bit color monitor capable of 1024 x 768 (millions of colors) or better; 510MB of available hard-disk space to install all applications; CD-ROM drive; Adobe Type Manager Version 4 or later for use with Type 1 fonts (OS 9.x); and for Adobe PostScript printing: PostScript Level 2 or PostScript 3.
Macromedia MX seminars will be held throughout North America. Check the seminars Web site for details.